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Pee Pee Monster

 
Posts: 142
Location: Missoula, Montana (zone 4)
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By now we've all heard of "Poop beasts". I'd like to start a thread on "Pee Pee Monsters". Plants or trees that can survive unusually high amounts of urine. Any suggestions?
 
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That is interesting concept
 
Posts: 187
Location: Southeastern Connecticut, USA
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Pissing on straw bales ( or any high carbon) leads to good nitrogen retention in the soil. If the nitrogen is too concentrated, a lot will be off gassed as ammonia.

In regards to trees that can use a nitrogen?...
 
pollinator
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I'd go with a big pile of woodchips planted with something like comfry or another bioaccumulator around it. Or woodchip mulch around your trees and just water a different pile each day.
 
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Citrus trees can withstand large amounts of urine.

Ever see the movie "The World's Fastest Indian"? Here's the (part of the) plot from Wikipedia.

Burt Munro is a sort of folk hero in his hometown for his friendly and charming personality and for being featured in Popular Mechanics magazine (May 1957 p6) for having the fastest motorcycle in Australia and New Zealand. However, that recognition is contrasted by his exasperated neighbors, who are fed up with his un-neighborly habits such as urinating on his lemon tree every morning, neglecting his garden, and, most of all, waking up before sunrise to rev his bike's very loud engine.

Watershed Management Group has a "Soil is Life" webinar series on Youtube. One of the sections is entitled "Why Pee on That Lemon Tree? How to Use Urine in Your Landscape"

 
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if you are looking for salt resistant plants, try marshmellow, and sea buckthorn. ant cattails. cattails can probably handle everything. they are used in biofilter installations too.
 
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This is a great topic for me. My husband likes to pee off the deck. It kills the grass so have been thinking what to do as the weather warms. I was thinking marsh plants. I had considered a can of wood chips but part of the fun of peeing off the deck is not having to aim. Too cold for citrus or many good ol southern marsh plants.
I think I read somewhere that asparagus can take a lot of salt...but yuck... maybe only after harvest season?
 
Philip Durso
Posts: 142
Location: Missoula, Montana (zone 4)
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Hi all! I was wondering if anyone knew of the fungus Geoff speaks of in the video I'm linking below (02:30) This fungus seems to be desalinating the soil around it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qebL4TCFI_k

I was thinking that allot of wood chips with this fungus growing in it along with Mullein & perhaps a fragrant plant or two.

Depending on the climate maybe these plants could be grown as well to fill out the ingedent list for these wetwipes to augment the Mullein or for use during winter months.

Aloe Vera
Witch Hazel
Lavender
Olive
Almond
Orange
Grapefruit

Still researching a good plant for making the soap. Although the olive trees may work for that as well.
 
Bert de Weert
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it is never too cold for marshmellow and sea buckthorn. it grows in holland in the wild. if it grows in holland, there will be few places that are too cold.

another idea: why dont make like, a saltwater pool, like a miniature sea, and put a crapload of seaweed and seaplants in. they can handle salt i guess
 
gardener
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My suggestion for the pee pee monsters are not typical in the ground plants. I would recommend a high carbon compost pile for some of it. The rest can be given to salt water tolerant algae and duck weed.
 
Posts: 30
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Avocados, apple trees, bamboo, barley, cabbage, corn, cotton, grasses, nopal cactus, spinach, sugar cane, willow and winter onions are supposed to be tolerant of urine. (Source: Carol Steinfeld, Liquid Gold, ISBN 9780966678314, Ecowaters Books, Concord, MA, 2007, $10.95 on Amazon.) Apparently, these plants were fertilized successfully with urine in Mexico, Germany and Sweden.
 
steward
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Theresa McCuaig wrote:Avocados, apple trees, bamboo, barley, cabbage, corn, cotton, grasses, nopal cactus, spinach, sugar cane, willow and winter onions are supposed to be tolerant of urine. (Source: Carol Steinfeld, Liquid Gold, ISBN 9780966678314, Ecowaters Books, Concord, MA, 2007, $10.95 on Amazon.) Apparently, these plants were fertilized successfully with urine in Mexico, Germany and Sweden.


That is a great list and a great book suggestion.

I have found that my tomatoes, peppers and cruciforms all seem to get bigger when they get peed on.
 
Posts: 69
Location: Newbury, VT (Zone 4)
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While urinating directly on living plants is a challenge, peeing on your compost pile is NOT, so long as you have enough carbon in there.

It's all worked out, folks -- please read The Humanure Handbook, by Joseph Jenkins. He's spent over 30 years studying all impacts of composting out feces and our urine. Since Paul doesn't like the Loveable Loo concept -- at least for his property and the need for a portable pooper during the building phase -- maybe people here are not giving Joe Jenkins proper respect (?).

The book is available in print form, and as a download from his web site here: http://humanurehandbook.com/

We've been using a Jenkins "sawdust bucket toilet" for 2-1/2 years now, and our guests -- even those who know quite a lot about green building and alternative construction methods -- still express amazement that we have no odors and no flies, with no ventilation or forced air flow. People seem to be far more grossed out by the idea than the reality, which Jenkins calls "feco-freakin-phobia", but the truth is, his system works very well, indeedy.

If you handle it properly, urine is not only not a monster, it turns out to be more nutritious for building soil than the solids. See also Holy Shit, by Gene Logsdon, which goes into some detail about managing pee and poop on farms, and building up a manure pack under enclosed animals as a way of saving and recycling nutrients with very little labor. He also discusses human feces and urine in some detail -- a really good book and a great conversation starter!

 
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As a women it is hard for me to just pee outside. I bought a toilot seat for about $15 dollars that fits on a plastic bucket. I found a 3.5 gallon one in my barn that worked but it fits a couple sizes. I leave it in my bathroom. It has a seal around the lid so there is no smell. Once a day I add about 2 gallons of water and dump it on a different tree or area. Acorrding to what I have read, this dilution is similar to any liquid fertilizer and safe to use on any plant. Because it is private, I can use it anywhere, even along the front of our yard. In the fall I pile all of our leaves next to the compost bins so I can pour the pee there, full strength, over the winter. I am sure it would be fine to pour it on trees over the winter but we have several feet of snow all winter and I don't want to have to put on my snow shoes and traipse though the snow everyday. The leaves compost up nicely for a mulch the next spring.
 
Mother Tree
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Sarah Loy wrote:As a woman it is hard for me to just pee outside.



Oh dear. You don't know what you've let yourself in for now. Have a read of one of our most popular threads ever - women peeing outdoors
 
Sarah Loy
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In response to Burra, I am pretty outdoorsy but as women in the other post said, letting my underwear soak up the extra pee is gross and if I use toilet paper outside disposal isn't convienient and then I need to find a place to wash my hands. I hike a lot and pee in the woods but it is not my first choice of the day to day, month to month way of life. I still pour my pee outside and nicely diluted to avoid the tolerence issue, use by the road issue etc. So for me this is the best of both worlds. Finding a system that is easy to do on a daily basis is what keeps me able to be susrtainable.
 
Posts: 36
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Philip Durso wrote:
Still researching a good plant for making the soap. Although the olive trees may work for that as well.


How about these http://www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=49
Also Equisitem- "scouring rush" depending on your intended use.
Jim
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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One of the many totally awesome things about having an outdoor shower that vents greywater to mulched infiltration basins is that you are in a beneficial position to wash, pee, dilute and fertilize in one holistic event. And if it's the right time of year, I can eat grapes as well as they grow over the top of the shower.

From: http://abundantdesert.com/2013/11/02/dolce-verde-outdoor-shower-part-1-design/

Setting up the drains and infiltration basins.



Framing out the shade house which includes the shower, propagation area, hen yard and compost bins



From: http://abundantdesert.com/2013/11/04/dolce-verde-outdoor-shower-part-2-the-evolution/

The finished product. Hot and cold running water. In my climate (hot desert) I use this all year long.

 
master gardener
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1. One of the books I read on the subject suggested that for outdoor use, a bucket filled with waste paper (variation on the sawdust theme for those who can't get sawdust) does the job. I have a friend whose business is always trying to recycle big rolls of drafting paper when the building's done, so I thought I'd try the pee recycle there as an experiment.
2. Since my Hugel beds tend to be high in wood and low in other stuff, I sometimes dilute the urine and pour it there.
3. Supposedly, if you pour it on a straw-bale in early spring so that it encourages decomposition to start, you can move the bale to a sunny location a month later and plant tomatoes in it (just put the equivalent of a pot full of dirt in the bale under the roots.) I tried this last year, but also watered in some aerated compost tea to add micro-organisms. It wasn't super-successful, but I suspect it was our cool weather and lack of sun that was more responsible for the outcome than the concept itself. It would be interesting for some other people to try it.

Sorry I'm not suggesting actual plants, as Philip requested, but most of the ones I'm aware of have already been suggested. I am planning on transplanting some Cattails to the low area down-slope from where my husband's chickens are in an effort to make sure the nitrogen produced isn't escaping the property, but I don't know yet whether they will survive not just the nitrogen, but also our wet/drought cycles.
 
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This doesn't really answer your question, but we 2 females use pee as our main fertilizer on our in-town garden. We keep a 5-gallon bucket in the garage and pee into that. We don't feel the need for a toilet lid. When we have a couple of quarts to a gallon, we fill the bucket up with water and water a section of garden, gradually making our way around the whole thing over the course of a week or 2. In winter, with it frozen outdoors (ore garage is unheated), I'm dumping the frozen buckets of urine onto the compost pile and also using some of it experimentally with homemade liquid kelp (soak rockweed for a few days in water and then keep it cool or frozen) as houseplant food and an indoor hydroponic system I'm setting up for winter veg.

As for plants that really like urine, as I understand it, it's the salts that are a problem, and something salt-tolerant and nitrogen-loving like asparagus will be happy. but if you're in a moderately moist climate, diluting the urine plus rain will take care of any salt issues. We also heavily mulch shrubs and trees with wood chips and pour the diluted urine onto that.

Also, apparently, letting the urine sit around for a month or 2, depending on the temperature, will get rid of any pathogens but also a lot of the nitrogen, so you supposedly end up with 1-1-1 NPK.

 
Philip Durso
Posts: 142
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Jim LaFrom wrote:

Philip Durso wrote:
Still researching a good plant for making the soap. Although the olive trees may work for that as well.


How about these http://www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=49
Also Equisitem- "scouring rush" depending on your intended use.
Jim



Perfect...thanks Jim! And a big thanks for everyone for contributing to this thread. I know allot of this info has been floating around in other forum threads but sometimes its just good to have it all in one place.
-PD
 
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We have found that we can grow nearly any plant using urine with our EarthBarrels. An EarthBarrel is a reused 55 gallon plastic barrel and we use them like containers. We know that they are plastic, but they already exist and using them this way is better than them going to a landfill.


Since they are containers they can sit anywhere: on a deck, in a yard, on the sidewalk, wherever there is sun. They are half full of water, approximately 20+ gallons. The water collects the heat of the sun and stores that heat in the water in the water reservoir. The heat gives back to the plants at night. They do need their water replenished once a week; guess what we replenish the water with. Corn love our special water.

 
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Liquid Gold The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants by Steinfeld, Carol

This book is very informational, funny and will change the way you think about human "waste"
 
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In regards to being able to deal with potential for salt buildup " It appeared possible that duckweed removed up to 9kg salt/ha/d when grown under fairly optimal conditions, suggesting a potential for duckweed to rehabilitate saline land and water." - Duckweed

I'd think some sort of water wicking bed, with an overflow area where duckweed could fill a shallow "pond" type of area and then be dispersed as a surface mulch, composted, fed to ducks / fish. Using urine in the garden, even diluted, tends to build up a certain odor. Note, one tends to be more sensitive to the pee of others so your backyard may smell fine to you...not so much for others. A wicking bed, with clay or pond plastic base, ag-pipe, scoria / rock, and a pipe with a good fitting cap would really help to keep any potential stink in.

Not particularly related but a scary species of tree you'd want to avoid - Tamarix aphylla "Athel Pine"
"consume large amounts of water - up to
twice that of Willows (Salix spp.) reduces water availability for stock and the
environment, alters the course of rivers and increases sedimentation rates. It
concentrates salt, which is excreted by its leaves, making the ground around Athel
pines more salty
and excludes native pasture grasses and other salt-sensitive
plants, thus reducing biodiversity. It can also cause corrosion of gutters, metal
buildings, bores and equipment when planted adjacent to infrastructure, and falling
limbs are a hazard to humans and stock." Truly a horrible tree...
 
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Wetlands...

Here's a scholarly article about "riparian buffers", which are used to filter nitrogen polluted water before they reach streams. I believe that many wetland plants are also halophiles (salt loving plants).

http://www.soil.ncsu.edu/publications/BMPs/buffers.html

These plant roots may either absorb the nitrate for use in plant growth or, more importantly, may provide an energy source for bacteria that converts nitrogen in nitrate to a gas, which then escapes to the atmosphere. This process, denitrification, occurs almost exclusively in water-saturated zones where abundant organic matter is present.



I once saw a video about a permaculture setup where the homeowner flushed his urine along with graywater from the shower and laundry (with salt-free detergent) into a marsh-pond he created, which drained into regular ponds. The marsh effectively cleansed the nitrogen... he kept fish in the regular ponds downstream, and they thrived.

 
gardener
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If you spread your pee around in the wet season, it's not that intense for any one plant. If you pee in a bucket of water during the dry season, you just dump it when it seems the right concentration. If you look at your plants closely during the growing season, you will see which trees/plants are yellowish green instead of dark green. Obviously you can look at your evergreens during the whole year. This can be a sign that they need more nitrogen. Japanese plums, peaches, and kiwis like a lot of nitrogen. Urea is often suggested as the best source. The hell if I'm going to pay money for someone else's urine. I know what I've been eating and drinking. We have put down wood chips every year and we do a light spraying on them if no particular tree/plant is in need. You can notice them darkening up over a period of weeks. Then go to a different one. Notice which ones don't have much new growth. Then pee on them. If you have a lot of organic material in your soil, it will be able to handle more nitrogen and do positive things with it. Also some cultivated mushrooms, like shaggy parasols, grow much better if you add chopped up grass or other nitrogen sources, such as well, urea.
John S
PDX OR
 
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One of the best books on the subject we read was Solviva by Ana Edey. She refers to the process as Peace on Earth or Urine Charge. Her point is that around 80% of the nutrients we excrete are in urine. We looked at each other and immediately concluded that for the cost of a couple of of 2 litre plastic milk bottles cut appropriately, we could both (male and female) collect our pee as a matter of course.

We have done so for about 5 years and now, whenever we have to use a flushing toilet it just feels wasteful.

We'd love a composting toilet but for architectural reasons we can't have one at this stage, so at least collecting the 80% is exceptionally cheap, convenient and does wonders for a variety of plants, especially oranges and lemons, guavas and feijoas, rhubarb and, frequently, the compost heaps.
 
pollinator
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I have often read on these fora and heard on at least one podcast that human urine from healthy individuals is sterile when it comes out, but it's perfect bacteria food, so isn't likely to stay that way. In my opinion, that suggests that the best place to pee would be in and around living soil. I think that the plants are less of a consideration than the health of the whole system.

I think the thing to do would be to look at riparian zones in river deltas where the tides change the conditions from fresh to saltwater regularly. A complete system or appropriate analogies would work to do the job nature is already doing.

-CK
 
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I have found sunflowers to be urine loving plants. Last year I planted 4 by my driveway and the one nearest my car door got peed on every morning before sunrise. It grew a foot taller and the stalk was so thick and hard I needed a saw to remove it in the fall.
 
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Adding to the list of salt tolerant plants:
Coconut - I have heard that if you don't plant it next to the sea, it needs supplemental salt in order to get good tasting fruits.
Atriplex spp. (saltbush) - accumulates salt from the soil on its leaves. Foliage could eventually be cut and removed from the site, buried deeply, etc. to remove the salt from the system. I have mainly seen Atriplex in pretty terrible soils in desert environments.
 
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Rudy Valvano wrote:I have found sunflowers to be urine loving plants. Last year I planted 4 by my driveway and the one nearest my car door got peed on every morning before sunrise. It grew a foot taller and the stalk was so thick and hard I needed a saw to remove it in the fall.


I agree, even with the worst possible start our solitary sunflower has done amazingly well this season, no doubt it is in part due to the abundance of urea.
 
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I put a bucket of charcoal at our construction site. It gets peed in a few times a week. No odor at all! Now it's biochar.
I'll dump it as a mulch on a flower bed. I figure the nitrogen will leach off as the rain or watering proceed. I'll repost if the flowers fail to thrive
 
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As usual in permaculture "it at depends" Are you living in a desert where nitrates accumulate? in that case, pee where it will dry and concentrate and make nitrate fertilizer to sell. (or old-school gunpowder for historical re-enactments- value added!) Are you living in a rainforest where everything grows all the time? pee anywhere on anything. In between, where most of us live, ya gonna hafta figure it out. But the cool thing is, you don't have to pee on the lemon tree every morning! The more I think about it the more I realize I've spent 30 years with this, and I should really write it ALL down to be published, so that's what I'm gonna do. BTW, one of my inspirations was my pen-pal (through Seed Savers Exchange) Elaine Meyers, who wrote the Pee In The Garden article for the Soil issue of the Permaculture Activist in the early 90's (She was killed by a drunk driver not long after which is why you never hear of her) I still recommend the article & make it available to PDC participants.
Why would you want to waste pee on a Sea Buckthorn? they fix nitrogen! So what crop needs LOTs of nitrogen? aMaizeing I haven't heard it from anyone yet... no gluten, hand sow, hand harvest capable, can be sown in mulch with a handful of soil. Yields food at various stages incl for long storage, and makes a LOT of organic matter. High yield annual, lots of local and seasonal varieties available. And there's piles of other plants. Ditto on the recommendations on Gene Logsden's Holy Shit, which details where we are about to find ourselves as the fossil energy fixed nitrate becomes more and more expensive, and how that will change agriculture...
 
gardener
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This is a very inspirational thread. I have north facing front porch with about 16 feet of 3 foot tall raised bed in front of it. I work as plumber, and would love to not bring ANY of my work"shit" inside with me at least part of the year. On vacation I was treated to a (poorly designed to my mind,yet still delightful) outdoor shower.
I also don't mind peeing in the shower. After all a urinal is just a specialized sink.
All told I think an outdoor shower with sand and or sawdust mushroom(wee are not "pooless") filter is in my future.
When it happens is up to the boss, she is patient and supportive of my crazy mad scince, but It helps that I let here order priorities.
The indoor greywater flush toilet is a priority over this. She just said so!
 
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