Letter: Night Soil

In a total grid down situation, night soil (fertilizer from human feces) will once again become a valuable trade commodity. None the less, I have estimated that a hill of corn needs about the daily output of two adults to obtain a good crop. This was based on the dried remains of one hound dog. I had to do something with the mess out in the yard, and burying it under a hill of corn grew a crop. This corn was planted on almost pure sandy ground. More of course would most likely work. NE Utah water tends to be the limiting factor. About 365 cat holes out in the patch could keep a small family alive. How you get it there, I leave to you to figure out. A 5-gallon pail with a seat is my plan. Corn still is one of the higher calorie crops that can be planted, grown, and harvested with pure hand tools. Do look up Nixtamalization using wood ash. The corn patch will not be used for root crops and would go into a legume type rotation before I plan to eat root crops or those that might come in close contact with the soil. For another aspect, look up the Three Sisters from the Native American cultures. From my reading the Natives would not use any type of manure because it affected the taste of the corn. Also Google Painted Mountain Corn. Once you taste corn bread made from Indian Corn, you say, “Yummy.” – CM

HJL Replies: Please see the many warnings in SurvivalBlog’s archives on using human fertilizer (night soil) for plants that are to be used for human consumption. Also, any night soil used for ornamental plants should be thoroughly composted before using and buried at least six inches deep.

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