Garden Life

Composting Made Easy: “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Composting” Should Be In Your Library

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting
Dirt is my life. No kidding. Its microbial fungus, bacteria, and complexity is what makes it possible for gardeners like me to grow the plants we do. Because of the gardens I have grown, thanks to the soil beneath my toes, I have built a green lifestyle and a career. I feed my family because of this complex dirt and I write stories about the community that surrounds my garden. All of this starts with the soil my garden grows in. Interestingly, soil is life and in the end of our lives we all end up as soil as well.

Composting is, simply put, a way to make kitchen and lawn waste into humus, which is both a soil and soil additive. It can be so rich and full of nutrients that gardeners often refer to it as “black gold”.

Over the years I have composted in many ways, learning the hard way because most instructional guides I have found to reference are hopelessly complex.


Recently I read Chris McLaughlin’s The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Composting* and see it as an amazing breath of fresh air. Quite clearly it spells out composting – clean, easy, simple, and thorough. Let me repeat – EASY!

From vermicomposting (worm composting) to traditional composting (with bins) to creative composting (grasscycling and sheet composting), this book spells out everything so simply and in such a clear way, that the book has quickly become my “composting bible”, not to be loaned out and to always be in my quick reference library.

Composting is such a marvelously green solution; it prevents thousands of tons of food waste from clogging the landfills. You can see in the photos below that I have many types of compost bins and feel it is a necessary and helpful part of gardening. Composting is amazing and compost certainly adds innumerable nutrients and structure to the soil, which increases fertility thereby building a better garden. I wish I had a simple guide like this from the very beginning of my composting adventure.

Get this fantastic “composting bible” for a well-rounded, easy-to-understand, and always handy guide on how to compost. Written by Chris McLaughlin, an avid gardener, certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat Steward, a San Francisco Gardening Examiner for Examiner.com, and editor at Foodie Mama. To order The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Composting, follow this link to Amazon.

*I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for reviewing it. I have given a wholly honest review that has nothing to do with the fact that the book was given to me. I really enjoy this book and honestly use it as a home reference and will continue to do so. It is an excellent guide.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Dave
    July 19, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Dirt is my life – made me laugh but I totally get it, and it is different than my life is dirt.

    I'll totally be checking this out.
    Thanks!

  • Reply
    Shawna Lee Coronado
    July 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Dave – so funny. But yep – dirt is my life!

    Shawna

  • Reply
    The Suburban Farmer
    July 19, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Shawna~

    I'm tickled pink that you took the time to look at my book – I know how busy you are!

    You and I are kindred spirits in that I also live for dirt and microbes(macrobes too, considering the worms *grin*).

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kind words – I adored writing this book.

    My very best,

    Chris

  • Reply
    Shawna Lee Coronado
    July 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Chris – it's a great book and now my Composting Bible. Love it!

    Shawna

  • Reply
    Terica
    July 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    My composter is a little old but it works great. I use a dryer tub. Less for the land fill. We were replacing our dryer heating coil and realized other problems so decided to get a new one. As I looked at the tub separately I realized it looked the right size for a composter and it already had drain holes ! I have been using it for a year and have built 3 new rich soiled wormy flower beds from it already.

  • Reply
    meemsnyc
    July 21, 2010 at 5:51 am

    I'll have to take a look at this book. We have started composting this year, and it definitely is a learning process!

  • Leave a Reply


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