Magic Muck: The Complete Guide to Compost

Lady Muck, Author
Lady Muck, Author Pavilion Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-85793-261-4
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Lady Muck, aka Jane Down, is familiar to many in Britain, where she markets the less common renewable resource produced by her father's large herd of dairy cows. Her book is part historical treatise and part reminiscence of her own rise to the top of the compost heap. Unfortunately, the hands-on information here-commonsensical instead of revelatory-is confined to one brief chapter and a second small bit about worm bins. Lady M.'s breezy style lightens the more tedious sections-e.g., an in-depth exploration of soil-and she also fascinates with such tidbits as Britain's importing of bonemeal made from the remains of men and horses killed at Waterloo. Although the earnest backyard gardener may skip straight to the info on composting techniques, other readers may relish this leisurely trip along the highways and byways of composting and delight in an evening spent with the entertaining Lady Muck. (Apr.)
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