Golden Showers Report

June 22, 2008 at 12:08 pm Leave a comment

Yesterday, I participated in Crunchy Chicken’s Golden Showers challenge. The idea was to collect urine throughout the day and use this product (dilluted 10-1 with water) to provide a bit of liquid fertilizer to the garden.

I was interested reading comments from other participants this morning to note that so many people continued to collect urine in the bathroom although clearly they were abandoning the facilities in that room. I never thought of doing that. The first time I peed over the bucket, I did it in the kitchen. I was worried about missing the bucket and hesitant. I’m overweight and have a little stiffness in my knees. So, doing a full squat over a bucket or jar was not an option for me. The best I could manage was a sort of a bent knees stand. And the first time I did have a bit of a leak down my leg situation.

After cleaning up, I realized that I had not taken care of my entire issue and finished peeing on the toilet. Obviously, there was a need for some fine tuning. On my next attempt, I took my bucket out onto the lawn. One section of my backyard previously held an in-ground pool and although we dispatched the pool the tall and substantial fence remains. This makes it a very private area. With my bucket on the lawn I was not worried about misses and was able to perfect my semi-standing technique. Eventually, I moved the bucket onto the deck which was somewhat more convenient to the house.

I really really liked being able to step outside unencumbered and do my thing. I enjoyed being outside. And, as with many of my attempts at a more sustainable life, I very much enjoyed the reminisces of a camping life. One issue was that I couldn’t hold onto my semi-squat quite long enough to completely drip dry. For one day that wasn’t a big issue but over time I believe it would be a problem. Maybe if I was using cloth wipes that would work.

My intention was to save my day’s pee, dillute it with water and then use that big bucket of liquid to water a vegetable bed. I was debating between the zucchini and the spinach. I figured the beans didn’t really need the nitrogen and the basil didn’t really need the watering.

However, as dusk fell, a pretty substantial storm came in. It wasn’t a rip-roaring thunderstorm — just a good hard rain. So, now I’m sort of stumped on what to do with my bucket of pee. I don’t want it to be an inside storage item. I don’t want to over-water the garden. I don’t want to leave the bucket outside where it would be an attractor for mosquito larvae.

The things I think I’ve learned are these. I like “going” outside. So, perhaps a composting toilet should move up on my priority list from “nice idea” to “definite plan.” My body isn’t quite agile enough to manage this project without a place to sit down. Before I tackle this as a long-term thing, I need to make a decision on toilet paper. In order to collect urine without the benefit of a composting toilet, I need to have some strategy for storing the liquid gold outside over time for days when it just happens to rain.

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Entry filed under: gardening.

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