While listening to Michael Pollan’s "The Omnivore’s Dilemma", we were reminded of the contributions of Sir Albert Howard, the "father of composting", and a pioneer of organic gardening methods:
His 1940 book "An Agricultural Testament" on soil conditioning and particularly composting is online here:
"From the point of view of farming the towns have become parasites. They will last under the present system only as long as the earth’s fertility lasts. Then the whole fabric of our civilization must collapse."