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What is Compost?

Benefits of Composting

Using Finished Compost

Compost & Nutrition


Composting Systems

Siting Your Compost Area



What to Compost

Stages of Composting

The Carbon:Nitrogen Ratio

Compost Activators

Turning Your Compost


Quick Start Guide

The Add-as-you-go Pile

The Batch Pile

Grass Clippings

Food Scraps

Leaves, Weeds &
Garden Debris

Compost Tea

Worm Composting


Troubleshooting Guide

Ask Professor Rot




Special thanks to Sonji McDowell, Master Gardener, for reviewing the following sites and submitting brief descriptions. If you have a website that you would like us to list please contact us.  The California Integrated Waste Management Board
This site contains a brief explanation of the knowledge needed to start your own compost pile. It also includes a reference for troubleshooting, how-tos for making your own bin, links to purchase ready made bins, and many links and resources to other educational websites and ways to contact a Master Composter. This is a very informative site, descriptions are brief and easy to understand, they do not cut corners. Tons of links!.
Cornell Waste Management Institute
This is one of the few sites that focuses any attention on the health and safety guidelines for small scale composting. It also includes a multitude of different choices for various publications about composting: fact sheets, slide shows, videos, surveys, how-tos, composting in schools, resources for youth, etc. The publications are generally well written, and include a nice variety of pictures and illustrations. This site also has a built in search engine to enhance accessibility.
City Farmer; Urban Home Composting
City Farmer is a non-profit organization located in Vancouver, BC. While somewhat limited, when it comes to solid info, it has a number of links to sites containing info about worms, and it has a popular discussion forum for City Farmers Urban Agriculture.
This appears to be a great site, however it "temporarily" requires you to subscribe to their newsletter in order to view its contents. Not a good idea if you want to attract customers to your site!
Composting in Santa Cruz County
This site is user friendly, has links to several government sites, and a 1-800 # for the compost hotline. It offers tons of information on nearly all aspects of composting, recycling, etc. Also provides dates on compost workshops and classes available in the Santa Cruz area, California. This is a good one!
Recycle Now
This site has the standard information on the basics of composting.  Simple, easy to navigate, and has a multitude of links to government sites, organizations, and other sources of info.
Compost Guide
Standard compost info, can be wordy at times, but overall a good source of information.
Chicago Home Composting, University of Illinois Extension
This site is clean, user friendly, and informative in a very to-the-point sort of way. It has step-by-step guides on how to build all different types of bins. Also has some good composting resources links for people in the Chicago area.
Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority
This site offers an even more basic overview on composting, provides info on workshops, composting FAQs, etc.
This is the compost industry's mouthpiece, better known as the U.S. Composting Council. It is a "members only" site (for commercial, municipal and governmental agencies/businesses related to composting) whose primary value lies in the extensive amount of links and resources it provides for anything even remotely to do with composting (most of which are still available even if you are not a member).
How to
This site provides a basic overview on various aspects of composting, and has many links. Navigation is tedious, and the layout can be distracting.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Composting
Great site when it comes to the basics of composting, and providing resources for information on regional composting programs throughout the U.S. Also goes over regulations, benefits, and FAQs. Search engine.
Tons of articles, tips, recipes.  Navigation can be tedious, but overall a good source of info. Also contains an ever growing list of 163 things you can compost: a good idea!
This is a commercial website with some basic info on composting. They gave access to all sorts of info on recent environmental news, pesticides, algae and mold, and a guide to composting livestock mortality.
State and regional composting and recycling associations (U.S. and Canada)
Missouri University Extension. Nice composting information

Popular Books (and short reads!)

Home Composting Made Easy by Dr. C. Forrest McDowell & Tricia Clark-McDowell (Cortesia Press, Eugene, OR, 5th edition 2008). Shameless promotion: this 32-page guide is written by the creators of this website! Over one million in print!

Let It Rot! by Stu Campbell. (Storey Communications, Inc., Pownal, Vermont, 1990)

Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof. (Flower Press, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1982)



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Copyright 2008, Cortesia Sanctuary   Contact Us

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Copyright 2008, Cortesia Sanctuary   Contact Us

For inspiration please visit our parent site:
For herbal healing & wellness visit our site: