Aquaponics, Bioponics, Blog, Fertilizers, Nutrient Cycling

Peeponics in Georgia, Ecosan Urine Fertilizer in India, Urine Therapy Elsewhere

From around the world we are learning more and more how others are creating their own models of sustainability.

Hydroponics would benefit tremendously to have a homemade source of fertlizer. The notion of organic can actually be elevated to a second generation, requiring that food consumed by the source of the urine was also organic. That’s something we don’t get with organic manures, etc, as most of the cattle that are used for making black cow composted manure for instance are not organically raised.

Aquaponics will benefit by a urine fertilizer approach inasmuch as fish will not be the rate limiting factor for plant growth. This is a considerable problem for those who find the close management of fish to be a problem. And of course there are vegetarians who don’t care for fish protein, just looking for an organic fish.

The video below was done in my backyard in 2009 and is a crude example of peeponics. It was something that I had no formal introduction to but gave it a try. The results were excellent in the tank that had an air hose. Okay in the system raising anacharis and poor in system that had no aeration.

Early Summer:

One Month Later:

In Africa and India EcoSan has a handling protocol and is using a filtration technique for stored urine when growing radishes and beans. The video below shows the protocol by a PhD student. Other videos from this site show field success with growing bananas using human urine.

If you want a truly organic plant then the question arises, “is using fish urine from fish not raised on an organic diet organic?” I think not. The standard feed of pelletized soybean, corn, chicken waste or ground up fish itself is not organic but it’s not a natural diet for fish, muchless it is heavily laden with GMO’s and likely has pesticides and in the case of chickens waste, hormones and antibiotics. A better source of urine will be that of a drug free vegetarian. A bioponic approach is more complete than even urine as the recycled nutrients from green manures, have higher mineral content plus other plant specific growth factors. Organic, local green manure are easy to source and free. Free that is until people realize that their grasses and other wastes are worth money. This is quite contrary to today’s logic whereby people pay others to take away our trash, rather than find value in it at the home site.

Ecosan program studying urine fertilizer in India

A note on urine therapy: There is a argument that urine therapy is something of a natural supplement, suited only to the individual producing it as it helps reclaim lost hormones, amino acids, minerals, trace element, vitamins and nitrogen rich ureas.

Urine ingestion is practiced in Ayurvedic eastern medicine though shunned in western medicine,.but then again, maggot, honey and leech treatments were formerly shunned and are now studied widely in US medical schools. Whether squeemish about the idea, or not, urine is recycled into our food and medicine through animal waste composting, estrogen supplements, and in urea containing cosmetics. Medicine, agriculture and nutrition industries depend on it.

Whether for human consumption or as a plant fertilizer, under the correct circumstances, urine will one day be recognized worldwide, as one of our most precious commodities, self made, not to be wasted. Before diving into peeponics as a gardening method, it is important to understand that clean catch urine from a non-infected or non-contaminated source is important.

Human urine has the potential to replace fish in aquaponic systems (scarcity, lack of local demand, urgency to get started with aquaponics when large fish not available etc).

Do not ingest others urine or food raised from urine, without a proper plan. The UN and Ecosan has a protocol for urine as a fertilizer. When handled properly there is little to risk and big to gain.


About drdave

CoFounder of Algosolar, dba Bioponica. Consultant, designer, developer of Biogarden and Incubator Ecosystems for producing organic food and fish, sustainably.


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