A life-long avid organic gardener, Elizabeth Stell was a childhood composter who persuaded her parents to turn over a few square feet of suburban yard to her trench composting experiment. This success at an early age led to her interest in botany, soil science and environmental studies in college. She has managed the herb gardens at the Hancock Shaker Village, worked in the Comstock, Ferre greenhouse, volunteered at San Francisco's Strybing Arboretum, and has edited many projects. Stell contributed to the Holt Dictionary of Ecology and Environmental Science as well as Rodale's Landscaping with Perennials. Her Storey title is Secrets to Great Soil. She is currently a horticultural consultant and editor for the IMP Gardening Made Easy project.