soil is disturbed, we may not be able to restore it to its
native state, but we can help build a new balance of beneficial
soil organisms to support the desired vegetative life.
it takes thousands of years for the earth’s forces to
build good soil, we can help do this in 5 – 10 years
by adding compost—which adds microorganisms, arthropods,
worms, and humus to the soil. The word “compost” comes
from Latin where it meant “to put together.” This
is what we do when we compost—we put together the correct
amounts of compostable materials to make a great soil amendment.
centuries, farmers have made and used compost to improve soil.
Composting is part of the earth’s biological cycle of
growth and decay. Energy from the sun, carbon dioxide from
the air, and nutrients from water and soil make plants grow.
When they die and decompose through a complex process involving
microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, insects, mites and
worms, nutrients go back into the soil, and carbon dioxide
back into the air. The humus remaining from this decay process
provides soil with organic matter that can hold water and nutrients
in the soil, making it easier to till.
of composting as the act of growing microorganisms. While a
vegetable farmer is attuned to fertility, cultivation, water
and seasonal needs of a crop, composters should consider their types of compostable materials, sometimes called feedstocks,
how to prepare them, and their moisture needs to ensure quality
compost. Actually, it is easier for composters to control compost
pile conditions than it is for a farmer to control the weather.
manual explains the many interdependent factors fundamental
in planning composting projects or analyzing composting operations:
and chemistry of compost