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Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants Paperback – 1 Jan 2004


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Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants + The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure
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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903998484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903998489
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Grow with the flow. Liquid Gold tells you how! Every day we urinate nutrients that could be used as fertilizer for plants, which in turn could be used to make beautiful landscapes, food, fuel, and fibre. Instead, these nutrients are flushed away, either to be treated at high cost or discharged to waters where they pollute and choke off aquatic life. Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants tells you how urine – which contains most of the nutrients in domestic wastewater and usually carries no disease risk – can be utilized as a resource. Starting with a short history of urine use – from ritual to medicinal, to even culinary – and a look at some unexpected urinals, Liquid Gold shows how urine is used worldwide to grow food and plants, while protecting the environment, saving its users the cost of fertilizer, and reconnecting people to the land and the nutrient cycles that sustain them. That’s real flower power!

About the Author

Carol Steinfeld is a writer, researcher and resource-recycling specialist writing about ecological resource management solutions. She is co-author of The Composting Toilet System Book and Reusing the Resource: Adventures in Ecological Wastewater Recycling.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Green T on 3 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
A very interesting, if short, book for a person who is interested in recycling, growing your own veg, eutrophication, science etc. At first it really does sound like a mad idea, but what did we all do before the invention of the loo? I like the "urine stories" which are nice if you happen to be a biology teacher and want to spice up your kidney or nitrogen cycle lessons. also the experiments of growing crops with and without urine are proof it works. To sum up, it was quite afun read and it gives some food for thought, and some huge onions this year so far!!!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S. PORTER on 18 May 2007
Format: Paperback
What a great little book! The first couple of sections are about different urinals and what people do or have done with urine, not really about plants. However it gets really interesting after that, and shows real examples of how applying diluted urine improves plants, explains different ways of collecting it and should convince you that flushing it away is the worst option.

I gave my book away to a friend who has a farm abroad, he wants to try it out, so now I'm buying another copy!

I told another friend about it and I never heard anything else until... one night his wife found a rather strange looking jug with something liquid & frothy hidden away in one corner! He'd been saving it and secretly using it diluted to water some lifeless bamboo in a large pot in the garden. Result??? Vigorous new growth in the bamboo, where previously is was pretty lifeless! Who got it in the neck for his secrete deeds?... Me for telling him about it!!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. J. Oxley on 18 July 2008
Format: Paperback
Okay, its not the most comprehensive book in the world (a bit more on measurements for compost heaps would be nice for one).
It is however packed full of good ideas and is easy on the grey cells and I cannot bring myself to give it anything less than five stars.

Make the next edition a little more comprehensive please.

Good work none the less!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Röshel, E on 20 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
This small book informs about historical and modern use of urine as a fertilizer, both in private gardens and on farms.
It raises the awareness of the ecological costs of the thoughtless convenience of flushing "away" the nutrients which become a pollutant elsewhere. (If you imagine the earth as a whole there is no "away"!!!)
Many cartoon illustrations make you smile and nod - they are down-to-earth and very humourous!
In addition to many photos there is also a list of manufacturers (and their websites) of useful toilet systems, .
I just couldn't put it down and read it through in about three hours.
Highly recommended.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Redhart VINE VOICE on 3 July 2007
Format: Paperback
Doreen and I have been cultivating a variety of plants over a number of years now. In the past we had always used peat but (thanks to the riots at Clonycavan) prices soared and we were left helpless. It was at this time that we turned to the pioneering research of Carol Steinfeld and fortunately she did not disappoint. We had a couple of messy accidents (before Doreen started going through a funnel), but now our indoor plants are growing better than ever before!

PS. Anyone who disputes the logic of using human-fluids to grow plants, need only turn to the actions of the grandfather of logic: Dr. Spock (not to be confused with the child psychologist Mr. Spock!). Who could forget the episode of Star Trek in which he relieves himself into the ship's yucca plant?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Michael Lewis on 16 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found Liquid Gold to be an interesting, if a somewhat odd read. Lots of pictures of urinals and pee collection equipment, which are attractive in an odd sort of way.

I had the book delivered to my office and showed it around, and found it to be worth its cost in the jokes and quips it generated.

If you are a male and can collect your pee for the compost heap, then that is a practical way to go. Otherwise, the other things Liquid Gold recommends, such installing a proper urine collecting toilet, may be a step too far for the majority.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fufa on 7 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In these days of trying to find a more natural way to do things I was amazed at the tips I gleaned from this fascinating book. Another neglected resource that can be utilised in very positive ways.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Milewski on 15 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
This little book, a mere 90 pages, doesn't seem to be written but rather googled. And yet, you can get a glimpse of what's relevant in the biodynamic cycle that we all can easily get involved in. Urine can be included in this marvelous experiment as a very useful and integral (and not unwanted) part of healthy planet on which healthy people try to reduce the overwhelming negative impact - caused partly by inability to deal with our waste products and excreta in a nature inspired way - that will hunt our grandchildren and their children too, if we won't get real. The idea behind the book is therefore to be praised to the heavens, but I only wish it could be written better and with a passion that doesn't need so many exclamations...
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