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The Rodale Book of Composting: Easy Methods for Every Gardener Paperback – January 15, 1992
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From Library Journal
- Sharon Levin, Univ. of Vermont Lib., Burlington
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
A few of the chapters are more interesting than useful to the home gardener. For instance, one of the early chapters discusses the history of composting beginning with the ancient Akkadians. The final chapter discusses managing large scale compost operations (by large scale, I mean tens and hundreds of tons of waste) on the farm or as part of a municipal waste management strategy.
The core of the book, however, is very directly useful. A chapter is provided describing the chemistry of what goes on in composting, and what goes on as plants attempt to take nutrients from the soil. Another chapter describes the various types of life from microbes to insects and worms (including lovely line drawings) that inhabit a compost pile during the various phases of its lifecycle.
By far the most useful chapter is chapter 6, which provides a list of potential ingredients for your pile and suggestions on how to obtain them. Numerous charts are provided that indicate on balance whether an item should be considered a "green" or a "brown", and (should you desire more specifics) the actual NPK content of various ingredients. This is fully a fifth of the book.
The next most useful chapter is chapter 10, which gives suggestions for various sorts of compost bins you can buy or build. Another chapter describes tools like chippers and shredders that might be useful to you if you plan to make a fair amount of compost.Read more ›
I believe the Rodale Book of Composting should be called the bible of composting for the everyday person.
A beginner will gain a complete understanding of the compost process, a guide to selecting an appropriate method for their own needs, and guidelines to buy or build their own composters. An experienced composter will gain greater understanding into why some batches are more successful than others and how to improve the quality of their compost, along with incredibly extensive lists on exactly what material can be used in composting and why. This book addresses the needs of the urban and suburban gardener, along with the needs of the homesteader, organic farmer, and family farmer.
In the early pages of the book, the editors Deborah Martin and Grace Gersuny (the book is a composite of excellent articles published over the years in ORGANIC GARDENING) have included a history of composting. Composting was known to the Jews, the Romans, the Greeks, American Indians, and other traditional people. Washington and Jefferson used organic methods to grow their crops, vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Composting was a major activity for farmers until the petro-chemical industry persuaded farmers they needed oil-converted-to-fertilizer-and-poisons to grow crops. Practices are changing, but as the new AG bill shows, not fast enough.
Why should the little guy compost? This book gives you all sorts of reasons for composting, but my response is why not compost. You can compost if you live in an apartment on the 29th floor of a building in New York City, and you might want compost for your house plants after you read this book. I have composted for so long I cannot imagine how anyone gardens and does not compost. First of all you add nuitients not available from man-made sources and these nuitrients help you grow great plants. Think of compost as breast milk. Why would you give your roses canned formula when they can have the real thing? When you use compost on your plants, you strengthen them against disease and predators.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's helpful so far. Be careful not to confuse this with the original.I did and bought it by mistake. Turns out to have been a happy accident.. Read morePublished 3 days ago by gc
Okay, but way more info than I needed for all about composting, with little easy to glance at lists, tables for simplicity of "composting in the backyard."Published 28 days ago by EB Gold
This is great book, but mainly for high end outside, composting with large areas of land or huge built wooden composting units, etc... for the farmer or major food or land grower. Read morePublished 3 months ago by White Wolf SC
If you want to have a good overall understanding of composting, look no further. This book gives practical knowledge and is a pretty fun read also! Read morePublished 4 months ago by danm
Straightforward and resourceful for the new composter I am.Published 6 months ago by Angela S. Howard