A year’s worth of urine is enough to fertilize a year’s worth of food, researchers say
“The urine one person produces annually contains enough fertilizer to grow nearly a whole year’s supply of food,” Rich Earth Institute claims.
Adults produce between 100 and 150 gallons of urine per year, containing about 9 pounds of nitrogen, 2 pounds of potassium, and 1 pound of phosphorus.
This is enough “NPK” fertilizer to grow grain for a loaf of bread every day of the year, according to Rich Earth’s research.
Obviously, we won’t want bread every day of the year, but mix in some other produce with your grain and you could have a full plate fertilized with nothing but your own pee!
“The pee of one person is rich enough to fertilize a tenth of an acre of vegetable garden for the year,” according to the Permaculture Research Institute.
Think about it as a closed-loop nutrient cycle… Why use un-sustainably mined minerals to fertilize your food when recycling yours over and over?
The nitrogen used in commercial fertilizers is synthesized in a process fueled by natural gas, a fossil fuel increasingly derived by fracking.
The phosphorus comes from the mined rock phosphate, a non-renewable resource. Along with “peak oil,” some argue we’re now entering a period of “peak phosphorus.”
The potash that’s being mined for potassium is also a non-renewable, depleting resource.
Pee should be diluted with 90% water before applying to your crops, according to the Permaculture Research Institute, as too much of a good thing in the same spot can be overkill.
And mixing pee with ash (from your fire pit) outperforms commercial fertilizers, according to the Institute.
Another tip, if you don’t want to put too much effort into making mixtures, is to pee straight on your compost pile, as it does wonders for the composting process and doesn’t need to be diluted.
Male pee (especially) distributed around the perimeter of the garden can help keep pests away too, because of the testosterone in it, the Institute says… So go ahead guys, mark your territory!