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Archive for the ‘Hmmm…’ Category

Free fertilizer?

Thomas over at A Growing Tradition (which, by the way, is a blog I just found and has quickly become one of my favorites!  You should go read him if you aren’t already!) posted a VERY interesting question today and I wanted to route you to it- and ask your opinion.  It’s a pretty well known fact that human urine is a good source of nitrogen- an element essential to a healthy garden- and it is free and safe.   So, to pee or not to pee? 

Odd that he would bring this up, as I JUST had an experience with pee in my garden.   A (male) friend of mine was visiting  two weeks ago and we were out walking in the garden.  He needed to pee, and instead of sending him into the house, I sent him over to the compost pile.  Urine is an excellent activator to compost piles, giving it a burst of nitrogen and turning it into a “hot” pile, so it seemed silly to waste it.  I honestly never though about using it directly on the plants, but it makes perfect sense. 

I know there are probably a lot of people who will be blown away by the “ick” factor, which I don’t have at all.  Human urine is sterile- you can drink it, for a brief period, in life or death situation- and frankly it sits way better with me than unknown cow manure fertilizer or manufactured nitrogen, though I certainly use composted manure in my garden.   The only reason I don’t use it for composting is because it would take me a long time to carry a bucket full of pee from my upstairs bathroom all the way out to my compost pile, and I am living there at the generosity of Ann, who may not be appreciative!  I wouldn’t use it on my vegetables this year because I am growing these for the consumption of others, but I would have no qualms using it on veggies that I would be eating myself. 

So, take a trip over to Thomas and weigh in!

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My first crop

I planted my first crop of the year today, and it’s an experiment:  Okra!

I LOVE Okra.  Well, I should say that I love fried Okra.  There aren’t really many other ways that I like it, though a few pieces in a little gumbo never hurt me.  You can occasionally find it up here, but it is outrageously expensive.

Now this certainly isn’t Africa- Okra’s homeland- and it isn’t Alabama (which is a heck of a lot closer to Africa than Massachusetts!), but I’m going to try my hardest to grow some this year.  Any of you New Englanders ever try growing it?  Was it a failure?

I started three varieties today- Alabama and Cowhorn, two heirloom varieties that were sent to me last year by my dear friend Liz who works at a historic site in South Carolina with a big heirloom garden (she sent me lots of other goodies too, and I can’t wait to get them planted!) and also a mystery variety that I got in Howling Hill’s seed swap.   HH, do you know what variety they were?  I think I was the first stop off of your seed swap this year, so they must have come from you!

So they are sitting pretty in my window sill- we’ll see how they do.  I may have even planted them too early.  Daddy tells me that he direct sows his in May (which means it is already steadily in the 80s and 90s but here it is still coolish).  I did save seeds of each variety in case it doesn’t work but I do hope it does.  Even if I can get one big handful of freshly fried Okra, I’ll consider it a success!

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Maybe too locavore?

I’m all for eating local and preserving local foodscapes, but this seems a little extreme, no?

At least it’s Italy, I guess.  Imagine it being Scotland and everyone forced to eat Haggis and Black Pudding all the time.

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