Composting for a New Generation: Latest Techniques for the Bin and Beyond

Composting for a New Generation: Latest Techniques for the Bin and Beyond


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These aren't your grandpa's composting methods, Composting for a New Generation covers the modern composting techniques, vermicomposting, composting with nature, keyhole gardens, organic composting, and using compost.

Environmentalists aren't the only ones to compost anymore! It’s not just about reducing food waste; most composters get their hands dirty because of the benefits it brings to the soil in their garden. All the extra nutrients make for well-fed gardens with plenty of nutrients and rich moisture.
Composting has “been under the radar screen until now, and seen as a boutique, West Coast thing,” says Jared Blumenfeld, who oversees California as well as two other Western states and the Pacific for the Environmental Protection Agency. “But now everyone from Massachusetts to Minnesota has programs starting up, and pretty soon there will be a critical mass.”
Composting for a New Generation includes tried-and-true composting methods and new, innovative techniques. You’ll learn the science of composting, traditional bin composting (including how-to sections on building your own bin), vermicomposting (with worms), composting with nature, keyhole gardens, organic composting, and using your finished compost. Composting for a New Generation is the most complete book to date for your organic soil needs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591866923
Publisher: Cool Springs Press
Publication date: 12/19/2017
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 257,128
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Michelle Balz is a long-time backyard composter with a passion for reducing our impact on the planet. She spends her days writing laid-back advice for home composters in the Confessions of a Composter blog, teaching classes on backyard composting, and learning everything she can about composting, recycling, reusing, and waste reduction. Since 2002, Michelle has worked as a solid waste (a.k.a. garbage) professional encouraging residents and businesses to reduce their waste and use fewer resources. Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and a master’s degree in Professional Writing both from the University of Cincinnati. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Anna Stockton earned her BFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design and is a member of the American Society of Media Photographers. With over fifteen years of experience in professional photography, Stockton has worked for Cincinnati clients such as WCET-TV and national clients including Marc by Marc Jacobs, has taught as a photography instructor at the college level, and has worked as a photo specialist with Sony Digital Imaging. This is her first book.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

1 The Expected and Unexpected Benefits of Composting 8

Why Compost? 9

A Quick Primer 10

Improving Your Soil 11

Saving Money 14

Sharing Your Compost Love with Kids 15

Improving Your Health 16

Environmental Benefits 16

You Can Do It! 20

2 The Science of Composting 22

The Secret Goal of Composting 23

Microorganisms: Creatures You Can See 24

Microorganisms and Fungi 26

We Are All in This Together 28

Mother Nature's Influence 28

Aerobic Versus Anaerobic 28

Stages of Decomposition 28

Compost Chemistry 30

Compost Happens 33

3 Composting Basics 34

What Can I Compost? 35

Composting Weeds and Invasive Plants 46

Growing Plants for Composting 47

Untraditional Compostables 48

Balancing Browns and Greens 49

Keeping Material Small 50

Tools for Composting 50

4 Maintaining Your Compost Bin 60

What Kind of Composter Are You? 61

Location, Location, Location: Finding Just the Right Spot 62

Off to a Successful Start 64

Maintaining Air Pockets in Your Compost 64

Providing Your Compost with Water 71

Bad Odors and How to Avoid Them 73

Compost Activators and Inoculants 75

Hot Composting 75

Winter Compost Maintenance 79

5 In-Vessel Composting Techniques 82

Choosing a Composting Style 83

6 Integrated Composting 120

Thinking Outside of the Bin 121

Simple Compost Pile 122

Pit or Trench Composting 122

Grasscycling 126

African Keyhole Gardens 128

Hugelkultur 132

Shifting Compost Pile 135

Sheet or Blanket Composting 136

7 Vermicomposting 138

Easy and Fun Indoor Composting 139

Vermi Wormy 141

Creating a Mini Ecosystem 141

Building Your Own Worm Bin 141

Taking Care of Your New Pets 148

Feeding Your Worms 149

Harvesting Your Vermicompost 150

Using Your Worm Poop 151

8 Harvesting and Using Your Finished Compost 154

All Good Things Come to Those Who Wait 155

Are We There Yet? 156

Harvesting Compost from a Single-Bin Unit 156

Harvesting Compost from a Tumbler 159

The Life-Changing Experience of Screening Compost 160

Using Your Finished Compost 167

Obsessed Yet? 173

Acknowledgments 176

Bibliography and Reference List Books 177

Journals, Magazines, and Electronic Resources 178

Appendix A Which Composting Style Is Right for You? 180

Appendix B Compost Recipes 182

Index 187

About the Author 192

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