March 09, 2013

Sex and manure: the missing link now revealed

Why this Toronto gardener won't think about composting the same way

File this post under, literally, scatalogical humour or simply, WTF, but this is a gardening blog after all and an irreverent one at that. (There are way too many how-to-grow-this-plant blogs out there. I refuse to add to the tedium.) Anyway, I can't make this stuff up.

I'm a big fan of composting: either doing it yourself in your backyard with some sort of contraption (bin, pit, pile, whatever you have handy) or diverting your organic green waste via the municipality's recycling program (if offered in your area.) So it was with a tinge of curiosity, disapproval and arousal that I re-discovered about the benefits of composting offered in the calendar (and video!) below:

Apparently, the Fertile Earth Foundation in Miami wondered aloud

How many people think about their poop as often as we do? How often do you ponder your #2? It tells us a lot about our health and what we need to eat, if we are dehydrated and so on. Plus, did you know there are safe ways to turn even our waste into Humanure? Yes, that is composted human poop! Your poop could be turned into to super rich black gold! Ok, maybe we're grossing you out. Let's change the subject. How often do you think about sex? Or beautiful women? This project is a tasteful synergy of those 2 things: The Ladies of Manure  2013 Calendar.

Now, don't start flaming me for bringing this non-profit organization's eco-friendly message to your collective conscience (something about not shooting the messenger.) I think we can all agree that while the goal of composting your coffee grounds and apple cores is noble, using sex to sell the message is cynical and unsettling to most people. (One can't say unsuccessful though as the Foundation has raised over $5 000 to date.)

Which got me thinking about sex and gardening, off the top of my head. There's always been an uncomfortable association in the West between the two topics, going all the way back (for believers) to Adam and Eve. To add human waste in the mix, metaphorically, is really too much for some tender gardeners. Since I'm from the East (China) where fertilizing with human manure is still common and not taboo, the concept isn't gag-me gross or mind-blowing.

I didn't think someone had the "vision" to incorporate three human needs (to excrete, to pro-create and to garden) in a calendar so either kudos or arrows to the creator.

By the way, this is what our fair city's recycling and waste containers look like if you're curious:

Green, grey, blue bins
Source: Source:

A little less sexy, I'd say!

By Paul Jung, author of "garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog"
Google Google Find us on Google+ Find us on Google+


  1. Paul, When our parents moved into the old Cotswolds farmhouse where we lived before emigrating to Canada, one of the first things our dad had to do was dig out the privy at the end of the garden. (The only plumbing we had was a cold-water hand pump in the kitchen.) The second thing they did was to plant a huge vegetable garden. The confluence of those two events can be seen in the huge lettuces in the picture of my sister and I on our blog home page. I'm still alive and kicking. Nuff said.

    1. Amen, Helen!

      the concept and use of "humanure" over millenia has been sanitized with spraying 20-20-20 everywhere. The importance of improving soil structure with organic isn't a sexy topic, until now, lol.....

      Nice cabbages, btw!