John Root
Naturalist • Educator

Composting for Success
Called “black gold” by experienced gardeners, compost improves water retention and soil structure, boosts microbial and earthworm populations, and enhances nutrient availability for plants. As a multi-purpose organic soil amendment, compost enhances plant health and vigor, providing us with beautiful gardens and an abundance of nutritious and tasty produce. In addition, composting diverts significant amounts of material from incinerators and landfills, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions as well as air and water pollution.

Composting for Success
is an interactive power point presentation that demonstrates the basic principles of composting using a wide variety of readily available organic materials. Topics addressed include guidance in siting and building compost bins, selecting a balance of compostable materials, avoiding unpleasant odors and unwanted animal visitors, maintaining optimal conditions for decomposition, and uses of compost. Indoor composting with worms, or vermicomposting, is also demonstrated with a working “worm bin.” Comments and questions are welcome throughout the presentation. Handouts including a summary of the “dos and don’ts” of composting and recommended books and websites are distributed at the conclusion of the program.

Program duration: 60 or 90 minutes




Praise for John’s nature and gardening programs

Our patrons find John’s presentations to be very informative. We had nothing but great feedback about his presentation of “Edible Wild Plants of New England; I think everyone left the program that night with a new sense of what is around us, and the audience really enjoyed the power point presentation.

We have also had John present “Organic Gardening for Everyone.” The information presented was timely, and the program contained a lot of really good pointers and tips on moving towards an organic garden.

Lisa Rothenberg, Assistant Director, Lincoln Public Library

John’s nature and gardening presentations are the best-attended programs that our library offers. His thoroughly professional presentations include many beautiful photographs of the plants that he describes and discusses. His knowledge, delivery, and presentation style are impeccable; he speaks with authority in a relaxed and approachable manner that projects to the last row.

John encourages interaction and questions throughout his talks, and the audience is always involved. People also appreciate receiving the detailed handouts that he provides. I look forward to having John back for more programs in the future, and have no hesitation in recommending him to other organizations.

Prudence Fallon, Adult Services Librarian, Tiverton Library, RI

Please consider this as a recommendation of the highest order for John Root’s programs. We have hosted three of his presentations on nature topics. Our audiences have deeply appreciated Mr. Root’s thorough research, abundant knowledge, and engaging presentations, accomplished through words and pictures.

I recommend his programs highly and without reservation.

Lester Paquin, Director, Barre Council on Aging

John Root’s presentation, “Organic Gardening for Everyone,” was a wonderful addition to Wright-Locke Farm’s lineup of practical-skills workshops focused on local and seasonal foods. Understanding the fundamental aspects of small-scale organic food production is essential to anyone who wants to learn how to grow health-promoting foods to enjoy.

His recommendation of natural methods for encouraging plant growth and health are straightforward and adaptable to any type of garden space. This is a great presentation for new and seasoned home gardeners alike.

Rebekah Carter, Education Director, Wright-Locke Farm Conservancy, Winchester, MA

Thank you so much for your recent talk on edible landscaping. Our garden club will be talking about this topic for a long time to come. The way you deliver your information is perfect, and your photos are very informative. We hope to have you back to our club for another one of your talks. Keep up the good work spreading the news about edible perennial gardening!

Susan Cummings, President, Littleton Country Gardeners

John Root's "Songbirds of the Northeast" presentation was wonderful!  We had a standing room only crowd that included a great many serious birders. John had their rapt attention with his very comprehensive and detailed presentation about the birds and their songs. The quality of both the visual and audio components of the presentation was excellent. 

Many in the audience had fascinating anecdotes about their own birdwatching experiences. John seamlessly fit those into his presentation, creating a very convivial atmosphere.
His engagement with the audience and responses to their questions showed a wonderful enthusiasm for and a deep knowledge of his subject. It was an evening not to be missed.

Julie Glendon, Programming Librarian, Acton Memorial Librarian

A warm and engaging speaker, John brings a wealth of knowledge about birds and the natural world to his talk. His power point slides are colorful and vivid, and the recordings of the birds’ songs are enchanting. 

The audience was entertained, educated, and completely enthralled. We plan to have John back again in the near future. This is a terrific presentation for anyone interested in the beauty and wonder of birds.

Laura Leventhal, Director, Dedham Council on Aging

About John