Previously, our farm was used to grow nutrient-hungry cassava (tapioca when dried.) Crops were not rotated and no organic matter was returned to the soil. By the time New Life bought it, the land was severely depleted.
New Life is using natural agriculture methods–no chemical fertilizers–to rejuvenate the soil. We buy piglets and feed them food scraps and give them leaves, because they’re faster than a compost pile at creating a soil enhancer. When grown, our pigs are sold at market.
We also have chickens for the same reason–they produce a lot of poop, which goes into the compost. But the best source of soil nutrients is our own urine. Human urine is rich in nitrogen which our fruit trees need. We collect the urine in a special toilet and pour it diluted around fruit trees. Jars are also available for those who prefer to capture the first pee of the morning in their own bathrooms.
Sustainable means making the best use of what we have. With more than 30 people living at New Life, we have a steady stream of nitrogen.