Amazon.com.au:Customer reviews: The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money, and producing ... most flavorful, nutritous vegetables ever.
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Ok, first of all let me say the author clearly knows everything there is to know about composting. I'm new to composting and have a small garden where I grow some veg. I like to re-use waste from the garden and from my kitchen and make use of it. Our council also run out of green bins and advised I compost my garden waste instead of sending it in a green bin for the council to collect. I was looking for a book to find out more what i can and cannot compost, and some practical advise. I do have a life otherwise, job, kids etc. so not really enough time to have "hospital" compost and whatever else and spend my life doing it.
This is a bible on composting - but not for me. It's a great book, hence the 4 starts but not for the average gardener. It has extensive explanation about how to collect manure, have several heaps and holes etc. to compost in. It also has a whole chapter about growing weird stuff like wheat (obviously not weird but not for the average gardener to grow in a raised bed). I just want to know what to do with some of the weed I pick up, basic stuff like that - which is probably buried somewhere within the book. I found no useful information in here whatsoever. Sorry, my copy is going back and I hope someone can make more use of it. I think it's perfect if you spend every day in your farm, small holding or allotment and willing to spend a lot of time and effort on your compost. I just have a little bin.
The author clearly knows all there is to know about compost and is thus a mine of information. However, for me there were two disadvantages to this book. One is the layout. It is a large book and so each page displays the text in two columns, which is fine, but the main text is interspersed with insets on other related topics, usually in a 'box' of its own. If the topic needs a lot of text, this squeezes out the main text, so sometimes there is only a small portion on the page. Then one must decide whether to turn the page and follow the main text, or read the insert/s. I found it hard to follow as a result. The other thing that I found irritating was the twee names used for different ways to make your compost. It was a deliberate choice, as the author explains (rather late on), intended to demystify and lighten up the usually over-serious tone of other gardening books. While I applaud the attempt to make this important subject more accessible, for me this method did the opposite. However, I did gain exposure to a lot of new knowledge but feel that I need to read it again as the above-mentioned aspects made it less clear -for me- than I would have liked.
If you are looking for more specialized information on compositing, this is not it. Much contrary to the title, the book is filled with time-wasting bells and whistles for making compost while not bringing depth of understanding to the composting process. The book is bloated with unnecessary information. We are even told what to wear, including this gem: "put on your shoes." Make sure not to "lose your tools," too. Who is the audience for such inane recommendations? The list goes on and on of both unnecessary and belittling remarks. I strongly discourage anyone from getting this book.
A great book. It reads like it is written by two old ladies, which it basically is. All bubbly enthusiasm for gardening and soil biology. Although not every technique or bit of information is correct for northern areas like Saskatchewan.