I.P. Freely - On The Organic Cabbages

In today's issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry a report from researchers at the University of Kuopio in Finland finds that human urine is a great organic fertilizer for plants, especially cabbages.

What makes this post great for today is the fact that the diligent Finnish researchers collected the urine for their experiments by going door to door in the neighborhood. How's that for trick or treat! Then they doused the fresh pee (urine is sterile and contains nitrogen) on rows of cabbages, with a control row of conventionally fertilized cabbage.

The researchers found that the peed-on cabbages grew slightly faster and had slightly better biomass than the controls. But lest you think this is all a big joke - the researchers made the cabbages into sauerkraut, and found there was absolutely no difference in taste between the test cabbages and the control cabbages.

Especially in poorer parts of the world, the researchers concluded, the ancient art of using urine as a free fertilizer should be revived, and might also increase the use of composting toilets (where the #1 and #2 go to separate bins) to help easily gather the urine. The researchers also said use of urine as a fertilizer is increasing in Finland.

Tags: Agriculture | Fertilizer | Finland | Scandinavia

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