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RE: cg] Compost creatures

  • Subject: RE: [cg] cg] Compost creatures
  • From: "John Verin" jverin@Pennhort.org
  • Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 13:43:29 -0500
  • Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
  • Thread-index: AcJ/sMsDWW5kdbqMRDuK5mMc9BY+JAEgVZuQ
  • Thread-topic: [cg] cg] Compost creatures

Great pics and info
BTW, slow, cool compost piles have a significant advantage over hot piles.
What makes compost so valuable is the fungi and microbes, the life forms that make nutrients availble to plants, and that make soil healthy, which helps plants be disease and pest resistant.
Very hot piles kill many of the beneficial life forms in compost that we want the most.
Also, compost needs to be "harvested" when these life forms are at their peak presence. Compost left too long no longer supports them, and they die off, and the compost begins to become soil.
Ecology Action has the best composting practice I know of. www.growbiointensive.org.
They have publications describing the method.

Paco John Verin
City Wide Coordinator - Philadelphia Green
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
100 North 20th Street, 5th floor
Philadelphia, PA  19103-1495
Phone: 215-988-8885; Fax 215-988-8810

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Rowley [mailto:rowley@nwlink.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2002 8:00 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] cg] Compost creatures

Does anybody know of any good books/references/guides for the common (and
not so common) life forms found in the garden and compost piles? I have a
slow and a fast compost pile and the number of life forms in the slow pile
is astounding, and I think it would be quite a fun 'get to know the world
around you' thing for kids (and me) to identify some of them and understand
what they do, their life cycles etc.

All of the suggestions you have received are good ones.  Also the USDA National Resources Conservation Service publishes an excellent well illustrated booklet entitled "Soil Biology Primer" written by Elaine Ingham, Andy Moldenke, and Clive Edwards.  The first printing was free but I believe there is now a charge.  Well worth the money.
Good luck in the bins,
Jon Rowley
Interbay P-Patch

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