Picture of Booklet

Text Box with description of Booklet

    This is a mere booklet, which was sent to me free by Rodale Press many years ago with something else I had ordered, or perhaps with my subscription to Organic Gardening magazine. I don't remember. I used to buy tons of materials from this wonderful publisher, including lots of encyclopedias concerning organic farming and gardening. But, alas. I was dismayed to discover they have sold out to Hearst, and are no longer that interested in organic culture, perhaps because people just don't garden any more. Bad choice. EVERYONE needs to know how to live off the land if they wish to survive what is coming, and even that won't guarantee survival, if your land is under water or on fire. The company now focuses on healthy living, diets, etc., which, ultimately is a joke unless we stop the criminal activity going on in the skies, inundating the entire planetary life-support system with toxic heavy metals. But, in any case, I still continue to work with what I am able to work with while I keep focused on the end result, that soon these monsters and their evil activities will be wiped off the face of the earth and leave us in peace. And at that point, healing the land, at both the physical and energetic levels will be paramount to our survival.
    Amazon does have a number of Rodale's gardening books available, plus books from other companies, including DK.
    Composting is the best way to make the land fertile again, and this little booklet supplies some wonderful ideas, even for a seasoned old farmer like me. And what is even better is that it is geared toward people who do not own large plots of land, but small lots in cities and suburbs, who can use the little they have to grow great quantities of food. Since I am quite sure this booklet is not readily available anywhere, I will share with you a little of its contents. It is a short compilation of different methods of composting—from really complicated, intense and time-consuming (with big results, but not for me), to simple methods (my style). I really refuse to spend five hours of labor turning and chopping a ton of compost, but I can see people in the city who are not tied up with lots of other farm-related work to do, spending an afternoon working with their land and getting good exercise. This booklet was compiled by the editors of Organic Gardening magazine, plus ideas from readers. There is a usable method here for everyone that has even a tiny bit of land.
    Because this is a book review and not a book, I will just mention a few ideas and facts gleaned from this source. If anyone is seriously interested in learning how to cultivate the land, and that should be everyone, please contact me and I will be happy to work with you to get you started. Email me at laughingcrow.lc@gmail.com.
    The first speaks about the nature of compost, ingredients and how to produce it quickly, although I disagree about the effectiveness, only because at this point there is such a contamination of heavy metals and dimming of the sun's beneficial energy and exposure of the sun's harmful rays. At this point, the only thing that will change that is disclosure of the government's criminal activities of geoengineering and an immediate halting of the spraying. That will come, no matter what. Will it come in time to save the planet from mass destruction? I dunno, but I keep my mind set on rebuilding the earth, and that is why I am reviewing this booklet.
    The key to great compost is all the microorganisms that "behave a lot like one large beast." The author states that some materials decay quickly while others take longer and bringing together the right materials feeds the microbes to work them at maximum speed. This also heats up the pile to very hot, destroying weed seeds and other undesirables. The microbes need a combination of high-protein wastes—that would be green stuff like grass clippings, kitchen garbage and manure, and energy-rich materials—dry, tough, fibrous stuff like autumn leaves, straw, sawdust—the carbohydrate materials, or carbon (vs. nitrogen), which should be at a ratio of 25 or 30 to one. That surprised me because I tend to fill my compost heap with greeny-gooey stuff which decomposes faster than dried leaves, which can stick around forever. But the point here is, with the right combination, AND periodical turning/chopping of the heap, it will all compost down quickly and in very high temperatures to make an especially rich and beneficial mix. This author, one of the editors, explains their method, first spreading bags of leaves to 3-4 inches thick then topping with grass clippings. Anyone with a yard would have these two ingredients and if you don't have enough, I'm sure your neighbors would be glad to be rid of theirs. This layering process is repeated until the pile is 4x10 feet, and 4 feet high. Quite a pile. In three days, the pile is "turned and chopped and the layers disappear. It is turned then every three days and chopped with a mattock. The pile should reach 150-60 degrees, then begin to cool.
    OK, so this is a fairly ritualistic method. Between gathering materials and building the pile takes this author about nine hours, then each turning takes over an hour. I don't have that much time to mess with a compost heap and there are other ways to do it, but if you live in the city and are not overwhelmed with other outdoor work, this method would be great.
    The next article is by Victor Dalpadado, who originally developed his method in his homeland of Sri Lanka, where he taught people to make compost out of garbage, then package it and sell it, thus providing employment for a good cause. At that point, each group of three people could package and sell about 15 tons of compost a month! WOW! Gems from Garbage, they called it. At the time this book was published, originally 1982, he was teaching this in Ecuador. He also recommends peeing on your pile. I have read that elsewhere, too. Urine is an excellent ingredient, and while I don't personally pee on my compost pile, I allow my dogs to whenever they get the urge. Dalpadado's method is similar to the one just described, and this article also supplies a helpful listing of carbon/nitrogen ratios of various materials.
    A method I have not really explored, but sounds intriguing is filling trenches or holes with compost, topping with a little soil, then planting on that. That would be an excellent idea for me, since the loggers left quite big ruts, which I had planned to make them come back and fill in, but perhaps I will just fill them with compost, or even better, fill them with layers of leaves and other garbage, then let them winter over. I have actually been filling in ruts in another field with pine shavings that I use for kitty litter, and that field is now level and fertile. I won't plant food in it until the kitty litter rots down thoroughly, although my cats are strictly indoors, so they do not carry disease.
    Another section speaks of composting with worms, red wigglers in particular. But this species only can survive in garbage or manure, so putting them into the soil would mean their death. Regular earthworms, however, are versatile, and they too break down materials into rich loam. Worm poop is also very nutritious to plants.
    Another method, is to just lay down compostable materials right onto the field and use as a mulch. Let it sit over winter, then rake it away to plant. The soil underneath is loamy, and what remains that has not broken down can be used as mulch for the growing plants or transplants. That will eventually break down and new layers can be added. I like that, and have used that method. It is nice and easy and not that time-consuming. I especially like that in my raised beds which can produce quite a bit of good food.
    The last section provides information on building compost bins, from very simple to serious structures.
    In all, this is an essential booklet, and though it is not available, there are other sources of composting information. I own several other full-sized books which will eventually make their way onto these pages. As I mentioned above, please contact me if you have questions or need help. Composting is absolutely essential to restoring the planet to fertility, along with utilizing organic materials that should NEVER be wasted!


All material on this site copyright © 2018 by Laughing Crow.
This site designed and written by Laughing Crow.