The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Closing the farm fertility loop

Urine on the compost pile

All of my reveling in off-farm manure aside, one of my big goals for the next few years is to close our homestead's fertility loop. As the heaviest amendment, I'm working on compost first, although mulch will likely go on my game plan eventually.

Bowl of berriesTo that end, we're being much more frugal than we have been in the past about making sure every little bit of nitrogen ends up back in the garden. Urine is definitely the low-hanging fruit and I'm always thrilled when I see Mark "nitrogenate the compost pile" (as he calls it).

If you want to learn more about our fertility sources so far, check out Soil Amendments for the Organic Garden, which is up for preorder and will be hitting kindles in three weeks. Enjoy!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Hi Anna and Mark,

So here is a question: How do you tell you need more 'off farm fertility'? Plants yellow? Low nitrogen?

I like Bill Albrecht's piece about 'the problem of the proteins".

I just added some horse to my test garden. So we will see how that changes the conductivity?

A big thanks to both of you! Always a great read.


Comment by John Thu Jun 30 09:17:39 2016
I love the "more acceptable" term - "nitrogenate the compost pile" - for peeing! I wonder how that will catch on in other situations.
Comment by Sheila Thu Jun 30 21:27:00 2016

profile counter myspace

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