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Throughout the centuries composting has been an essential part of growing our food. However, since WW II and the advent of large scale farming, the focus on composting has declined, that is until recently. People are becoming more aware of their environment and the foods they consume, and the importance of the composting is again becoming apparent. Composting at home with yard waste and food scraps is a good beginning in solving the solid waste crisis facing our landfills. Composting saves money, improves the quality of the earth, and provides people a simple way to directly improve their immediate environment. To be effective, composting at home needs to be part of a "lifestyle" and is an on-going process.

Below are just a few of the excellent reasons why so many gardeners and horticulturists are taking advantage of this time-tested practice.

• Ideal for growing organic herbs, fruits and vegetables.
• Saves money on fertilizer and other store-bought gardening products.
• A good alternative to chemical fertilizers for parents, pet-owners and others concerned with safety and health.
• Conserves dwindling landfill space.
• Easy, convenient way to dispose of garden refuse (often prohibited from landfills).
• Helps wards off pests and weeds without chemical pesticides or herbicides.
• Improves plant growth and quality.
• Reduces erosion and nutrient run-off.
• Restores nutrients back into the soil.
• Helps loosen soil and can be used as mulch.
• Breaks down clay based soils.

For more technical information concerning composting, see our Composting Tutorial

Cornell University is a leading authority on waste management and has an excellent website with just about everything you could want to know about composting. See CORNELL Composting

For a little history on composting, see this article from the University of Illinois. History of Composting