Nature Is an EXTREME Composter – You Can Be Too!

Learning from Nature

I admit it: I get a kick out of shaking things up. For years I listened to the rules on composting… then I shrugged, threw away the rule book, and decided to watch what happened in nature and copy the design I found there.

Basically everything organic can be returned to the soil. Paper, sewage, logs, animal carcasses, chicken soup… you name it.

And isn’t it much better to return these items to the soil than it is to dump them in a landfill? It’s a no-brainer!

In 2015, my years of experimentation and the knowledge I have gained were distilled down into the book Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting. The response was excellent, and the sales still continue to amaze me. It is transforming the way gardeners think about composting. Just throwing things away isn’t good enough anymore.


Unlearning the “Rules”

When I wrote the book I had no idea so many people would be willing to come along for the ride. It’s thrilling.

For years, we’ve been told not to compost meat… and then we’re told to use blood meal as a great organic source of nitrogen for our gardens.

We’re told to turn our compost piles regularly… but when we walk through the woods the leaves have created rich humus everywhere, no turning required.

We’re warned that human waste is incredibly dangerous… but every other creature on the planet fails to use a flush toilet with no ill effect.

People love recycling because it’s easy and feels like a good deed… yet those same people will often throw away a banana peel or a ham bone because composting is “too hard.”

It’s not hard when you do it like nature does. Composting is recycling “trash” into soil — and we should all be doing it.

Extreme Composting

Some of the ideas in Compost Everything are certainly extreme compared to the nice, safe restrictions foisted on us by well-meaning agricultural extensions and fuddy-duddy garden writers, yet nature itself is an EXTREME composter!

Why not see what she does and do the same?

Though I couldn’t cover all the methods I explain in my book for the safe and simple recycling of even the most “extreme” items, I did manage to pack a lot of exciting and practical composting demonstrations into the movie I created for the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit.

Here’s the trailer in case you haven’t seen it yet:

See you all there. It’s been a great event so far… don’t miss another minute!

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David The Good is a Grow Network Change Maker, a gardening expert, and the author of four books you can find on Amazon: Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting, Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening, Totally Crazy Easy Florida Gardening, and Create Your Own Florida Food Forest. His upcoming book Push the Zone explores growing tropical edibles outside the tropics. Find fresh gardening inspiration at his website and be sure to follow his popular YouTube channel at

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  • DonJ says:

    Living in an appt. No extra money, $500 SS, must grow own food.

    1. Michael F says:

      Hi Don – You’re in good company here – lots of us growing our own food, for lots of different reasons. Welcome!

  • KCK says:

    Have you watched the documentary “Return to Eden?” He did basically the same thing you did. He looked at nature and followed suit. Nature doesn’t till the soil yet things grow..and abundantly. It doesn’t worry about soil pH or any of the other things we do. It would be worth the watch! I’m going to follow those principles ASAP. I’ll be using the composting though to help build the depleted soils. I’m glad to see I really don’t have to worry about what I put in there! Human urine helps rebuild as well. It’s full of vitamins and minerals our body doesn’t need which can be put back into the soil (watered down of course. Straight urine will burn plants.)

    ALSO, mixing raw milk and cow manure and letting it ferment for around 18 months is EXCELLENT for soil and thus gardens. Milk itself is awesome. Look it up to find out ratios with water. It’s not that it will hurt anything, just that once you get ‘enough’ anything over is a waste. It’s something like 3 gallons of milk to 17 gallons of water will cover and acre. But check that out to be sure.

    Here’s to good health and blessing from God to each and every one.

  • Kay Stauffer says:

    How long will the 2016 Summit be available? I can’t afford it right now, but maybe in a couple of months (July2016)! Looks great…

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