Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Science of Composting by Eliot Epstein.

The Science of Composting by Eliot Epstein.  Hardcover book published 1997.

So there I was on safari, deep in the wilds of …somewhere… when what do I find but this exciting volume.  OK maybe exciting isn’t the word I’m looking for here… lets say “interesting” volume… possibly “expensive” volume.  When I’m hunting, I don’t always know when I have found something worth the big $$$.  Usually I find out when I’m back in civilization and on the www doing a search of some of those book sites that I’ve briefly mentioned elsewhere.  With this title… which I had never seen before… I immediately knew I had something special despite a lack of on hand information.  The interesting thing here is how did I know... or rather, guess… that this was something special? 

>The book was published by a company called Technomic… I’d never heard of them, but the name sounds good… and it sounds technical. 
>There’s NO glossy dust jacket with a picture of a garden and lots of flowers (compost = garden… but not necessarily, no picture = ???)  
>This book with it’s blue faux leather binding, has the appearance of an academic book (experience is the best teacher in this instance). 
>A quick flick through and what do I see but lots of graphs, tables, chemical names… and no glossy pictures… a few grainy black and white photographs and that’s it (not what the casual home gardener wants). 

So combining all this information together, I come up with an answer.  This book aint for the gardener, it’s for the scientist… which I guess is why the title has the word “science” in it (rocket science taking place here… as I write).  So all this information points to academia.  Anyone out there who has ever bought a text book or a technical/academic volume (often large and with very dull titles eg. Principles of Inorganic Chemistry) will know that these things are rarely cheap.  … and this one is so specialized that it’s just gotta be worth something… which it is (according to www).  If you were a scientist and wanted the full story, then I would assume this is the book for you.  I just hope that there is a science minded gardener or a gardening minded scientist, out there wanting to REALLY explore the world of compost otherwise I’m stuck with this stinking, rotting book… that is, this book about stinking and rotting.  

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