Viidad’s Q and A with David The Good concerning the latest Castalia House release, the number one gardening bestseller on Amazon: COMPOST EVERYTHING: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting.
Viidad: Why did you write Compost Everything?
David The Good: I suppose I should say “because I love our mother the earth” or “because I want to world to reduce, reuse and recycle” or something stupid like that, but really, it’s because I’m a cheapskate and I hate following all the rules that tell me I should throw out stuff that could be added into my gardens as fertilizer.
Viidad: Like dead bodies.
David The Good: I wish people would stop bringing that up. One or three times does not a pattern make.
Viidad: But the precedent is there…
David The Good: I will not answer any more questions along these lines. I am VFM, craven servant of the Dark Lord, serial number 0156…
Viidad: Are not! That’s my number!
David The Good: Surely The Most Evil One could not have made a mistake…!
Viidad: Never! But… well… hmm… I… whatever. Okay, weird. Back to the interview. What about this question: who should really give a flying fetid flip-flop about composting?
David The Good: Everyone.
Viidad: Why? I mean, seriously – what about people in apartments? Why should they buy your book?
David The Good: First of all, because I’m poor and buying this book helps you give back while checking your privilege. As a Teutonic-American and descendent of Roman slaves, you should want to support my work. Second of all, because the current paradigm is unlikely to last. This may appear on its surface like a fun little book about turning your trash into fertilizer; however, it’s actually a survival manual if things get ugly. If things ever get bad, you’re not going to be able to buy bags of mushroom compost or manure or fertilizer from the local garden center. They’ll be closed and the supply lines will be broken. You’ll need to grab every bit of fertility you can in order to feed your family. That means planting squash on top of buried raccoons, learning to reclaim urine and feces and compost them safely, turning fallen trees into water reservoirs of rotten wood beneath the soil because irrigation is tough, etc. This book takes you to the edges and helps you harness the cycle of nature to feed yourself without external inputs. If your apartment complex becomes a war zone, you’ll be (hopefully) making your way out to the country… and you’re going to need food. Most composting books are simply about making neat little piles in a suburban backyard during a boom time. The boom time may not continue.
Viidad: What if it does?
David The Good: Then Compost Everything will just help you save lots of money rather than saving your life.
Viidad: Is it true that your dreams are haunted by an entity known as “Dinky Worm?”
David The Good: Please don’t speak that name here.
Viidad: Great. Okay… so… why should we listen to your advice? What makes you an expert on gardening-slash-composting?
David The Good: I started gardening when I was six and have continued for the last thirty years. I’m currently providing 100% of the vegetables for my wife and seven children off an acre of land. I’ve tested composting toilet systems, built worm bins, turned buried goat organs into healthy squash plants, planted over a hundred fruit trees, written a book on food forests and I run a popular daily gardening blog at www.floridasurvivalgardening.com.
Viidad: SEVEN children? Wait…
David The Good: Yes?
Viidad: Nothing. Never mind. Tell me – for those of us that like paper – will there be a future dead tree version of Compost Everything?
David The Good: Yes, at some point Castalia House will print one – stay tuned. Of course, the Kindle version is only $2.99 so I would just buy that now if you have an e-reader. As has been said already by one of the Dread Ilk, just the info on avoiding manure that will destroy – and I mean destroy – your garden is worth the price of admission.
Viidad: Are you planning on doing a series of “Good Guides”?
David The Good: Yes, and there’s a reason I started with composting. If you have healthy soil rich in fertility, the rest of your gardening will fall into place. I’m considering Good Guides covering other topics including super-easy food growing and how to build long-term edible forest gardens in almost any climate.
Viidad: I noticed that your book is significantly more entertaining than most gardening books.
David The Good: That’s because most gardening books are boring. Gardeners tend to be rule-keepers and t-crossers and i-dotters rather than experimenters who look at the big picture and say “hey – is there a better, easier, faster, different, crazier way to do this?” Let’s face it: gardening can be hilarious. People shovel animal poop on the ground, plant seeds in it, watch the sky for rain, pick nasty-looking bugs off plants, drag hoses around and then a couple months later complain that they have “so many stupid zucchini!!!” Then the next year they do it again. If you harness that energy in a way that makes sense, maybe you can feed your family something you like… and laughing along the way is a lot better than fretting over your plant spacing or getting perfect tomatoes.
Viidad: You bet. Thank you for your time, David The Good. The book is called COMPOST EVERYTHING: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting and is available exclusively on Amazon from Castalia House. David The Good’s daily blog can also be found at www.floridasurvivalgardening.com.