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Recycled urine fertilizes hay at local farm

For more information, visit www.richearthinstitute.com.

BRATTLEBORO—The Rich Earth Institute has completed its first season of scientifically controlled field trials using sanitized human urine to fertilize hay on a Brattleboro farm.

Sixty enthusiastic community members have already donated 600 gallons of urine for this ground-breaking project.

The state-approved experiment is a United States first, according to the institute. Preliminary results reportedly are “impressive.” Researchers said they found that an experimental urine-treated area produced an approximately three times greater yield than the unfertilized control area.

Further analysis of soil, urine, and hay samples is under way to determine nutrient levels and microbial activities, the institute reports.

The Rich Earth Institute, founded in 2011, is dedicated to advancing and promoting the use of human manure as a resource. Through research, demonstration, and education projects, it works “to illustrate the positive effect of this approach in important areas including water quality, food security, energy use, soil health, economic sustainability, carbon footprint, public health, and emergency preparedness,” according to its website.

Urine is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. When urine is flushed, these nutrients find their way into rivers and lakes, polluting them and harming important aquatic habitats.

According to the institute, recycling urine into fertilizer prevents pollution from reaching waterways, and turns liquid human waste into a resource, returning nutrients to farmland as an affordable, yield-boosting fertilizer. Urine that is collected locally, sanitized and transported to farm fields reportedly is an effective and sustainable alternative to synthetic fertilizer.

Rich Earth Institute co-founders Abe Noe-Hays and Kim Nace said they have been working closely with Environmental Protection Agency researchers, scientists at UVM, the University of Michigan, and leaders at the Water Environment Research Foundation to continue and expand their research.

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Tamara Stenn
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Tamara Stenn (Brattleboro, Vermont, US) says...

Thanks for writing this Elayne. I was thinking the same thing myself. The silence we received from the hospital is quite deafening. Unfortunately we\'ve had to continue working with the hospital as other (minor) heath issues come up.

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Judith Skillman
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Judith Skillman (Newcastle, US) says...

Excellent and informative writing about the media and about the state of our nation. We must support the press speak truth to power, now more than ever before.

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

We are also obliged to criticize the press when they merely echo the lies of the powerful. In this case, much of the press has taken a side, not just against the policies of the President, but against the election itself on behalf of the parties of war and Wall St. Just as the US has in the past agitated in other countries for coups against democratic outcomes they don’t like, much of the press, including this editorial, is now agitating for a coup here at home.

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Peter Ford
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Peter Ford (Dallas) says...

Nailed it - Thank you.

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TB Smith
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TB Smith (Ba, Oklahoma, US) says...

The divisiveness brought on by this shamefully poor excuse for a president has been once again, borne out by this article, and the responses to it .. his most devoted followers are the most gullible and easily swayed sheeple since the \"Kool-Aid party in Jonestown\" ... those who stand up the most fervently to this dictator \"wanabe\", will , inthe end, see him and the fellow purveyors of his garbage rhetoric like FOX News, Alex Jones, Breitbart, etc., crumble and be dumped like stale crackers (pardon the pun) .. we must impeach this tyrant before too much damage is done, either from within or outside our borders.

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

So it’s OK that access to outlets that simply recognize Trump as President is indeed being shut down? But isn’t that exactly what this editorial is against? Should outlets that cheered on Obama’s wars and love of Wall St have likewise been shut down? Only John Birch Society–inspired screeds against Trump indicate the “legitimate” press?

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

TB Smith’s comment in apparent support of the us-vs-them tone of this editorial illustrates why so many people distrust so much of the press (although, again, it appears to be only pro-Trump and anti-imperialist outlets that are actually being shut down): They are promulgating hysterical claims about fascism, Russians, and “crackers” not in the interest of the people, but wholly on behalf of the neoliberal/neoconservative program of Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama to deny Trump the Presidency and even remove him from office – not democratically, but by coup if necessary. That makes the press rather anti-democratic and, indeed, against the people.

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Amelia Stone
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Amelia Stone (E Dummerston, Vermont, US) says...

Kudos to the Boston Globe for encouraging newspapers across the country to remind us all of the value of a free press, and to the Commons for hearing that call. The NYTimes article, A Free Press Needs You, concludes with the following: \"If you haven’t already, please subscribe to your local papers. Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together.\" Today I plan to subscribe.

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