Urine Used as Fertilizer to Boost Crop Yields

Roshan Shrestha of UN-HABITAT inaugurates urine bank in Siddhipur, Nepal. Credit: Flickr/Sustainable sanitation

Last year, in Sotang, Nepal, the Dzi Foundation helped build over 1,000 toilets for the nearly 6,500 residents of the village. The villagers were given the option of using a regular squatting pan or a dual-hole pan, which allowed for the collection of urine to be used as a fertilizer.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

Dryland Farmers Work With Little Water


A new generation of extremely efficient farmers sees irrigation as a non-viable alternative. These farmers use dryland farming, which has helped farmers to get through the drought and allow their crops to better handle low moisture conditions.

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As Much as One-Third of Greenhouses Gases Come from Agriculture


One-third of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions stem from the global food system, which encompasses the manufacturing of fertilizer, to food storage and packaging. These figures are from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), which is a partnership of 15 research centers from around the world.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

Guerilla Beekeepers in New York City

Beekeeping is illegal in NYC. That hasn’t stopped bee enthusiasts from keeping bees. I think that it’s a fabulous idea, especially in the wake of the collapsing colony disorder that has been plaguing the world.

Nic on the Storytree

He says that he thinks that food with pesticides is way better than bio food. Why I ask. He says that we have studied the effects of pesticides, insecticides and a whole bunch of other -icides on the human body for decades and it’s been thoroughly researched. For a minute, I can’t fathom what my new roommate has told me. I look at my other roommate and he is also trying not to laugh or smirk.

We tell him that people have been eating bio foods for millenia without any ill effects. We don’t know exactly how pesticides affect us and it’s ludicrous to believe otherwise. Sure out diets have changed, but the tomato in your backyard is probably healthier than a mass produced product from Chile or Brazil.

He says that bio food will mutate us. Pesticide treated food won’t.

Collapsing Colony Disorder

Image via wikipedia
Image via wikipedia

I’ve aware of this since about 2006. I seem to remember that a few X-files episodes dealt with something like this, or was it the latest M. Night Shyamalan movie The Happening? Anyway, collapsing colony disorder is something frightening because it jeopardizes our ability to produce crops in vast mono-cultures, crops that are needed to feed the planet. CCD is happening all over the planet and scientists yet don’t understand the exact mechanisms behind it.

The phenomenon in the US is most perplexing. Bees enter a sort of hibernation during the colder months of the year. Beekeepers put them in the storage and notice that in the spring, 40-80% of the hives are empty. Completely empty. There are no bodies, so there is no evidence of them dying out. They just disappear.

In modern agriculture, bees are essential to pollinate crops. They are imported to California and other agricultural farms all over the use to accomplish the much needed pollination. However, scientists have discovered that a large amount of pesticides are in these bees’ bodies. That and a number of other factors contribute to CCD. The problem has gotten so acute, that the US is importing Australian bees to pollinate their crops.

What it boils down it is that bees are like sentinels. If they start dying out, there is something really wrong.