COMPOSTING Link References

The links posted here were working when I viewed them, and hopefully still do. However, if not, please contact me to let me know, so I can either remove the link or notify the owner of the link to correct the problem with it. Thank you

I'm still going to list the Texas A&M link first, since 50 years ago, this site was one of the finest online composting reference manuals on the Internet. It's still good reading for beginners, although it has not been updated much since. Not surprising, since 50+ years ago A&M moved into the synthetic chemical fertilizer 'camp' and still to this day is (in this author's opinion) VERY deficient in promoting organic gardening. I can say that, since I'm an Ex-Aggie, and was a certified Texas Master Gardener supporting Texas AgriLife Extension.

I began assisting other composters in the early 60's, then began developing a formal composting course and teaching gardening groups in the late 60's. As my knowledge and skill in composting increased, and the amount of how-to guidance increased, the original course was split into two courses. Then in the early 80's split again into Basic, Intermediate and Advanced courses. In addition to certifying graduates as Accredited, Certified and Master Composters, in 2008 I began teaching a Professional course to assist large-scale gardeners and small-scale farmers in transition from using chemical fertilizers, to an organic approach, which often required the use of heavy equipment - so added the design/building some specialized equipment - since the large equipment used by commercial composters was much too large (and expensive) for a small-farm operation.

In the early '80's I moved from Texas to south central Florida, and in the last 10 years, the Florida site below, has become (in this author's opinion), one of the best basic learning sites on the Internet for beginner composting information - although it does lack much practical methodology and is quite deficient in microbial and compost tea information.

Having since relocated back to Texas, I still recommend the Florida composting website over the Texas A&M site, much to the disdain of a few Texas Master Gardeners, but hey - fact is, Florida's site maintains their published composting information updates/advances and A&M doesn't - because they are very deep into promoting chemical treatments due to their financial recipient (donation) ties with several chemical companies.

My courses are sanctioned by Recycling Organics International, Inc., through the Recycling Organics Group, (ORG). Initially, the courses were also sanctioned by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), but in 2010 due to economic cuts TCEQ no longer supporting the state 'backyard' composting program.

Then in October 2011 the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) began sanctioning the ROI certifications through their Compost Recycling Council.

The list below represents a wide range of resources for training and educating by the Organics Recycling Group (ORG), but it is by no means fully representative of the extensive volume of online resources available from land grant universities and other institutions, foundations and commercial educational entities, on this and related topics.

While these resources do not agree on all issues, it can be easily ascertained by practical experience, which recommended methods and techniques work best with the feedstocks available to you.

With regard to any cautions presented about what compostable materials can be used, the preponderance of specific SCIENTIFIC data should be given precedent over any given author’s advice. However, we should remember that composting is a science-based ART form.

My advice to experienced and expert composters is:

  • IF IT WAS ONCE ALIVE,
    IT CAN BE COMPOSTED.

I compost roadkill - whole. Yeah, yeah - I know about the myths that say not to compost meat, dairy, etc., etc. Hogwash Mortality composting is recognized by most U.S. states and the following Cornell University link is provided as one example - you can find many more on the Internet:

Whatever feedstock ANY given composter decides to try, is up to them.
YOU are the expert of your pile. Period.
How else do we learn?

Another good site is offered by Dr. Elaine Ingham under whom I have studied:

Everywhere on Earth, life on land depends on soil microbes and the services they provide.

The International Compost Tea Council (ICTC)

Official Corpus Christi city website for aerated ‘backyard’ composting information

Extensive information about composting from the TCEQ (previously TNRCC)

TCEQ YardWise publication includes ‘backyard’ composting information

United States Composting Council

Compost Tea Industry Association - CTIA also directs the Compost Tea Education and Research Foundation

The Amaranth Group designs, develops and / or constructs Compost Demonstration Sites in Canada, Portugal and the US. Their expertise for demonstration training sites includes: location criteria, site construction and use of volunteers.

and:

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) composting information

Composting turns household wastes into valuable fertilizer and soil organic matter.

Composting, nature's own way of recycling, is the controlled decomposition of organic material

provides access to a variety of composting educational materials and programs developed at Cornell University.

recycle the natural nutrients and organic materials in leaves and yard waste as they would be in nature.

return badly needed organic matter to your soil.

it is an important way to reduce the amount of waste that is burned or dumped in landfills.

The information in this bulletin will help you learn how to build and maintain a compost pile

Composting and Mulching: A Guide to Managing Organic Yard Wastes

The secret to successful composting is to select an approach and technique that suits your needs and lifestyle.

Articles and hundreds of links covering all aspects of composting.

Mature, well-made compost is fundamental to organic farming

Extensive information about MSW and mortality composting from Cornell University

Fertilization and composting specifically for organic production

Compost science and utilization

Extensive resources for soil and composting

The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
How to Convert an Inorganic Fertilizer Recommendation to an Organic One

and:

Washington state composting programs, including Compost At Home

Utah State University composting information and resources

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

The Soil Biology Primer NRCS, Soil Quality Institute

Soil Biology and Land Management NRCS, Soil Biology Technical Note No. 4

The Soil Foodweb: It's Importance in Ecosystem Health Elaine Ingham, Soil Foodweb, Inc.

Soil Biota and the Soil Foodweb — Who's There?
A Glimpse Below... the Soil Food Web Teri C. Balser, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison

Understanding Life in the Soil CSIRO -- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Soil Biology chapter in Encyclopedia of Life Alan J. Franzluebbers, USDA-ARS in Watkinsville, Georgia

Selected Resources on the Soil Foodweb
Microbe Organics DVD Tim Wilson in British Columbia

Introduction to The Soil Foodweb Steve Diver, SSAWG presentation

The Role of Nematodes in Soil Fertility Howard Ferris, Department of Nematology, Univ of California

Soil Foodwebs Howard Ferris, Department of Nematology, Univ of California http://plpnemweb.ucdavis.edu/Nemaplex/Ecology/foodwebs.htm Proceedings: Pacific Northwest Forest and Rangeland So il Organism Symposium

• Soil-Dwelling Arthropods: Their Diversity and Functional Roles • Soil Organisms: Functions and Processes - Management Implications: A Synopsis • Soil Bacteria: A Dynamic Pool of SOM and Catalysts of Key Belowground Processes • The Role of Soil Organisms in Restoration The Functional Roles of Forest Soil Arthropods: The Soil Is a Lively Place Andrew Moldenke, Maret Pajutee, and Elaine Ingham Proceedings of the California Forest Soils Council: Forest Soil Biology & Management

The Soil Food Web: Role of Soil Arthropods in Bacterial and Fungal Dominated Agro-Ecosystems Andy Moldenke, Oregon State University

•Journal of Nematology:

•Nematologia Mediterranea:

•Nematropica: *http://journals.fcla.edu/nematropica

Soil Community Composition and Ecosystem Processes: Comparing Agricultural Ecosystems with Natural Ecosystems Deborah A. Neher, Agroforestry Systems 45: 159–185 (1999)

Here's a really good read on HUMUS: http://www.humintech.com/001/agriculture/information/general.html

COMPOST CONTAINMENTS
Click Here to see: Compost Containments
COMPOST PILES
Click Here to see:COMPOST PILES