As I mentioned before, I swear by my compost. I don’t have and scientific reasoning behind it, I just like the idea of getting a second life out of my kitchen scraps and decomposed leaves.
I’ll recommend two resources if you want to learn more about compost:
Last week’s You Bet Your Garden podcast
Organic Gardening’s website
I cook my compost in a plastic bin. I add some leaves, and a bunch of kitchen scraps. Every once in a while I pull it to the center of the yard, call the kids over to look at all the bugs, and toss it around with a pitch fork. I use the compost when it looks like dirt. Anything that still looks like a vegetable gets tossed back in the bin for next year.