SC-Compost This Book Papr

Tom Christopher, Author, Marty Asher, Author, Thomas Christopher, Author Random House (NY) $12 (248p) ISBN 978-0-87156-596-9
Could you bring yourself to compost it? Maybe--but only after you've read, ingested, assimilated and then, perhaps, excreted the information offered inside this recklessly friendly and funny gardener's companion. Funny? Compost? Isn't this holy sacrament of the organic gardening sect a sort of earnest affair, usually? Indeed--and in some quarters, it has become solemnly high-tech. But not here. For while Christopher ( Water-Wise Gardening ) and Asher ( 57 Reasons Not to Have a Nuclear War ) are true believers in composting as a socially and naturally redemptive act, they also approach it with an irreverent and barmy zest that is wholly unexpected, and delicious. Explained are the honorable past of the practice (Walt Whitman recognized its merits) and how to do it yourself, but the nuts-and-bolts and salesmanship are interspersed with a pure nuttiness that brings credit to nice-guy outdoorsmen everywhere. There's the story, for instance, of the duo's foray into worm composting, which led them to none other than Carter's Worm Farm in Plains, Georgia; their fondness of the occasional motto or adage (``We prefer patience to fertilizer''); and the characters of Tom and Marty themselves to keep up your spirits. ``The backyard compost pile,'' notes Asher in his diary, ``is definitely cooking. I can tell because Kiki, our Siamese cat, has been sitting on it, valiantly fending off the dogs and getting her daily sauna.'' So, compost the book at your peril; soy-based ink and recycled paper make it possible, but you might be the worse for it. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/04/1994
Release date: 04/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
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