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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
This is an update of Jerry Minnich and others' The Rodale Guide to Composting ( LJ 5/1/79), which itself updated J.L. Rodale's Complete Book of Composting (Rodale Pr., 1960. o.p.). The broad spectrum of information given will be useful from backyard urban gardening on up to industrial, municipal, and farm recycling. The first quarter of the book gives you all you ever wanted to know on the science of composting--and more--along with some history. A discussion of materials, methods, structures, equipment, and uses is followed by a brief look at large-scale composting. The writing is an uneven mix of scientific detail and the anecdotal. Chemical reactions are described in exquisite detail, and yet most quotes, while attributed, are neither dated nor their source given. Stu Campbell and Kathleen Bond Borie's Let It Rot: The Gardener's Guide to Composting ( LJ 1/91) is more readable and inviting for the individual gardener. While useful for its in-depth, detailed coverage, Rodale's almost-textbook is recommended only for comprehensive gardening collections.
- Sharon Levin, Univ. of Vermont Lib., Burlington
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Lovers of compost. . .will be able to polish their techniques, and beginners will experience a whole new adventure.” ―Eddie Albert, Award-winning actor and avid gardener
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Top customer reviews
I believe the Rodale Book of Composting should be called the bible of composting for the everyday person.
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. Alternatives are suggested for the folks who don't need quite that much labour saving help.
I can't think of anything that is not in this book that I wish it had. Nor for that matter, can I think of anything that needs to be cut from it. It strikes the perfect balance between comprehensiveness and brevity.