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Save Your Soil with the Power of Pee

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down into the dirt – but you may want to grab a bucket, especially first thing in the morning. Nutrient loss in our soils is an ongoing issue for some gardeners, and you may find help in an unexpected—liquid—form.

Carol Deppe, author of The Resilient Gardener and Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties touts the benefits of nourishing soil to keep your garden growing, even in hard times. Using grass clippings, leaves, and other organic matter is common practice. Many use manure, too, but Deppe also boosts soil fertility with urine. She recommends the first pee of the morning. Here’s why:

“I collect my first pee of the morning in a bucket. Later pee is pallid stuff. Both color and odor suggests that the first-early pee is more concentrated. My guess is that there are more nutrients in the first batch of pee after waking than in all the pee put together for the entire rest of the day. So I collect the first pee and forget the rest,” writes Deppe. She also dilutes the pee then waters both the plants and the ground. Although, she said she doesn’t water the parts of the plants she’ll eat, like lettuce leaves.

Deppe is not alone in recognizing the power of pee. In The Resilient Farm and Homestead, author Ben Falk describes human urine as the “ideal plant food for the vegetative state of growth.”

To find out more about how to put pee to work for you and your soils, read this excerpt from The Resilient Gardener.

The Power of Pee by Chelsea Green Publishing


Ask the Expert: Andrew Mefferd

Before writing The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook: Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture, Andrew Mefferd spent seven years in the research department at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, traveling around the world to consult with researchers and farmers on the best practices in greenhouse growing. Andrew has graciously agreed to offer up his expertise to our […] Read More

Top 10 favorite goat facts (with gifs)

New this month from author Gianaclis Caldwell, Holistic Goat Care is the essential resource on caring for your herd. Goats have provided humankind with essential products for centuries; indeed, they bear the noble distinction of being the first domesticated farm animal. From providing milk and meat for sustenance and fiber and hides for clothing and shelter […] Read More

Chelsea Green Weekly for May 5, 2017

Ever wonder what your favorite Chelsea Green authors do between writing groundbreaking–both literally and figuratively–books? Here are the best links and resources for your weekend reading pleasure. Let’s start with The Alzheimer’s Antidote. The Alzheimer’s Antidote Amy Berger has been making the rounds on the health, wellness, and fitness circuit, explaining the theories behind her revolutionary […] Read More

Learn from Chelsea Green authors this summer at Sterling College

Each summer, the School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College in Vermont offers continuing education designed specifically for “agrarians, culinarians, entrepreneurs, and lifelong learners.” Chelsea Green is proud to partner with this program so you can learn from our expert authors in a hands-on, experiential setting at Sterling’s farm and teaching kitchen. Be sure to read […] Read More

New French edition of The Resilient Farm and Homestead available

Great news for French-speaking fans of Ben Falk’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach. The French language translation is now available from Imagine Un Colibri, from French booksellers, and on Amazon.fr. Falk’s book is a technical manual that details the strategies he and his team have developed for […] Read More
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