Every garden needs a heart to pump nutrients through its veins. For us compost making is the heart and soul of our farm. High quality compost is hard to find, some would say impossible to buy commercially. The quality differences are huge and we have not come across a supplier that can deliver a balanced compost with the right set of microorganisms present to grow healthy plants that are resistant to pest and disease attack.
We have made our own compost on a small urban section (500m2 section) and a large scale (4-5 tonnes per year) for over 10 years and therefore know what it takes to make it in an urban and a farm setting.
ABOVE: A layer of compost is added to the no-dig garden before planting. Note the amount of worms present.
Compost is essential to recycle nutrients, build soil, feed the soil microorganisms and to grow healthy vegetables high in nutrients and without pest and disease problems.
We love to share our knowledge and experience so that you can make your own high-quality compost.
This is an action packed morning learning how to make a proper hot compost heap. You will be introduced to composting and will learn why things are done a certain way. To deepen this knowledge we will be building a hot compost heap right on the day.
Cornelia will also introduce you to a simple way of composting your household food scraps and will teach you how to change your compost recipe to suit various crops.
Come along to our stunning place in Pigeon Bay and bring all your questions in regard to composting.
- Benefits of Bio-complete compost
- The Soil Food Web
- Bio-complete compost vs. commercial compost
- Suitable materials to make compost and their carbon to nitrogen ratio
- Building a layered, hot compost heap using leaves, straw, grass clippings, garden waste, seaweed, manures and other additives and activators
- The various stages of a compost heap
- Signs of finished compost
- We will also touch on Bokashi composting and worm farming
This workshop is for beginners as well as advanced gardeners, lifestyle block owners and farmers interested in organics and thinking about converting from conventional farming to biological/regenerative agriculture.
There are accommodation options right in Pigeon Bay and in Akaroa (only 30 minutes by car).
Above: Materials are gathered and composting site is prepared.
Above: The cleaned up site and the compost is starting to heat up.
Above: Temperatures are measured to ensure the compost is ticking along nicely.
Tutor: Cornelia Holten
Cornelia is passionate about compost and whips up a heap every 2-4 weeks to guarantee a continuous supply for our farm. She is an herbalist and slow food educator with a passion for simple living, DIY, herbs and self-sufficiency. A certificate in Organic Horticulture, soil consultant in training at Dr Elaine Ingham's Soil Food Web School, Permaculture design certificate, an Apprenticeship in Herbal Medicine and living on a farm in Pigeon Bay equip her with a lot of knowledge and experience with growing food and living a healthy life.
She is teaching workshops on sustainable food systems, compost making, whole foods, fermentation, primal diets and organic gardening. A thirst for knowledge and a passion for new scientific studies keep her well informed on those topics.