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Composting Abbie

‘Composting Abbie: A Whale of a Story’

Book reception and signing

On Friday, April 25, from 5 to 7 pm, Ann Maglinte, Jed Diamond and Martin Mileck cordially invite the public to attend a book signing party to celebrate the publication of "Composting Abbie: A Whale of a Story" at the Mendocino County Museum in Willits. "Composting Abbie" is the true story of a whale, a tragic accident, and a man who had a brilliant idea that turned a tragedy into an opportunity to grow food and flowers for children. The story was first reported on October 19, 2009 when a massive blue whale washed ashore just south of Fort Bragg, not far from the world-famous Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Ann Maglinte, local artist, illustrated the story with watercolor paintings, local writer Jed Diamond captured the story in words, and local farmer and businessman Martin Mileck composted the whale. "Composting Abbie" is a story and a book for children of all ages, in celebration of Earth Day and everyday sustainability. "I know I can compost this whale instead of sending her to a dump site," Martin said. "We'll give the whale compost to schools and community gardens to grow food and flowers for people. For us, there's no such thing as waste. Everything can, and should be, recycled." Families are invited. There will be information about the value of composting, and photos of some of the gardens where the whale compost was used. Sheila Semens, Executive Director of the Noyo Center in Fort Bragg, will talk about her firsthand experience with the whale; she was part of the process of carrying 70 tons of its carcass up a 40-foot cliff and burying the bones in the forest to be cleaned. She is now in charge of reconstructing the skeleton, which will be on display at the new Noyo Science Center which is being built in Fort Bragg. Antonia Partridge of Willits will talk about using the whale compost, and about sustainable gardening with the kids at the Brookside Garden project at Brookside Elementary School in Willits. This free event will feature complimentary refreshments and wine from Frey Winery. An informative talk and slide show will be followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase. The Mendocino County Museum is located at 400 East Commercial St. in Willits. The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4:30 pm. For more information please call 459-2736 or visit

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