WELCOME!! ~ I’m Robert Moore, aka ‘The SoilGuy

Why am I called The SoilGuy? Because I am an expert in landscaping, organic gardening and lawn care (including pest control), Accredited rainwater harvester (and 2009 Texas RainCatcher of the Year), a Master Composter Instructor and soil, plant and freshwater microbiologist Professional operating my Microbiotics Labroatory to develop proprietary plant nutrition products from 'scratch' to suit the needs of individual plant species.

This site 'went live' on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th, 2009 and will be In Process''... from now on...

'BUT - this site is now in the process of being REPLACED. Why? Insufficient functionality in this WikiPM coding, particularly for a blog - and cannot support an E-store to sell The SoilGuy products online.

So: a NEW THEME has been purchased for presenting all of the "old site" information along with a newblog and E-store via Shopify.com.
Below is a photo of the new site HEADER – that will hopefully be seen on the Shopify.com site late this March.

This site will remain published until the new Shopify.com site is being constructed, so you'd be wise to bookmark this site.

'MY "HANDLE" and REPUTATION'
The SoilGuy is my ‘handle’ by which I am also known (aka) because I have spent many decades performing scientific research to learn how Nature's full synergistic soil microbiological community functions.

Regarding REPUTATION - The SoilGuy is a "straight-shooter" in that I NEVER "Bull-sh^^" or "make jokes" about my work. Rather, you can depend on only getting the TRUTH % - which if not based on substantiated scientific evidence - that I can show in writing - it is based on my long experience as a researcher/scientist because I work on projects in which there IS NO substantive scientific evidence YET.

Be aware - I can be really 'blunt' sometimes - even to the point of appearing "arrogant". Well, that's just my researcher "tell it like it is" style and you'll have to either "put up" with it - or not - as suits your style. Because another thing I will NOT do - is condescend. I am who I am and can prove what I know and do what I say I will.
Still, some people will not appreciate whatever I say - because Nobody can please everybody.
I desire to be THE SAME PERSON - true to myself, and to every other person.

As my Dear Wife can tell you - I too make mistakes - which when realized, I will certainly readily admit - and correct - because I desire to be the best person I can be.

'THE SOILGUY IS BEST KNOWN FOR'
I'm best known for my composting process development work - and proudly make the claim that the methods I teach, along with the products I've developed) - create the highest-quality compost in the shortest time by the easiest methods and at the least cost.
To Read More about this topic: click HERE

'FOREMOST A TEACHER, INSTRUCTOR AND GUIDE'
Have been teaching instructional courses in composting and organic gardening for over 54 years; earthworm breeding for over 48 years, raising a variety of 'backyard' livestock for over 36 years, and in the last two decades, have added courses in rainwater harvesting/use and damaged land restoration.

In 1983, began certifying practitioners as Accredited (beginner); Certified (intermediate); Master (advanced) and as Professionals in a given sustainable industry.

Since 1997, have been training distant students via email. But that's about to change...
Since last year, have been developing detailed coursework modules to train private citizens in the realm of sustainable household food resources via subscription courses (with a massive amount of 'How-To' video support).
Am a strong supporter of the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) method.

'THE SOILGUY IS A RECOGNIZED EXPERT"'
You can read my bio in the About The Author link and reference my accomplishments at the bottom of this page.

The SoilGuy is recognized by many, as a 'leading-edge' expert - regarding the need for - and the function of - organic material/matter-decomposing microbiology in soil and USDA-controlled 'product-soil' (also hereafter referred to as agricultural or horticultural planting dirt or media as the case may be) - and also in developing cost-effective methods to restore 'worn-out' dirt back to health - to grow more productive plant harvests in it. All a matter of balancing Microbes and Minerals.
To Read More about this topic: click HERE

'KEY TO THE USDA "HOLY GRAIL"'
After decades of scientific research, The SoilGuy has developed a cost-effective process for farmers to solve their chemical-pollution problems - by making a liquid product onsite at their own farm - and apply it using their existing equipment - and WITHOUT hauling in 'tons' of anything!

The USDA "Holy Grail" is the ULTIMATE GOAL FOR WHY THIS SITE EXISTS

To Read More about this topic: click HERE

"'HOW-TO" SITE"'
The most important aspect of my research is so like-minded folks are able to get the help they need for them and their families to eat an abundance of highly-nutritious food at minimal cost because I predict that in order for the majority of households to have access to nutritional food - without contamination by synthetic chemicals - means they MUST grow their own vegetables - and even barter with theirs, for other kinds of foods (and other items) that someone else has.
Based on my many years of 'watching' commercial agriculture's methodologies - I believe that IS what the U.S. food situation is coming to - in the foreseeable (to me) future - which I predict will occur within the NEXT 5 YEARS - by 2020 (or probably earlier, based on the rate our present government is screwing things up).

The preponderance of verbiage on this site is mainly designed to be a set of "HOW-TO" instructions - along with the "Why's of" instructional methods.
There are LOTS of sites that make 'generic' statements that leave the reader asking THE question: '...OK, but HOW do I DO that...?

The preponderance of verbiage on this site is dedicated primarily to address - for private citizens - the "HOW TO" of organically providing nutritious food (including meat) to their families. That's why I focus my training of like-minded people - to perform physical 'backyard' and 'small-farm' projects to make this world a better place to live - the way NATURE intends we do - according to HER rules.

So, when a reader - who came to this site to learn something USEFUL - has 'read enough' about my "background perspective" feel free to click on whatever left sidebar links are of interest. You can always come back later, to read more about the things that The SoilGuy thinks is wrong with the human/livestock food production system - and how this researcher along with several other researchers intends to correct it.

'RESPONSIBILITY"'
Under this topic, I'm going to include The SoilGuy's perspective on the 'politics' that pertain to U.S. (and global) pollution issues.
Normally, politics is a 'no-no' subject - but in this case - it's a matter of my willingness to be "transparent".

Rather, the purpose is to tell my readers 'where I stand' on such issues.
And no more than that. My views are not debatable issues.
Which I believe is necessary, because my political "stance" is an integral part of my perspective with regard to the Earth's ecological health - and the quandary that ecological is suffering from - because our government chose to 'unleash' the synthetic chemical 'beast' on our nation's (and the world's) croplands without making provision for how Nature's soil biology contended with such onslaught - especially long-term.

I am American-born and that permits me the inalienable, Constitutional right to respectfully/courteously exercise my right to Free Speech - to 'speak my mind' to all American citizens via this site.
Am not speaking directly to any other nationality- but do hope other nation's English-speaking citizens also read and respond.
Am not asking you to agree with me - if you don't. But if you don't appreciate the need to produce at least some of your own organically-fertilized (i.e., non-polluted) foods (or partner with someone else to do that)''' - you're time is probably best spent somewhere else...

'RESPONDING TO READER INQUIRIES"'
Much of what I say on this Home page is in response to reader queries via email, Asking what my "position" is on a given matter, such as:

  • "...why are you so "down" on Monsanto"...?
  • "...what is your political position"...?
  • "...what makes The SoilGuy products better than others...?
  • "...whose fault is this pollution and erosion...?
  • "...etc., etc...

THAT'S why this Home Page is sometimes SO LENGTHY.
Because instead of responding by email to information requested - all that's needed, is a 'quick answer, asking respondents to visit this site - to locate their answer which I first need to make sure is on these pages...
So expect that this page will get longer - and then shorter - as I continue to re-assign such information into separate "topic pages as responses accumulate.

So please bear with me - it takes my personal time to write and organize this site. And even so, as a private researcher/scientist - my 'technical' writing style is not an 'easy-read' - which is why I seek assistance from a qualified Copy Editor.
If you are qualified, and you 'cringe' at reading my technical-report writing style - I'm sure you're not alone. If your expertise is capable of putting my words into a more 'palatable' style - and you have some time to do that - please send me an email at: robert@thesoilguy.com. I'd really appreciate whatever help possible.

'MAINTAINING THIS SITE'
IF YOU DO agree with this effort - consider an offer of some help in your area of expertise as a Contributing Author with me on this site - to help win this struggle against synthetic chemical 'planet-trashing'.
Not by fighting the "establishment" - but rather by assisting in the continuing development of solutions - and in 'spreading the word' about the biological products and methods that farmers need to employ on their farms - to cost-effectively FIX their chemical toxicity issues and plant-nutritional issues - allowing them to reduce (and eventually eliminating) their dependency on using excessive synthetic chemicals.

Accomplished by many practices (such as no-till and cover crops) in addition to inoculating their land with liquid applications of Nature's full microbial community along with Nature's sustainable plant-available growth nutrients made by that microbiology (called "nutrient-cycling)"- so their land can again produce high yields and nutritional harvests with less and less chemicals - to re-establish sustainable farming practices - as the cropland's microbiology is fully restored.

If you have interest in joining me in this quest to re-establish sustainable farming practices, send an email to: robert@thesoilguy.com

Or, if you are not skilled in practical matters of scientific-research and/or participating in actual repair of earth's ecological balance - I hope you at least will commit to learn - and apply - one or more of the activities offered on this site as information and guidance.
If you can breathe/move/talk and lift/move a few pounds, besides your own), then you're able to find a way - to make a difference - to improve the ecological health of this planet, for your future generations to appreciate.

'THE HOUSEHOLD FOOD WASTE ISSUE"'
If you are still only just 'thinking about' the fast-rising cost of feeding your family, the next time you're 'checking-out' in a grocery store line, THINK ABOUT growing some of your own tastier, more-nutritious and less costly food - YOURSELF - AT HOME.
THIS SITE - is where you can learn HOW to do that.
No BS, no ads trying to "sell you something" - just straight-forward, detailed instructions on HOW to DO projects that suit your lifestyle best - whether you have acres to dedicate - or only a small apartment patio.
It's YOUR responsibility to feed your family the highest nutritional food you can afford. And if you, or your kids are already 'overweight' - YOU'RE LATE. So "GET TO IT".

FOOD WASTE - whether for humans or livestock - should NEVER be buried in a landfill.

To Read More about this topic: click HERE

'SUSTAINABILITY"'
The key word is: sustainability - of which there are two distinct parts.
The MACRO-view of sustainable practices involves the world-view perspective that is dealt with by governments and large international businesses - while the MICRO-view pertains to how each individual U.S. household 'operates' - how each of our individual impacts can affect our nation's ecological sustainability in a positive way.
If you don't think about sustainability of anything except your own interests and pleasures, then again, you're part of the problem - and not the solution. If so, then you are wasting your time to continue on this site - unless you came here with a desire to learn about sustainability.

'MY HAT IS OFF"'
My 'hat is off' to all of the brave, innovative organic gardeners and farmers who have taken a stand to prove that the agricultural-horticultural tide can be turned - and we CAN return to a sustainable agricultural system - as it was only 75 years ago.

I've known Kenneth Hamilton, owner of Bio Mineral Technologies in Utah, for many years. He is a better writer than I, although not nearly as "up-front" as The SoilGuy. We both study soil and dirt and compost microbiology - and apply the microbiological products we each reproduce in our aerobic liquid products along with essential plant minerals - to even 'dead dirt' with superior results - based on both microbial inspection {+and}+ health of plants grown in it, following such treatments.
I fully concur with Ken's "take" on this subject.
Find out what that is, by clicking this link: http://biomineralstechnologies.blogspot.com/

'THE "RABBIT HOLE"'
Ken and I - along with an expanding group of other researchers, scientists and sustainability enthusiasts - are doing our best to validate our findings - first in our labs - and then into the field, with our R&D result in the form of product prototypes, offered to plants - to tell us the truth.

One of Nature's rules is: Plants never lie. So all we have to do is learn their 'language'. Plants can and do "talk" - in 'sign' language. Each species, in their own way.
For whatever deficiency that a given plant experiences - there is always an underlying 'chemical' response - often visible although you may need a magnifying glass or microscope...

'DO YOUR PART"'
But attempting to explain this perspective makes this site not a 'quick read'. So please take a moment to bookmark this page. If you do, that means to some extent, you're serious about learning how deep this "rabbit hole" goes - and if you are serious about learning what you can do to to help - and are willing INVEST some time and effort - in helping the EARTH - you will likely join me on a 'rest-of-your-life' journey. That's my ROI company's 'tag-line' - "Investing In The Earth".

I believe that I'm doing my part, in doing what I do - including telling you about what I do - and why. So please - if you consider yourself to be concerned about pollution and erosion of cropland - then get involved and let your voice be heard - especially about the apathy of our voting population that caused this happen - and lying politicians - and the greedy chemical 'establishment' - OR THEY will win this battle - that they presently "control" - ALL because of a lack of accountability to the American public - to which the government-controlled MEDIA is accomplice.

IF WE THE PEOPLE DO NOT WIN
If we don't win this battle: your future generations will cry... Because you were part of eroding their quality of life on this planet - for the sake of greedy people who made money from polluting the world and you let them. And that goes for the genetic modification of plants and animals too - which % defiles Nature. Just because man can do something - does NOT mean that man should do it.
Mankind knows more about the moon and mars now - than it does about the microbiology beneath our feet. Of course their question is: "...can we make habitation of mars a reality - to start the pollution process all over again..." - before we completely trash this planet?
Personally, I think we should focus attention on repairing this plant's ecosystems - before we seek to abandon them.
And I think some of NASA's budget should be spent training adults how to raise food for their children instead - or haven't you read about the impending world-wide food crisis looming on the not-too-distant horizon?

AN ON-GOING EFFORT!!
Am still editing and improving the category/topic sidebar Directory, so you can more easily locate the information you seek. If you can't find what you're looking for - send email to: robert@thesoilguy.com and ask. I'll be happy to address your questions and comments.
I devote a certain period of time to online communications daily - while maintaining a 'heavy load' of student activity - so if you have not received a response within three days - please send another message - to let me know that my response is late. Although I sincerely desire to respond to your inquiry, sometimes scheduling "glitches" happen.

Am in the process of upgrading student instructional capacity - by developing my coursework (with instructional videos) into online subscription courses. To that end, ROI has contracted with KP Education Systems (http://kpcurriculum.com/#type=home) to produce multiple courses under the category Household Food Sustainability, taken on the KP Compass site (http://kpcurriculum.com/#type=advantage&id=kpmore) through which course graduates also become certified in the micro-sustainability (look that up) movement. Am also working with San Antonio College's Career/Trades Department, to make such courses available to college students as accredited degree plan coursework.

NOTE!!
I'm a professional researcher/inventor and product developer, so that's the way I write, even though I try hard to write in 'layman's terms. So while the spelling, grammar and syntax are OK - and I try not to use 'technical' terms that non-researchers would not understand - this site still reads like a very-detailed 'technical report'.

If you are also a researcher who is 'into the guts' of promoting food sustainability, and want a definitive answer to a question - then make sure that you provide the definitive data to support your question - or I'll likely only respond in 'general layman's terms'.

I try to communicate in plain English, about technical subjects without going 'too deep' - but even so, this is not your "normal" organic gardening-farming site - because herein you'll find much more 'depth' than you'll find in hundreds of 'generic' organically-focused composting-gardening sites.

And at times, my writing may seem be quite 'blunt' - which may 'come across' as a bit arrogant. But please understand that I know what I know because I practice what I 'preach' - not just citing somebody else's work and simply 'saying what they said' - without knowing how to DO what they said - as so many 'promotional and informational' site authors do which is how so many myths are perpetuated.

Some of what I write, might appear to be the same as what others purport - but as a matter of depth, that would not be common - because my research is on the 'bleeding edge' of what most everybody else just talks about: i.e., how to quickly, easily and cost-effectively restore Nature's full microbiological community and necessary trace minerals back into plant-growing dirt that has been depleted/damaged/unbalanced by excessive chemical treatments.

FIRST LOVE
Aerobic hot batch composting is my first love, because from a very young age, my father - a devout composter and organic gardener - taught me how to view and comprehend how Nature's synergistic aerobic microbial community functions - with a light microscope at 400-power - as dad through the years, was honored as Dow Chemical's 12th Full Research Scientist - retiring after a 36-year career. Dad invented gel permeation chromatography (a method to measure the size of plastic molecules) for Dow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gel_permeation_chromatography) - the reason commercial plastic film exists (perhaps you are old enough to remember Dow's first plastic film product - Saran Wrap - back in the late 1960's?).

My mom was a career grade school English teacher. Point is, I grew up in a very scientifically-focused home environment in which holistic natural/herbal medicine and nutritious home-grown food was the norm.

In the paragraph above, I said "comprehend" - not 'understand'. NO scientist (or group of scientists) actually understands how Nature's microbial synergy actually functions, but we're working on it - and consistently making progress.

NATURE RULES
However, through over half a century of performing research, I have learned many of Nature's 'rules' - which qualifies me to manufacture organic products that conform to Nature's principles. And more importantly, I'm having fun in my lab, by learning more, all the time.

OUT OF THE LAB AND INTO THE FIELD
My focus is in getting the lab findings out of the lab and 'proving' my findings in actual plant propagation practice - in a scientific manner - to help organic gardeners and farmers (as Adviser to USDA/NCAT projects) to increase volume and quality of harvest yields - and help 'chemical' farmers wean off toxic treatments that have been proven to damage/decimate Natures beneficial microbiology in agricultural dirt.

Presently, I'm in the process of upgrading production capacity of my previously-small research facility 10-fold - so the composting, vermicomposting and the 'tea' & leachate operations production, can meet the demand for university grant-funded plant trials. My focus is on how Nature's synergistic community can be 'coaxed into' making the highest-grade compost in the shortest/easiest time and at the least cost by intensive management practices that include leachate collection.

Soil science states: Only NATURE makes SOIL, and when man 'disturbs' soil - to grow something in it - Soil Science calls it "product-soil". It appears that Soil Taxonomy folks don't 'buy into' the 'product-soil' thing so in their view, if man disturbs soil for any other reason, then it is said to become DIRT. Which is OK, because my organic-gardening dad, and later Tutors, Mentors and Peers also called it Dirt.

As a product-soil/Dirt aerobic compost microbiologist' who has a 'world-view' of 'good black dirt' (an old-time farmer's word for it), for 50+ years, I have developed a personal view of such things - which you can review in the sidebar Directory under the treatise titled: "Soil Carbon Sequestration Improvement". My father, a Dow Research Scientist who initially trained me, called "product-soil" DIRT - because the term "product-soil had not been 'invented' back then. So DIRT is what I've always called it - and don't have any good reason to change such behavior. Granted, the soil/dirt perspective has a 'grey area', since many agricultural plantings have roots that grow down through the 'dirt' - and into actual soil - that has had toxic chemicals leached down into it via irrigation and/or rain.

Much of my research has been and is still focused on the practical means to increase beneficial aerobic microbiology and trace minerals into dirt that has been damaged by commercial farming practices.

I espouse that there are basically two kinds of Dirt: Skinny Dirt and Fat Dirt.
The main difference is the percentage of organic material/matter in the dirt - which determines the density and diversity of the microorganisms in it - that make natural plant-available nutrients from sequestered organic matter. It is the microbial community that turns such organic material into organic matter and in that process, produces food for new plants - from anything that was once alive (i.e., all such organic material is carbon-based).

Skinny Dirt lacks sufficient organic material (less than 3%) from which microbes can NOT make enough nutrients to permit 'heavy-feeder' crop plants growing in it, to flourish without supplemental nutrition (preferably home-made, high-quality compost LEACHATE).
Hopefully you're intelligent enough to add organic amendments that support microbial reproduction - NOT synthetic chemicals that are toxic to (and thereby damage/unbalance/decrease) the microbial populations. Incidentally, Skinny Dirt will NOT support Eisenia foetida (Red Wiggler/'manure' worms), but will support Eisenia hortenis (European nightcrawler.

On the other hand, Fat Dirt (with 3% or greater) will:

  • At 3% organics, SELDOM have a strong, synergistic microbial community in which plant-available Macro/Micro/Trace minerals are abundant.
  • At 5%, ALMOST always...
  • At 7% or greater, ALWAYS...

Based on PERCENT, highly biological planting dirt creates substantial nutrient cycling - capable of growing the healthiest plants, quickly, to produce the greatest possible harvest - whether edible or just beautiful. That also applies to both terrestrial (land-grown) and aquatic/hydro (water-grown) fresh water plants.

OK - so why not just grow plants in PURE FINISHED COMPOST?
BECAUSE pure FINISHED compost is TOO 'RICH' and STAYS WET TOO LONG.
DON'T PLANT IS PURE COMPOST - UNLESS you KNOW that you're planting in AGED compost - which has the full disease-control microbial COMMUNITY intact - to protect your plants from pathogens that can grow quickly in very moist material.
For that reason, generally-speaking - NO planting/potting media should contain more than 50% compost.

There are many kinds/types of dirt-improving organic AMENDMENTS - some better than others - which are discussed in other pages. Also be aware that the term MEDIA (usually meaning containerized growing) may or may not include any actual soil particles - (sand; silt & clay) at all, so please remember not to call such media "soil" - because such media never was soil to begin with.

So the term Dirt also includes all commercial agricultural cropland. When man either disturbs or amends Nature's soil - such activity instantly changes soil from Nature's original composition - so then it becomes Dirt. Dirt used to grow plants should not have a negative connotation, just because dirt by-products (i.e, dust and grime - is a housekeeper's nightmare). Dirt is what most human food/fiber/forage plants are grown in, and livestock grown on. And if it is 'fat' dirt, it can do that without any toxic (to microbiology) chemical applications.

It is a huge feat of Nature to grow any kind of healthy plants that produce nutritional harvests, on the microbiologically-depleted agricultural land of today. Mostly caused by overuse/abuse of synthetic chemicals and by wind/water erosion due to bad agricultural land-management methods.

A global resurgence of 'sustainable farming' is expanding quickly now - in great part due to increased awareness of the extensive damage that agricultural pollution and erosion are causing - driving the need to produce cost-effective ways to put needed biology and organic materials back into the Dirt.

The most stupendous feat of Nature was producing LIFE on this planet. ALL life starts with - and ends with minerals and microbes (predominantly bacteria, fungi and protozoa) - the 'building blocks' and decomposers of organic material - whose enzymes solublize and manipulate chemistry and energy into new plant-available nutrition.
Whether you believe in the 'big bang' theory - or 'evolution' or whatever, every living plant, animal, etc., is a biological/chemical being, whose chemistry should be returned to Nature in one way or another after death. There is no place on earth where Nature's microbes do not rule.

Organic - Inorganic... What's the difference? Organic material contains CARBON. Inorganic matter does not, with very few exceptions.
Microbes utilize carbon in most of its forms - it's their 'energy' food. Nitrogen in protein (amino acid) form is used to reproduce microbial cells. How much carbon and nitrogen is available does matter - referred to as the C:N Ratio.

Regarding "organic gardening" - the term implies that no (or very little) synthetic chemicals are used in the activity - and in the U.S.A., only those chemicals which are approved for organic plant propagation by the USDA NOP (National Organic Program).

In Mother Nature's system, beneficial microbes rule. There is hardly any place on earth you can go, where they don't rule (some microbes even grow in volcanic lava and deep in arctic ice).

There are good ones (beneficials) and bad ones (pathogens). Mother Nature's RULE is: THE GOOD GUYS WIN. If that was not true, the human race would be long-extinct...(HELLO?).

For an in-depth "glimpse" of how saprophytic soil microbes work, visit: http://www.soilfoodweb.com/sfi_approach1.html#Interpreting - written by Dr. Elaine Ingham. I've developed products with her guidance; am familiar with her 25+-year science, and can validate her expertise in this realm - although at this point in time, my research has taken me on a tangent from Elaine's studies - toward learning how Nature's full synergistic community produces pure amphoric Humus - faster - and in greater quantity, per cubic yard (and new ways to measure humic content). And with that, working toward a goal that Dr. Ingham was not able to accomplish with the USDA.

If you followed that soil foodweb link - and read Dr. Ingham's information - then made it back to this site - you are to be commended. That means you really are serious about learning this stuff... And applying it to your own interests (which is what really counts).

Some of my other ‘hobbies’ are rainwater harvesting, composting (in all its various forms), organic gardening and performing research projects in my ROI Microbiotics Laboratory (also called "Dirt Science Lab") mainly focused on microbial plant nutrient cycling, disease control and plant immune system defenses from air-borne and soil-borne diseases/pests.

My present goal is to document my extensive knowledge, experience and life-long passion for growing an abundance of the best food possible - at the lowest possible cost - via development of online training/certification courses.

To that end, what you read on this site are the basis to develop that instructional material - which makes me an author – albeit not necessarily a good one yet... This author is definitely not a 'finished work' - especially in literary endeavors.
An 'expert' to many, but I still have much to learn... Truth is, space scientists know more about the moon and Mars than earth scientists know about soil/dirt microbiology that controls how much plant harvest yields we can grow, to feed humanity - a 'growing' global concern (pun intended).

If it's just GENERAL composting and organic gardening information you seek, please check out the Links page, where many quality basic .edu sites are recommended - many of which I espouse as basic resources for the courses that I teach. However, it is rare to find any of those sites that promulgate more than a 'smattering' of useful "How-To" information (many of those Professors never actually composted a day in their lives) - and don't expect any two sites agree on very many practical-application methods - most are just replicating what somebody else said (and unfortunately, without checking the science behind what is often a MYTH. It's a real shame for a .edu site to propagate age-old myths - that have been proven wrong by science (example: "...meat and dairy should not be composted...". "BALDERDASH" says science!

Sure, I have 'beginner' information on this site too - but mostly I try to focus on providing the "deeper" information - that is hardly ever found on 'general' sites (unless they are quoting from my work). So this is a site for SERIOUS organic gardening/composting and farming enthusiasts - adherents / enthusiasts who desire to become truly skilled in such activities.

You can read about many subjects on this site. If you consider yourself already "knowledgeable" about one of those subjects - consider sending me an email to find out where The SoilGuy rates your knowledge and skills.
All I need do is ask a fairly short series of questions - then following your set of answers - a few more questions - to find out.
Based on your answers, I'll tell you where I would 'rate' your a) knowledge and b) skill level.
After you find out - if you want proof of my rating - I'll send you (or maybe even read it to you on the phone) the appropriate quiz for that course level - and if you pass - I'll send you that level CERTIFICATE with my corporate seal and my signature on it.

At present, am not taking on any additional distant students - as I prepare to release my online courses - with one exception - if you are already a SoilGuy Certificate-holder (even via the above method) - then I will "probably" (but no promises) enroll you in my Distant-Student Email Training Program - which I'm phasing-out as my online courses become available.

But most folks just want some practical help to get a garden started - yet others are having difficulty applying their skills to deeper interests within organic gardening. In any case, it's not "book learning" that gets the job done. It's what you actually DO - with hand and power tools - to help our environment - and feed your family - while not spending so much of your hard-earned cash in a grocery store.

Learning how to compost and garden YOUR way, for YOUR purpose, with YOUR time and YOUR energy - to produce YOUR flowers, veggies, lawn, shrubs and trees - is what counts.

I have a certain way I go about doing those things - we all do. There's lots of ways to do anything. So herein, I try to present a variety of activities and products that I consider to be most worth the effort.

Remember that as a gardener, the PROOF is in the PLANTS. Especially in the HARVEST of plants. Plants don't lie. So IF you learn the 'language' of plants - you can know what plants need. Of course knowing what the plant looks like when it is happy is necessary - so you can recognize when it is sad. That's what those beautiful pictures in magazines, books and the Internet are for.

You can read about me, but chances are, that’s not why you chose to visit my site. Not knowing your reason for being here, I’ll simply conclude that you had one - but if you found this site by accident - that’s OK too. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the visit...And tell your organic gardener friends about this site.

As the author, I take full responsibility for the information contained herein, and try very hard to ensure accuracy and completeness. But I’m far from an expert at publishing a website yet, so please forgive mistakes, and please contact me: robert@thesoilguy.com to provide your opinions, advice, additional links and any other information that you think might be useful as part of this site. No one person has all the answers...

It is not my intention to 'compete' with 'basic' how-to composting/gardening sites, so I don't present the same old informational rhetoric. And you won't find much 'glitzy' stuff on this site, or commercial ads that just get in the way of your experience here. I don't need advertising here, to present what I know and what I can teach people to do.

You cannot purchase anything from this site. If you want to buy a SoilGuy brand of product or recommended product - just send me an email and let me know what you're looking for.

Most of the websites that do present general composting information, say the SAME things, over-and-over again, but very few actually get down to the MEAT of composting and raising food to lower household food costs.

WHY compost piles heat up - or doesn't, and when they don't (when you want it to) - and how to get it to do that?. How long should a pile take to decompose? What are the best feedstocks to use? Do you need a containment (bin) and if you do, what kinds are best for YOUR space/location?

Stuff like that. I'll give you this author's opinion, without having to 'wade through' a series of responses on forums (most of which are full of myths and misinformation and often don't answer the original poster's question anyway).

But don't get me wrong. Online forums can be fun, and even worthwhile, some of the time. My favorite composting forum USED TO BE http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/soil/. I think SOME of the people who make a practice of fast-rotting dead stuff have the best sense of humor of anybody. Anyway, after attempting to get composters (who claimed they were "serious composters" on that forum) to recognize the blatant MYTHS that were perpetuated on that site - I gave up attempting to 'compete' with the people on that forum who made it their 'project' to be counter-productive (science-negative) in defense of their "right" to disagree on the basis of NOTHING except their own unsubstantiated opinions.

So if you are serious about composting, be careful not to believe whatever you read on forums - there's more BS and myths 'thrown around' on such forums than you can 'shake a stick at'.

I think that people who practice the science-based art of composting at home, should actively promote composting in their communities more. Actually get involved in 'spreading the word' and showing their neighbors what can be done and how to do it.

One of the reasons composting is not promoted as much as it should be, is because very few people are willing to say: "...I'm an authority on this subject..." when so many of you actually ARE experts - about they way that YOU compost and garden. Asking questions and trying 'new' methods and products is the secret to learning how to become an expert at organic plant propagation.

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All that composting Instructors need to say is: "...I am responsible for MY compost piles - not anyone else's. Every composter is THE expert of how THEY compost. Basic principle #1.

Composting Instructors also need to be capable of answering questions and helping folks with any problems or issues they may encounter - but if you ask someone for assistance with what YOU do - expect an answer that pertains only about the way that THEY compost.

So sure, I'll be glad to help you with whatever issues or questions you may have, but you must remember that I take NO responsibility for your methods or techniques. Your decisions to do, or not to do, are your own.

Just as you have no responsibility in how I compost, no matter what advice you send my way.

Experienced composters should be involved in helping other folks learn how to compost, and there are a LOT of people 'out there' reading this information who are quite good at 'backyard' composting - but they are reticent to 'stick their neck out' because there's nobody 'standing behind them' - verifying that yes, they do know what they're talking about, and people should listen to them, and learn.

I've been composting for over 60 years, and I AM an authority on the subject, being a professional microbiologist researcher who recognizes what kind of microbes I'm growing. No, don't claim to be the best - but I know enough about the subject so I can tell when somebody 'knows their stuff' or not, just by asking important questions to ascertain what somebody else knows about the composting process and 'accepted' practices.

Composting is not "rocket science", but to be good at it does require understanding 'what' is actually doing the decomposition work, and what stage the decomposition process is in at certain times.

Some of the people I train and mentor are young teenagers, and some are even older than me. I'm only 72. Still a 'puppy' to somebody in their 90's. Anybody that can handle a pitchfork, can learn how to be an excellent composter. And organic gardener. Quickly.

I don't just educate. I TRAIN and INSTRUCT people HOW to compost, in lots of different ways. PRACTICAL HOW-TO methods and techniques that save time and money. Get the job done. With high-quality results.

I'll put my compost quality up to anybody else's compost. I make high grade compost-tea quality ingredients that I'm quite proud of. As well as just the average "get-it-on-the-garden-as-soon-as-it's-ready" compost.

You don't have to know which microbes are doing what, but you should understand: (a) why some folks say that a Batch method thermal pile should get to 131 degrees Fahrenheit, and (b) how to get it there, how long the pile should stay hot, and (c)how much time a pile should take to 'finish' if it didn't get hot enough, and (d)why a given material will no longer heat up and (e)how to take temperature, moisture and pH readings when composting with the fast, hot/aerobic method. Then you need to understand why having a pile 'heat up' is NOT essential to producing high quality compost

And you should know that NO 'hot-batch' composting methods apply if using the cold aerobic or anaerobic methods. There's lots of methods. As many feedstock mixes, turning techniques and other methodologies as there are people who compost.

You could just toss yard trimmings/leaves/weeds, etc., etc. in a pile and let 'em rot - but that's not actually composting per se. Composting is a MANAGEMENT PROCESS. The stuff you do pile up won't rot quickly, unless it gets enough internal water. If the INSIDE of the pile doesn't get enough moisture, and doesn't get aerated, you will probably still be looking at the same pile a year or two later. Or longer, in dry climates, hot or cold.

It will become just a big clump of 'stuff' with brush piled in/on it like so many others that just collect organic 'junk'. Ever seen one of those piles? Now listen to THIS: IF you have a 'compost pile' that is taking longer than 9 months to product compost - you don't have a compost pile at all - what you have is a pile of aging MULCH.

Those organics should get used to grow something, instead of just sitting there. Compost is nature's slow-release fertilizer, disease protector and pest defense. Free, if you know how to make it with free feedstocks like grass clippings, leaves, yard waste, kitchen scraps, etc.

But beware of 'gadgets' that tell you good compost can be 'made' in 14 days. Or even 30 days. Not going to happen - especially if you're starting with fresh food waste UNLESS you're already a very experienced composter. Don't go buying composting devices/boxes or even composting bins, until you're sure that you know how the process works, and what kind of composting method best suits YOUR NEEDS.

Don't believe marketing 'hype' designed to sell you something - that they know you probably won't actually go to the trouble of returning for a refund, if you are not able to get it to work. Most composting 'gadgets' don't work, except perhaps within a very narrow set of conditions. Remember that people don't make compost. Microbes do. People just create a proper microbial environment. If you are not able to get microbes to reproduce quickly, you will have a slowly-decomposing MULCH pile. No matter what else you do.

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Microbes (the critters that actually do the work) can decompose organic materials quite fast under optimal conditions, but even so, takes AT LEAST 9-12 weeks and some physical effort to produce MATURE compost.

If you want to learn how to compost, the very best action you can take, is locate a LOCAL composter near you - qualified to train you by the high quality of product he/she makes. If the result smells 'earthy' and sweet, like a fresh forest floor - and it's dark and crumbly, so you can't easily tell what it was made of after 3 months - it's done right. You're talking to a qualified composter IF he/she did that aerobically in less than 6 months. If you are reading this - and you can do that - help somebody learn from you.

IF you only know how to compost the way you do it, does that make you an Expert? Yup - it does, in the way YOU do it. Go ahead. Help somebody learn how you make compost. To garden better. To eat better and save money.

Some composters won't say that he/she is good at the way they know how to compost, because they may think that there are so many other ways to compost, and perhaps they don't know much about how other people compost? So what!!

Or maybe they don't want to learn any other way. They are happy the way they compost - and that's good enough for them.

You experienced composters 'out there' can still qualify for certification as a ACCREDITED/CERTIFIED/MASTER COMPOSTER by ROI.

All it takes is some communication to verify that the way you compost is fast, safe and effective.

Composters that are willing to learn more about the process can become a verified ACCREDITED COMPOSTER, and CERTIFIED COMPOSTER, and even a MASTER COMPOSTER. Just a matter of learning more and being able to do more, right where you live. No travel required.

I certify lots of practitioners in this science-based ART form that do, or learn to, compost effectively. And encourage all of them to ask their neighbors to give their yard trimmings and household food waste for composting.

So - how can I tell if somebody else is producing quality compost? Easy. Send me a small sample in a Ziploc bag - just a tablespoon is enough, with your name, address and either your phone number or email address.

I'll look at it with a light microscope at 400x and estimate the density (how many microbes there are, and diversity (how many different kinds there are). And I'll tell you how good it is. See, it's all about the microbes. Microbes make organic plant food from minerals and 'dead stuff' - with the ENZYMES they produce.

If you want more than a quick free look and an short email reply, then order the $145 professional report to receive a full qualitative analysis of bacteria, fungi and protozoa populations, and their ratios along with the things you need to do - to make it better.

Perhaps that's what you need to do, before you'd be willing to train others how to compost the way you do?. But remember - plants don't lie - so if your compost grows healthy plants that produce tasty, good-looking nutritious harvests - then the compost you amend your dirt with - is doing its job, and you should have confidence in it.

If you are willing to train or mentor someone to compost, simply put up an announcement on the bulletin board at the local library and set up a time to meet interested people there, to talk about composting and how it has benefited plant growers for ages. Start a training group with them.

If you're concerned that you don't have enough carbon feedstock materials to make enough compost to train folks, just ask the fellow that takes care of church grounds or a local school what they do with the 'yard stuff', and you'll find all you will need.

Put up a printed flyer at the local feed store or plant nursery. Get some local composters together to share ideas, their techniques and feedstock collection. If you do get a group of people together, keep things informal, and focused on individual home projects - don't get into community projects unless you get the community government involved with you (not recommended unless you want to deal with 'politics'...)

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This site also speaks for Recycling Organics, International Inc. (ROI) of which I’m Founder and am currently CEO/CTO. ROI is focused on composting as a primary means of promoting public RECYCLING of ORGANIC materials, and encouraging organic HOME GARDENING, EARTHWORM BREEDING and RAINWATER harvesting.

ROI sponsors an informal organization called Organics Recycling Group (ORG) that consists of local Chapters. If interested in receiving the monthly ORG "Invest In The Earth" newsletter that contains information about composting, gardening and harvesting rainwater - the free sign-up link is found in the left sidebar at the bottom of this page. DO REMEMBER to type your email address correctly- or you won't get a response. If you do not receive the next month's newsletter, send me an email at: robert@thesoilguy.com and I'll add you to the distribution list and get the newsletter off to you.

As human population continues to grow (notice how the cost of food is steadily increasing?), home vegetable gardening and keeping backyard livestock may become very important, to help balance your household budget. Veggies cost a lot of money at the store, but are quite inexpensive to grow at home IF you learn how to compost. If you are content to buy "compost" from a 'big-box' store - and waste your money - go ahead - but occasionally compare what you grow - with what real organic gardeners are producing. The difference will probably surprise you...

That's why this is not the ‘average’ composting web site. The objective of this site is to someday become an education REFERENCE CENTER for learning more about each of the primary subjects linked in the left column on this and subsequent pages.

All of those subjects interrelate with each other, so look around and try to grasp the connections. I’d like to see photo examples of your activities too, so contact me via email if you'd like to share what you can do on this site.

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On this site you will find information that presents multiple views. Some different from those of others, simply because some people prefer different perspectives and methods, and some people know less about some subjects than they think they do. Including me. I learn something new about composting often, because I stay active in it.

Point is, YOU decide whether to use any of the information presented on this site - to make decisions - or not. So your use of any information found on this site is totally your own responsibility. Refer to the Terms of Use page for more info about that.

Words are used to convey meanings, which should always be considered in context. In these pages you will probably find words with which you are not familiar. Please look them up in a dictionary if you don't find them in the Terminology link (in the left side navigation bar). If the word is not presented yet, I recommend http://www.wikipedia.com. Type in the word or phrase you want to look up.

Unless references are given on the page where presented, credits will be linked from a separate Reference page where detail is presented bibliography style. Each time a certain reference is quoted or noted, a number in [brackets] will follow, which will link to the source when the number is mouse-clicked. At least that's my intention...

Although a bibliography reference style is more time-consuming to establish and maintain, I hope the additional effort is worthwhile, to enhance your reading experience and conserve page space. However, this method is more prone to ‘broken links’ (not under our control) - so if a referenced link [number] does not work, please take a moment and email us (1) the URL [page address] where the reference is found, and the (2) reference number, so we can contact the right party, and ask them to fix it.

Thank you so very much for your time. If you read down this far, there' a good chance you'll be interested in some of the topics found in the left sidebar.

Nowadays it’s SO hard to 'search down' to the information you’re actually looking for. So if you don’t find it here - PLEASE let me know by sending email to: robert@thesoilguy.com, so I can at least attempt to provide the information you seek, or perhaps point you where to find it.

© Robert C. Moore ~ All Rights Reserved

USDA-NCAT Adviser (SOAR Project)
Founder/CEO/CTO, Recycling Organics International, Inc.
Director, Organics Recycling Group
Owner and Author of www.TheSoilGuy.com
Inventor of the Worm BasketTM Earthworm Breeding Station
Inventor of the Aero*ForceTM Microbial ConcentratorTM machine
Inventor of Liquid Microbial ConcentrateTM(LMC)
Inventor of the SoilGuy Sifter/Mixer machineTM
Soil Specialist and Dirt Specialist
Master Organic Gardener Instructor
Master Composter Instructor
Compost Tea Specialist
Hydroponics Specialist
Aquaponics Specialist
Rainwater Harvest Professional (2009 Texas RainCatcher of the Year)
Vegetable Gardening Specialist
Plant Nutrition & Disease/Pest Control Specialist
Bat/Bird/Butterfly Conservationist

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