Nightsoil: Human Manure

Applying Nightsoil to Garlic CropFrom the webpage “Human Manure”

“For thousands of years, China’s farmers have used human manure, or “nightsoil”, as fertilizer (King, 1911). In this example from the Tai Lake Region, nightsoil is collected and stored in large ceramic tanks or water-tight slate-lined or concrete pits. Manure and urine are collected in buckets within the household, or deposited directly in the storage tanks, which are usually located in the animal stall and toilet area of the household. Occasionally urine is collected and applied separately. It is common to mix pig manure with nightsoil in storage, as pig stalls are connected to storage tanks via a sluice, to facilitate collection of pig manure and urine. Prior to intensive use of synthetic fertilizers, nightsoil was an important fertilizer for nearly all crops, including rice and wheat. Now, nightsoil is applied mostly to small-scale vegetable plots and other rainfed household crops…. (read more)

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