Resources for Compost Practitioners

Growing Local Fertility: A Guide to Community Composting aims to strengthen expansion of community-scale composting by describing successful initiatives, their benefits, how these initiatives can be replicated, key start-up steps, and the need for private, public, and non-profit sector support.

  • Part 1 summarizes what composting is and why it is important, and defines the principles of community composting

  • Part 2 describes commonly used composting systems.

  • Part 3 provides 31 profiles of a wide range of community¬†composting initiatives. Several of the programs featured are located in Vermont, where the Highfields Center for Composting was based. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) has augmented the Vemont models with exemplary programs from around the US.

  • Part 4 outlines 12 steps to consider when planning your own project.

  • Part 5 shares tips for replication from our model programs.

  • Part 6 concludes with suggestions for how food scrap generators, local solid waste planners, and other stakeholders can support community-based composting.

Compost Recipe Development

An excel spreadsheet that allows you to calculate the carbon : nitrogen ratio, moisture content, and bulk density of up to 10 blended feedstocks.


Tips and tricks about the compost recipe development process.

Easy protocol for preparing a compost feedstock sample for lab analysis.

Pile Monitoring & Management

A simple guide on compost pile monitoring and management response.


Printable pile monitoring logs for windrows.

Printable pile monitoring logs for bays.