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. 

Healthy soil is the backbone of health - be it environmental, animal, plant or human health. It's our foundation and the solution to a lot of our problems.

Compost is essential to recycle nutrients, build soil, feed the soil microorganisms and to grow healthy food 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.

The online compost making workshop runs over 8 weeks with 2 catch-up weeks every 2 weeks.

Week 1

  • Benefits of compost
  • Difference between hot compost and a static pile
  • Introduction to worm farming (week 5 is all about the worms)
  • Suitable materials for a hot compost
  • Carbon to nitrogen ratio of compost materials and their change of ratio throughout the growing cycle
  • Inoculants and additives
  • Temperature, water, oxygen

Week 2

  • Location and materials needed for a hot compost
  • Constructing a hot compost pile

Catch-up week

Week 3

  • Heat development in a pile
  • Measuring temperature and water content
  • Oxygen / low oxygen indicators
  • Creating a no turn hot compost pile
  • 3-step turning process

Week 4

  • Signs of a finished compost
  • Simple home analysis
  • Application rate

Catch-up week

Week 5

  • Worm farming
  • Various set ups from urban small scale to medium and large scale systems
  • Bedding materials
  • Feeding worms
  • Harvesting of vermicast

Week 6

  • Make your own liquid fertiliser
  • Compost extract
  • Compost tea

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.

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.

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