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Malcolm Beck

7561 E. Evans Rd.

San Antonio, Texas. 78266

(210) 483-1930






Del Weniger's Foreword to "The Secret Life of Compost."


In the midst of what we call our "progress" an occasional person has the genius to combine solid ecological knowledge with technical skill and to apply the results with good common sense. We probably owe it to these persons that we are still here. In the areas of soil building and maintenance and of the recycling of organic wastes, one of these leaders is Malcolm Beck, the author of this book. He has spent almost a lifetime in the study, experiment and practice which equip an inventive spirit to create new systems solving both old and new problems with our soils and our refuse.

Malcolm owned and ran Garden-Ville, a successful organic farm with its own marketing center, for decades. I enjoyed many delicious morsels from his fields. During all that time he conducted his own research on organic growing techniques, lectured widely on his discoveries in managing plants and soils, and published a book on insects in the organic garden. Gradually his interest focused on how to achieve and permanently maintain the finest soil quality.

Soon that led him into much experimentation with composting. When he had applied much of the science and was well on the way to mastering the art of composting, we were all after him for his compost. He gave it to us until, in self defense, he had to start selling it.

Before long Malcolm had prepared a lot just for composting, and soon he was collecting the refuse from the stables, tree trimmers and such, all around San Antonio in order to meet the demand for his compost. All the while he was study ing about soils, experimenting with mixes, and designing big- ger and better mixing machines. Nurserymen began to learn how great the soil mixes he was producing were, and soon he had a big business on his hands. I can remember when he had to begin importing bat guano from Mexico to meet the demand, as trucks which brought plants from California began to carry loads of his soil mixes all the way back to their growers out there.

Now his business in composting and selling soil mixes is so successful that it keeps a whole fleet of trucks on the roads and enriches countless flower pots, gardens, and whole fields. But Malcolm is not sitting back as a satisfied CEO. He is still studying, experimenting, and applying what he is learning. Beyond that, he has taken time to write down for all of us much of what he has learned about composting. So with this book any of us can do our own composting, grow better plants, or go into competition with him - because he's telling us his composting secrets!

Del Weniger, Professor Emeritus of Biology, Our Lady of the Lake University



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Audio files of Malcolm for folks with high speed connections or a lot of patience.
MP3 s - Recorded by Pleas McNeel with a digital vdeio camera.
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