Friday, September 30, 2011


Another new book, Composting inside & out by Stephanie Davies, the urban worm girl, is one I will not be reading word by word.  I compost.  I do not want to be an expert in 14 methods of composting.  Neither do I want to read any more closely about composting human waste. I do not want to compost indoors.  And the worms in my compost bin are there naturally; I do not want to manage a little worm farm. 
But beyond all my ew, ick, reactions to this book, it has really solid information.  There are chapters on soil health and beneficial bacteria and fungi.  When I see a yard where the soil has never been fed I cringe.  I do think composting and mulching are not just beneficial, but essential.  The pictures in the book of barren soil will convince you this is true, if you have not yet noticed for yourself.   There is value here in the clear explanations of different composting methods and systems.  If you are wondering how to start or which system to use, this will help.  The nicest part is it begins with the simple things.  Davies suggests simply burying egg shells, banana peels and coffee grounds, three nutritive power houses (not so icky to handle either) 8 inches deep.  The 8 inches is to keep animals away.  Denise does this in Alaska because their season is too short and cool for a compost pile to break down.  Another simple suggestion is wrapping kitchen waste in newspapers and deposting the bundle in the composter.  Or, similarly, using a brown paper bag.  The papers are the 'brown' elements that are necessary for the 'green' kitchen waste to break down.  Hmmm... I just noticed tips on composting in hot dry climates.  I think I will go read some more.

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