A precious resource flushed down the toilet.

A precious resource that could be used to make gardens everywhere more productive at less cost to the environment and the pocketbook is being flushed down millions of toilets every day.

Sharon Labchuk says human urine is used in communities, large and small, around the world.

“I could never do that, flush it down the toilet,” said Labchuk.

“It’s such a waste because you’ve got to do a lot of work to get that equivalent amount of nitrogen in the soil.”

Using human urine means that a cover crop may not be needed in larger plots. And a cover crop means soil has to be churned under “and you may have to have a big compost pile,” said the Millvale environmentalist and former leader of the Island Green Party.

“Instead of flushing it down the toilet you could pee in a bucket and put it in your garden,” she said.

Labchuk practices what she preaches – she’s been using her own urine for as long as she can remember.

She urinates into a small bucket, then carries the bucket to her garden, where she empties the contents of the bucket into a much larger, five gallon bucket.

“When I get a five gallon bucket about a third full, I take a hose to fill it with water, which dilutes it. I then water the plants that require more nitrogen like corn and potatoes.”

Ammonia is the nitrogen plants need to thrive, she said.

Labchuk, a vegan, only eats plant-based food, so when she urinates “I just recycle plants. It’s cheaper, it’s free,” she explained.

Labchuk went on to say many Canadians, and Islanders, live in cities with sewage plants that cost large amounts of money to maintain when a resource everyone generates is free for the using.

All you need is a couple of buckets.

Story and photo by Jim Brown


New London yard sale helps Syrian refugees.

Blue skies and warm temperatures greeted visitors to a yard sale in New London to support Syrian refugees on Saturday, May 13. Dozens of people dropped by the grounds of Gallery 18 to look over merchandise donated to the Kensington Area Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (KARSI), which settles refugees in the area. There was something for everyone at the yard sale, which featured books, household appliances, tools, gardening supplies, works of art and many other items, both practical and whimsical. Jim Brown Photos..




Spring Cleaning

For many Islanders this is considered one of the most reliable signs that spring had arrived for good. Sand and dirt was building up on roads throughout the Island in late April, including this corner at the end of St Mary’s Road at New Glasgow. Heavy accumulations can pose a safety threat to motorists, especially motorcycle operators who come in contact with the loose material.
Photo by Jim Brown


A tasty new business opens.

Something exciting has taken roost at the Stanley Bridge wharf at the former Carr’s shellfish market. Gallant’s Seafood Market officially opened for business Monday, May 1 at 10:30 am. Barely 10 minutes later the first customers, in photo, appeared at the door to greet new owner Tyler Gallant, second from right. They were eager to buy lobsters from Mr Gallant, but would have to wait another couple of hours for the first catch after setting day to come ashore. Gallant’s Seafood Market aims to be a must-visit destination for seafood aficionados everywhere, with soft shell clams, crab cakes served with a homemade aioli, quahogs, fresh cod, haddock and salmon among the many items to be stocked. Gallant estimates by July or August there will be hundreds, perhaps even a thousand or more different items. By the end of Monday there were expected to be between 10 to 20 products for sale and by the end of the week between 60 and 80.
Story and photo by Jim Brown