Monday, August 2, 2010

The Complete Compost Gardening Guide

See that book over on the left? That's my latest find that I consider a real treasure. I've been so excited, I could hardly wait to tell you all about it. I found The Complete Compost Gardening Guide by Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin, at a book store up in Napa and had to purchase it on the spot.

I use the library a lot, but when it comes to classics or resources that I'll use over and over, I usually go ahead and make the purchase. And in this case, I really think you will want to do the same. 

First, I thought the price was more than fair for what you get. At 8 1/2" x 11" and over 300 pages of information, it was a reasonable purchase. You can get it through the Homestead Revival™ Amazon Store (see my {Books} tab), and it's less than $14 and with combined super saver shipping, you can have it arrive without paying a postal fee. 

Second, I love the fact that it has some really fabulous information on nice, glossy pages with beautiful photographs. It's well laid out so that you can read it in brief sittings and it's easy on the eyes, drawing you into the dirt on composting. I just adore a book that is both pretty and chock full of good info!

Third, the two gals who wrote the book really covered it all. And while they went beyond just the basics of composting, they made it easy to read and understand. Barbara and Deborah even covered different ways to compost including vermicompost (using earthworms as primary decomposers), something I've thought about, but felt was a huge project that I'd have to research and tackle when I could get caught up on some other stuff. 

Table of Contents:
1. Gardening in Garbage
2. Tools for the Composter's Garden 
3. Materials for the Composter's Garden
4. Banner Batches (That's a really good batch of compost!)
5. Comforter Compost and Grow Heaps
6. Composting Underground in Craters, Trenches, and Holes
7. Catch-and-Release Vermicompost
8. Making the Most of Your Compost

There's also a section on plants that grow well right in a compost pile! If I listed all the sub-topics my post would be way too long, so we'll just highlight a few things that I thought were interesting:

• five foundation tools for your composter's garden
• tools for cutting and chopping
• composting ailing plants and weeds
• compost activators
• curing finished compost
• getting started with grow heaps
• managing moisture
• the compost problem solver
• secrets of the subsoil
• the hows and whys of compost screening
• getting rid of unwanted seeds
• making special soils
• and of course the entire chapter on vermicomposting!

Did I say that the book was pretty? Oh, yes. I guess I did. Who would have thought that you could have a nice book on composting? You can definitely tell a woman had a hand in that. I like the fact that this book is actually written with women in mind! And that's important since turning compost and moving dirt around can be a real strain on a gal.

I've looked at a lot of compost books and websites. This is the best I've seen. Seriously. Get the book.


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