One Man’s Toilet Water is Another Man’s Organic Farm

One Man’s Toilet Water is Another Man’s Organic Farm, Michael Smith, Agricultural Economist and Farmer

In my search to find sustainable sources of organic material to turn into viable soil modification vectors, I had been struggling to source material to add to the Padina sands that are in abundance in our lands.

See, in late 2020 we had five tons of compost brought in all at once and we scattered it here and there. Before that we had brought in about a ton or two in the test field to see how much we needed to push it to get the soil right. A year into the test plot rendered us this:

Which ended up maturing into this:

Five year old for scale. 

Cucurbits really don’t care too much about soil quality as long as it is well draining and not prone to fungal activity. A little nitrogen here and there should do the trick to perk them up, but typically they are happy campers with very little. However, with these Cinderella pumpkins, 60 pounds a piece is a bit excessive. 

What’s behind all of this? Chamber pots! Sludge from the wastewater plant, combined with the tree waste from yard clippings, tree trimming, and the city parks department.

Not to worry, this compost is tested by the state lab in Austin for pathogens on an ongoing basis.

There is an arduous process in place and the gents who make it are passionate about the quality and safety, much like any compost facility (even our own). And because this is all waste byproduct, this black gold is very inexpensive at a whole $28 a ton plus my time and trailer, as opposed to 2020 where we spent $1,200 getting five tons trucked in from Houston. Sourcing inputs can sometimes have an expensive education. Having neighbors helps, if only I had asked sooner. Gardeners and farmers alike, call a wastewater facility, see where the sludge goes, it might end up in a facility that can produce you with an abundance of organic material to grow produce from, in an inexpensive, and sustainable way.