Growing Great Compost

Growing Great Compost. A workshop for those of you wishing to reconnect to the natural world and those of you wanting to ensure your daily actions contribute to a regenerative process for life on earth.

Includes over 2 hours in videos, the Koanga Composting Booklet, and a generous database with design plans and all the references needed to enable you to make compost capable of growing soil, nutrient-dense food, and reversing climate change.

The understandings and skills Kay Baxter has built over many years of working in this field are now available in an affordable and easy-to-access online workshop.

Episode 1 – Introduction

  • Hear Kay’s compost story, failures and success.
  • Learn about why bought fertiliser is not a sustainable or regenerative option for medium term or long term.
  • Learn about Koanga’s goals for composting.
  • Learn how humus slowly builds naturally in the forest at air temperature.
  • Learn how to speed up our soil building potential by making compost and working with heat.
  • Understand the ‘laws of nature’’ (principles of science) around making successful compost.
  • Understand why metabolic and structural carbon make up 90% of the volume of a Koanga Best Practice compost heap and what the characteristics of these carbon forms are.
  • Learn how different carbon forms affect our compost making process.
  • Understand why making a compost heap with material that comes from your own garden will almost inevitably be recycling deficiencies, and why that does not build soil.
  • Learn why it is critical to add minerals if we wish to grow soil and nutrient dense food.
  • Understand which minerals are missing in most NZ soils and where to find them

Episode 2 – Koanga’s Heap

  • Watch the Koanga Garden Crew make a heap in the Thorny Croft seed garden, using the principles you learned in the first episode.
  • See how we build a heap from beginning to end using Environmental Fertilisers minerals as our added minerals to build soil and high BRIX seeds.
  • See the quantities of minerals added for this size compost heap.
  • Understand that building amazing compost is something anyone can do.

Episode 3 – The Design Process

  • Know the appropriate amount of compost to apply to your garden beds.
  • Understand how compost made with different ratios of Nitrogen and Carbon affect the quantity of humus produced.
  • Learn the difference in quality and quantity of production made possible with different Carbon and Nitrogen ratios.
  • Learn to design your gardens to ensure you are able to produce the amount of compost you require to be building soil and growing high quality vegetables.
  • Learn what compost crops are and how much carbon is in the various crops so that you can make informed choices.
  • Learn about how big your garden needs to be in order to produce enough carbon for your compost to be building your garden soil.
  • Learn what to do if you have a small garden that is not big enough to produce all the carbon you need to make a minimum size compost heap.

Episode 4 – Materials

  • Watch Bob and Kay collecting and making the ingredients for a compost heap on their house site using only locally sourced materials to provide the minerals required.
  • Learn how each input is chosen and what it will offer to the compost heap, and what other options might be.
  • Inputs include bone and shell ash, biochar, seaweed, clay, comfrey, alfalfa, and carbon from the garden including corn, chia and buckwheat.

Episode 5 – Kay’s Compost

  • Watch Kay and Vitor making a compost heap using the above inputs in Kay’s garden (including large corn stalks) with no chopping or machinery involved.
  • Receive lots of confidence and reinforcement that we can all do this easily in our own gardens and get excellent results if we follow the principles learned in Ep. 1

Episode 6 – Observation

  • Learn the importance of building a relationship with your living alchemical compost heap and how to do that, using all of your senses…. Observation skills.
  • Understand the usefulness of recording information about your compost heap using the form provided in the database.
  • Reinforce that achieving our compost goals is dependant on following the pattern language described in Ep. 1
  • Learn ways to manage your compost to a successful end result and what to do if you end up with an anaerobic heap, or a heap that gets too hot.
  • Understand the three stage that a compost heap goes trough.
  • Learn how to regulate the moisture levels in your heap
  • Understand what happens if the compost heap heats up too much or if it doesnt heat up at all

Episode 7 – Chicken Compost

  • Learn that there are other ways of making compost but that the ‘laws of nature’ around building humus still hold
  • In this episode you will watch Kay creating a situation for her chickens to make compost in the chicken house
  • Learn the key things to keep in mind to ensure this method is capable of being useful in the garden or forest garden

Who this course is for:

  • Gardners

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