DIY

Get started with your own Anthroponics setup! Below you find a number of easy Do-It-Yourself kits for your own home garden, grown on urine. You can start by collecting your own urine and fermenting it with lactic acid bacteria. From that you can create a window garden just powered by your own ‘waste’. All these kits are open source and free to use non-commercially.
If you made one of the kits yourself, be sure to send us an image on one of our platforms!

SETTING UP A URINE-POWERED WINDOW GARDEN

Keeping our window garden off the electric grid, we use a passive, hydroponic system where the porous and bacteria-friendly coco-fibre provides the growing medium for bringing human nutrients and plant seeds to their fullest fruition. After anaerobic (airless) fermentation in sauerkraut and urine stabilisation we need aerobic bacterial activity in the last phase so that the organic nutrients turn into mineralised form for plant roots to absorb. For the fermentation guide, check the second DIY project. This top-to-down, self-dripping vertical garden shown here is just one, very space-efficient, option. Other planting setups are viable as well.

INGREDIENTS

  • Coco-peat substrate* (coir, coconut fibre)
  • Plant seeds* (basil, lettuce, water spinach or radish)
  • PET drink bottles
  • Aluminium foil or white and black acrylic paint
  • Optional – Soluble seaweed extract*, Pure wood ash*, Biochar or perlite*
    *preferably organic

DIRECTIONS

1. Drill hole into planter bottle base to fit another bottle.

2. Draw and cut two side openings in each planter bottle.

3. Drill hole into cap for plastic tube of drip water.

4. Cover bottom third of bottle with alu foil or paint (black primer, white finish) as light blocker to avert algae.

5. Hang watering bottles, planters and recollectors into rows: insert bottle neck in base hole, tighten with lid.

6. Start sprouting plant seeds on moist napkin in Tupperware: observe seasonality and varietal needs!

7. Fill lower third of planter bottles loosely with dissolved coco-fibre. If available, mix in biochar dust or perlite for better porosity and cationic exchange.

8. Dilute urine (0.5%) with water (99.5%) at 1:200 ratio. Fill nutrients solution in watering containers, impregnate coco-fibre with urine solution.

9. After 2 weeks, double intensity of nutrients solution to ratio 1:100.

10. Check for nutrients deficiencies; add pinch of wood ash or seaweed extract if needed.

COLLECT, INOCULATE + STABILIZE YOUR URINE

Urine concentrates about 85% of the nutrients released by the human body. If sensibly collected and applied as fertilizer, the urine of one person per annum would be enough to grow up to 250 kg of wheat or rice. When urine is reeking like ammonia it is this volatile bounty of nutrients that is chemically reacting with the oxygen in the air. Through fermenting we can acidify the urine (lowering its pH to 5 or below) therefore curbing ammonification and odour release, and in effect stabilizing the nutrients. Also, in this sour environment bacteria and viruses other than lactic acid bacilli can’t survive. Separated collection of urine is therefore the foundation for optimal nutrients recovery.

INGREDIENTS

  • Cup
  • Optional – Urinalysis strip
  • Plastic bottle for urine storage

DIRECTIONS

1. Collect the midstream of your first, morning urine in a cup. Fresh morning urine is sterile and most nutrients-dense. Midstream ensure it is of purest quality.

2. Dip Urinalysis strip into a little bit of separated urine and remove it quickly, do not use this urine since the Urinalysis strip contains a lot of chemicals you don’t want to end up in your garden. Discard this urine.

3. Observe the reading time required (30 to 120 seconds) for colors to indicate.

4. Check colour codes of Reading Chart and note respective values.

5. Check appearance colour to monitor your body hydration and detox status.

6. Add three parts (30%) of propagated sauerkraut juice (whey, see A6) to urine collection bottle and fill up with seven parts (70%) of urine.

7. Store fermenting in urine for three weeks.

8. Test fermented urine with pH test strip (pH dye indicator) or your nose: it should smell pleasantly like vinegar or wine and pH needs to be below 5.0.

CULTIVATE + PROPAGATE LACTIC ACID BACTERIA

There are many different ways of cultivating lactic acid bacteria (from rice-wash residue to bioenzyme from citrus peels). Here we opt for sauerkraut from fermented cabbage because it is the
most effective and ecologically very sensitive option. Amazing about cabbage is that its leaves already contain both the lactic acid bacteria and the sugars essential for fermentation. Because
these DIY lacto acid bacteria are awakened and raised in your neck of the woods (hence ‘indigenous’) they are much better adjusted to your specific ecosystem than industrially isolated
bacterial strains from the lab.

INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh cabbage*
  • Glass jar
  • Sauerkraut/ kimchi stone or ziplock bag
  • Sea salt**
  • PET bottle
  • Molasses*
    *preferably organic
    **preferably unrefined

Make sure to always use plastic, glass or wooden materials when fermenting.

DIRECTIONS

1. Get fresh cabbage. The best season for making sauerkraut is autumn and winter because lower temperatures slow down the fermentation process improving the taste.

2. Remove outer leaves. Shred the cabbage very finely.

3. Mush shreds one layer at time (with a pinch of salt) until saturated with liquid. The salt ensures the sauerkraut gets a crunchy bite (consistency).

4. Stuff cabbage into jar, press down with sauerkraut stone or water-filled ziplock bag that serves as weight. Close lid tightly. Make sure the cabbage remains soaked in its own juice which keeps the air and mold out. Place jar inside a bucket and store for three weeks in dark, cool space (shield from sunlight). In the fermentation process, excess liquid and carbon dioxide is released overnight.

5.After three weeks, sauerkraut is magically to be found in the jar! Squeeze out the juice with (rich in lactic acid bacteria) with cheese cloth that is used as whey for urine stabilization. Store in fridge in airtight bottle. Eat the remaining solids as a probiotic salad or steamed veggie.

6. Before the sauerkraut juice (whey) can be used to stabilize the urine, it needs to be propagated: provide the lactic acid bacteria with plenty of sugars so they can get to work (since there is no sugars to feed on in the urine). For one part (10%) sauerkraut juice, we add one part (10%) molasses or liquefied, brown sugar and fill it up with eight parts (80%) of tap water that has been aired for 24 hours to be free of chlorine and iodine. Store dark and warm in airtight PET bottle for one week. Now the lactic acid bacilli should be well fed and releasing carbon dioxide that is bulking up the bottle. This propagated whey is ready to use.