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Author Topic: TOMATOES  (Read 535 times)
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Having fun in the hills!

« on: September 20, 2009, 09:20:45 pm »

Want a bumper tomato crop? Take a leak!

By CATHERINE WOULFE - Sunday Star Times | 5:00AM - Sunday, 20 September 2009


NEXT TIME there's a queue for the bathroom, pop outside and pee on the tomatoes — researchers have found that human urine is a highly effective fertiliser, producing huge crops packed with nutrients.

And a panel of 20 brave tasters have decreed that urine makes tomatoes taste good, too.

The researchers from the University of Kuopio in Finland believe their findings could be used by subsistence farmers, as urine is a safe, free alternative to expensive traditional fertilisers.

The team have previously investigated the effect of urine on cucumbers and cabbages, and found it worked well. This time they picked tomatoes because they are a staple ingredient in many dishes, and are grown worldwide.

The team collected urine from eco-toilets in private households and stored it for six months, keeping it chilled and testing it to make sure it did not contain any microbes or bacteria. Fresh urine is sterile.

It was used to fertilise potted tomato plants, then the researchers tested their crops against three other scenarios: unfertilised plants, plants fertilised with mineral fertiliser, and plants fertilised with a mixture of urine and wood ash.

Urine, a good source of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, boosted the plants to produce four times more tomatoes than those that were not fertilised. The bumper crop was on a par with plants given conventional mineral fertiliser.

Even better, the tomatoes that got the pee-treatment had much more protein than the mineral-treated ones, and had higher levels of beta-carotene (an antioxidant that protects against some cancers) than the unfertilised crop.

The urine and wood ash mix was also effective. It produced almost as many tomatoes as straight urine, with the bonus of lowering the acidity of the soil, which helps most plants to grow better.

The tomatoes grown with urine were safe to eat as long as the urine did not contain any fecal matter and tasted different to the others, but not unpleasant.

"All tomato plants were evaluated as being equally good by the testers," said the study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The researchers hope the work will help farmers in developing countries, reduce water pollution in those areas, and lead to better sanitisation if urine-collecting becomes widespread. That would mean switching to special toilets that divert or collect the urine.

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If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2009, 10:46:33 pm »

My Evergreen seeds have geminated.

One step closer to fried (or at least grilled) green tomatoes.
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The way politicians run this country a small white cat should have no problem http://sally4mp.blogspot.com/
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OK, so what’s the speed of dark?

« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009, 12:19:38 am »

My tomatillo seeds are just starting to germinate..in the cylinder cupboard. Took 3 weeks and I had just about given up on them.  I only bought the seeds because they were different..not sure what I will end up with.
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I almost had a psychic boyfriend, but he left me before we met.

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