Using Urine in the Landscape- Liquid Gold

“There’s Gold in them Thar Hills” is favorite old time saying in the Dahlonega area regarding the prevalence of gold during the early 1800’s Gold Rush.  In this post I am not referring to the precious metal gold but liquid gold. A substance that every human being produces in varying quantities. Also called Urine.

In Sweden they have found that urine is a valuable natural resource and is used as a natural fertilizer in farming. High in nitrogen it is especially good for leafy green vegetables. It is diluted with water in a 8:1 ratio.

They also found in Sweden that it is easier to process human waste more efficiently if the urine is not mixed with the feces. It is also better for the environment. They have even developed urine diverting toilets to separate the liquid gold from solids. It’s also interesting that privy’s or outhouses do not create odors when the solids are separated from the urine.

The innkeepers have used urine for years on the property. Correction: Mary Beth would not donate hers. We both purchased urinals at Wal Mart for collection of the liquid gold. Mary Beth’s was called a “sheurnal” and has never been used if anyone is interested.

We found many great uses for the urine besides serving as a nitrogen fertilizer in a 8:1 ratio mentioned above. It also can be used without dilution on the compost pile as a compost activator and breaks down the pile quicker. It also can be poured around the perimeter of your garden or plants to keep the deer away. We learned that this would work when deer were not a problem when our dog Stu was around marking the property. When Stu passed away we had the deer return so Fred had to mark the property not always using the urinal (don’t try this guys if you live in a neighborhood or the neighbors may talk, using a urinal is safer).

For more information read the book Liquid Gold which can be purchased on Amazon.

For more information on our eco friendly practices visit green page.

Composting Toilets at the Inn

Many guests that stay in one of our yurts find the composting toilets interesting. We decided to have them in the yurts since we did not have water or septic to the area. We also wanted to give yurt guests the convenience of not having to go tocomposting toilets the bathhouse in the middle of the night to use the toilet.

The composting toilets are made by Sun Mar in Canada. They require no water, septic and have no odor. A fan in the toilet pulls air through the toilet and is vented to the outside. The air also helps dry out the liquids. Liquids also go to the bottom of the toilet in an enclosed drying area with a heater.

Solids and toilet paper stay in the bio drum chamber and compost over time. Bacteria is added to the unit occasionally to help eat the toilet paper. When the bio drum starts to fill we remove some of the contents into the finishing drawer where the substance finishes composting.

You can use a composting toilet by staying in one of our yurts.

Our yurts also have a private bath house up the hill with regular flush toilets.

The finished compost is placed in our flower gardens and around the trees.

This is one of the ways Cedar House Inn and Yurts is using composting.

Food Composting at the Inn

Food composting has been a problem for many years since it is not offered in most municipalities. By throwing cooked food or food scraps in the garbage can in plastic bags methane gases are created at the landfill which is not good for the Earth. Some landfills are recapturing some of the gas to generate electricity but not all is captured across the country.

Some States like Vermont provide curbside food composting where the food is composted for fertilizer or given to pig farmers. The finished compost is available to the public for their gardens. In some Vermont towns they have reduced the frequency of trash pickup to every other week since less trash is generated and the trashcans do not smell of food garbage. Composting of food is every week.

At the inn we compost just about everything from raw food scraps from breakfast preparation to cooked food the guests do not consume. Fortunately Mary Beth’s breakfasts are well received and most guest’s plates are cleaned of food.

For the cooked food that most people throw in the trash can or garbage disposal food composting green conewe use the Green Cone Cooked Food Composter. All kinds of cooked food from pasta to meat can go in the cone and it is gone forever. No odors have been noticed in the 5 plus years we have used ours. It also does not seem to attract animals or flies. All the contents is contained underground.

For all other food scraps we have a compost bin near the garden.

For more information on the green practices at the inn visit green.