Henrietta, New York

A Brief History of Composting April 24, 2018

Henrietta, Monroe
A Brief History of Composting, Henrietta, New York

As more communities, towns, cities, and states trend toward sustainable living, compost and composting on a large scale has grown exponentially. You may be surprised to learn, however, that it’s not a recent invention by “new-age environmentalists.” The process of decomposing and recycling organic matter dates back tens of thousands of years and has been mentioned in ancient texts like the Bible.

Ancient Origins

Archaeological evidence dates the use of compost to enrich soil for agricultural purposes to the Stone Age. Over 12,000 years ago, Scots on the British Isles created compost heaps and turned them into crops. Over 10,000 years later, the first written record of the practice appeared on clay tablets in Mesopotamia. Evidence suggests the practice was also used by ancient Greeks, farmers in China, and Native Americans.

Founding Fathers

Although Native Americans were already using compost for their crops, President George Washington earned himself the title of “America’s First Composter,” as he was one of the first to write about the topic. Washington suggested that crop rotation and soil amendments were crucial to agricultural improvements. Composting was also promoted by other founding fathers, including Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Even before there was science to back up the presumed benefits, Jefferson seemed to know “when earth is rich, it bids defiance to droughts, yields in abundance, and of the best quality.”

Composting Today

Although the industrial revolution led to a rise in chemical fertilizers, composting has endured in small- and large-scale forms. While many Americans are choosing to create their own compost piles to serve their vegetable gardens, the practice is growing. Cities across the country are getting involved. New York City has implemented a compost project to encourage resident participation.  This type of push for large-scale composting has brought organics management companies like WeCare Organics to the forefront in the movement to improve and advance the composting business.


Compost enriches soil with vital nutrients plants need to grow healthy and strong without the use of potentially harmful chemicals. Whether you are a Landscaper, Site Contractor, Excavator, Turf Specialist, or Grounds manager and need compost or specialty soils, turn to WeCare Organics in the North-East. Their products and processes meet or exceed state and federal guidelines and are available in bulk quantities. Learn more online and call (315) 575-4595 with any questions.

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