Posts Tagged ‘natural’

 

Got Weeds? Use Vinegar.

via nwedible.com

via nwedible.com

Northwest Edible Life has a fantastic post about using pee in the garden.  Like the post says, if you can get over the ewwww factor, recycling pee in your garden makes a lot of sense. It’s high in nitrogen, moderate in phosphorus and low in potassium and can act as an excellent high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer or as a compost accelerator.  The post covers all the things you need to know…the nutrient benefits, the safety factors, and how exactly to use it.

There’s one thing the article doesn’t mention and that’s the fact that human pee can also be used in the garden as an animal deterrent.  I haven’t tried this out thoroughly myself, so I’m not sure if it matters if you’re male or female. In this video, actor David Tennant talks about peeing in his garden to deter foxes and mentions that it’s specific to male human urine . David’s a smart guy ,so he could be right.

Sooo….

If you haven’t left yet, you must not be the squeamish sort or maybe you’re just feeling like this is a train wreck you can’t help craning your neck to gawk at. Either way, since you’re  here, we might as well get all the bodily fluid upcycling talk done right now.

If you’re female and use reusable menstrual products like a cup or cloth pads, you can also recycle your blood in the garden. It works exactly the same way blood meal does, providing a nutrient rich fertilizer and as an animal deterrent.

I know,I know.  I’ve had enough conversations about reusable menstrual products to know that there are certain people who are freaking out just about that in the first place.  Those people may want to exit right now.

Women who practice  earth spirituality & midwifery have done this for ages, so it’s not some new hippy dippy thing. If I may take a moment to sound a little hippy-dippy, putting your own blood back into the earth to feed to soil that will grow food to nourish your body can feel like an incredibly spiritual  act.

I have no idea where all of this fits into vegetarian ethics but if a vegetarian women would like to offer thoughts on that, it would be cool to hear some.

I would also like to point out that in a zombie apocalypse, you may want to avoid this method. There is nothing worse for a garden than zombies trampling through it because they thought dinner could be had.

Gathering

If you use a menstrual cup, it’s fairly obvious how you would go about collecting blood . Instead  of  emptying the blood into the toilet, you’d just empty it into a bucket, dilute with water and that’s pretty much it OR empty into a container (maybe an empty yogurt container?) for making the human version of blood meal (I’ll tell you how in a sec)

For cloth pad users, you could fill a large bucket with cold water, place all your used pads in it and just let them soak. Instead of dumping the soak water, you’ll use that in the garden.

Making Your Own Blood Meal

This method works with any animal blood, so this is good to know ,even if the menstrual blood idea skeeves you out. Instead of your own blood, you would just drain blood from whatever you’re having for dinner instead. Unless you’re a vegetarian because last I knew, kale doesn’t bleed.

Pour the blood onto a metal baking sheet. Pop into an oven set at 375° . Keep in oven until all the blood is completely dry. Let cool and scrape off the sheet into a container. You can use a pestle to ground to a powdery consistency or pulse in a food processor.

Personally, I would probably pick up thrifted supplies to use exclusively for blood baking. I’m betting if I did this using my normal kitchen stuff, my family wouldn’t eat anything I cooked ever again.

If you’re concerned about blood borne pathogens, this method will kill any that may be present.

Using It

The easiest way to use would be to just simply take the pink soak water and pour it on the soil around your plants.If your main concern is not so much to give your plants a fertilizer and you need a good animal deterrent , use the blood around the perimeter of your garden spaces.

Instead of putting it directly in the garden, it’s also really beneficial to add to your compost heap. It adds nutrients to your finished compost  but it also eliminates any health concerns that might be had. Composting will kill any blood pathogens. I’ve also heard composters talk about using blood to speed up the composting process. Because it’s high in nitrogen , it adds energy and heats up a compost heap.

If you’ve made blood meal, you can dilute in water to make a fertilizer for your plants. Don’t use it too frequently . Too much nitrogen can “burn” plants and cause issues with bearing flowers & coming to fruition. If you’re using it as a pest repellent , sprinkle the powder undiluted where you need to.

So, there’s that!

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Avocados have a bazillion health benefits. well, probably more like a dozen but the point is, they’re good stuff. They are also thought to be good in aiding breast & oral cancer prevention and for heart health.

Post-apocalyptically speaking, you’re going to have to be in the right place if you plan to use avocados as a resource. Avocado trees do not tolerate cold at all and grow best in sub-tropical or tropical climates. They could probably fare well in a greenhouse but grow up to 20ft, so that could be a challenge. If I was feeling the need to have a plate of loaded nachos with guacamole, I’d head to California where there are about 5,000 commercial avocado groves in existence. Although…without people, not all the groves would survive without artificial watering.

The best way to propagate a successful tree would be to graft from seedling root stock but you can start a seedlings from the pit,too. You’ve seen that done,right? You stick toothpicks evenly spaced around the bulbous end of the pit, place it in a dish or cup with water, and wait for the magic to happen. One of my kids always has said the bottom of the pit submersed in the water reminds him of someone who  has fallen into the toilet . I think it looks more like that when you’re using a cup rather than a dish.

Like this:

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

[via  The Hungry Mouse]

Now, I can’t count how many times I’ve done this little activity with my own kids more for the lesson on germination than an actual survival skill but I’ve never been able to grow it past a very small seedling. I have seen it done though, so I do know it’s possible and  even knew someone once who had an indoor tree that bore very small fruits. This tends to be an exception. Most avocado trees grown from the pit won’t bear fruit or if it does, it won’t be the same as the parent tree. BUT, even if you never have avocados on your tree, you still have the beneficial leaves.  So,basically…if you grow an avocado tree from the pt, what you end up with is a very nice looking houseplant that has some medicinal uses.

Caution: The leaves are an abortafacient, so if you’re pregnant and wish to stay that way, don’t ingest avocado leaves.

Besides eating the avocados, you can also make your own avocado oil, which is good for skin conditions , not just cosmetic but healing for inflammations and abrasions.