Compost: Truth or Consequences
Produced by Photosynthesis Productions, Inc. and Cornell Waste Management Institute
Distributed by Bullfrog Films, P.O. Box 149, Oley, PA 19547; 610-779-8226
15 min, color, VHS
Reviewed by Sharon C. Murphy, Health Sciences Library, State University of New York at Buffalo
This concise film takes viewers on a pleasant educational journey to learn about backyard composting. Done with a fine appreciation for the diversity of eco-life forms, it provides good scientific explanations in an informal but effective way. It uses a quiz show format to pose questions or problems that novices to composting might have. Experts then consult with individuals to provide educational answers.
The film covers what to put in a compost heap, how to avoid odors, and how big a pile to maintain for speedy decomposition. Excellent photography shows the tiny microorganisms and visible macroorganisms of the composting community, the "decomposers," at work. A variety of composting enclosures are used throughout and range from purchased plastic bins to wire, wooden slot types, and others crafted from wood scraps. The video positively portrays an activity well within the reach of anyone interested.
The editing is excellent and the pleasant voice of the narrator and well-placed music enhance the film. It presents scientific fact without overwhelming detail yet avoids being simplistic or unsophisticated. The gardening scenes are attractive and the interactions depicted are true to life. This versatile video would be useful for late elementary, high school, and undergraduate students as well as adults. It would be a great addition to public library collections. Teachers, gardening clubs, and interested others would find it informative and enjoyable.
Promoting composting is good for the garden and good for the earth. This film makes learning about composting fun. Highly recommended.
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