Well Fed Neighbor

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Spring has arrived and with it the annual trip to the Springfield yard and waste for that precious cargo compost. The last couple of years have proved to be problematic at best. Very simply put they can not keep up with the demand due to the dramatic increase in back yard and community gardens in Springfield. A friend has renamed compost to black gold. The Ozarks are not know for quality top soil, as the saying goes we farm rocks. The discussion that gardeners are now having is not where to buy, but how do we grow dirt. How can that be done? With that in mind I went to the library, that magical place that answers all your questions. I hit pay dirt The Rodale Book of Composting by the Rodale Press. Rodale's composting includes the history and benefits, they cover everything from life inside the compost, how to build it and how to use it. The language is concise and each chapter includes clear and usable illustrations and step by step instructions. There is a well constructed index. Unfortunately there is not a reference page that provides other sources. The Rodale book of Composting all in all I give it an A-. Here is to happy composting and may your gardens grow.

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Tags: Rodales, The, book, compost, composting, gardens, of, soil

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Comment by shelley vaugine on April 15, 2010 at 9:59pm
Thank you I will be looking at this info
Comment by Charles on April 15, 2010 at 5:35pm
The Rodale book is a very good composting book. I had one I was granted from an elderly gardener and later passed on to my cousin. I have been contmeplating another person's work who says we should be using less and less compost .
Though I don't know of any books or publications she may have put out Emilia Hazlip modified the teaching of Masanobo Fukuoko (One Straw Revelution) to grow sustainable no dig, raised bed gardens. Her contention is that Soil fertility is not essential to growing vegetables and fruits. That plants and roots in the soil are the key to fertility. She did make one video ( You can see most of it on You Tube) which she talks in depth about her experience and how she was a market gardener using this system called the Synergistic Garden.
I am dedicating one of my raised beds to learning how this may be possible. Farming rocks as we do and the expense of constantly having to import dirt and compost is an expensive endeavor. If what she has worked out in her gardens is true then the solution to our constant search and effort to build compost import soil, and annually dig up everything would amount to a massive savings in energy consumption, cost of equipment, and continued maintainence.
I suspect though it takes time and hands on experimenting to gain the experience. That will be the true test of which investment works for the long haul. It is really exciting

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