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Making Compost on farm: Online Course June 2024

Price $275 AUD + GST Get tickets

Event description

Learn how to make high-quality compost on your farm using simple, low labour methods!

In this online 5 part Online Course we go over the essentials of making compost on farm. Whether using a pitchfork, a tractor and bucket or a compost turner, this course will get you started. If you already make compost then learn about fermentative composting and save water and time! We also look at how to use compost to build soil health.

Join four leading Australian compost practitioners as we explore how to make compost using a minimum to no turn approach called fermentative composting (also called SPICE) as well as making aerated compost with a turner. We look at the range of ingredients for making compost, tips for managing the site and the process and how to assess compost quality using tests and on site.

"A very comprehensive introduction to compost making with an excellent line up of experts and practitioners. Now that I understand more about composting I'm going to be making higher quality compost over less time." Sharon NSW

"Great course, plenty of solid info on how to make and identify quality compost"
Georgina WA

Places in this course are limited to 30 farm businesses so participants get time to share and learn with other participants and tap into the presenters' collective practical experience in on-farm composting. You will need access to Zoom to attend this Course.

Course Content:

Webinar 1 - Introduction to the Course and Presenters. Compost: what it is and why use it. Humus and Compost. The 3 ways to make compost on farm: Fermentative, Aerated and Vermicomposting. The pros and cons of each one. Your Compost Action Plan.

Webinar 2
- Preparing to compost on farm: 5 things you need to plan: Site, Compost Feedstocks, Equipment, Water, Government Regulations. What you need to know.

Webinar 3
- Making Compost: how to control the decomposition process by fermentation and/or aeration. Setting up windrows and heaps. Inoculating and Covering. Process Management: Turning, watering and monitoring the compost. Troubleshooting issues. How to customise your Compost: adding minerals, clay and/or biology.

Webinar 4
- Compost Quality: it's all about humus, biology and nutrients. Understanding the Australian Standard for Composts. Compost contamination. Assessing Compost quality on site and using tests. Using compost: rates and timing of compost for different situations.

Webinar 5 - Bonus webinar with QA and a chance to help you fine tune a plan for making a batch of compost on your farm. 

Dates & Times:


  • 25th June 2024 - 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm.
  • 2nd July 2024- 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm.
  • 9th July 2024 - 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm.
  • 16th July 2024 - 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm,
  • 23rd July 2024 - 7.30pm to 9.00 pm (Q&A)


David Hardwick: David is a professional agroecologist. He has been doing soil and regenerative agriculture extension and consulting all over Australia for nearly 20 years. He completed a degree in Ecological Agriculture at the University of Sydney with focus on regenerative and organic farming systems, land management and rural change. He made his first batch of compost whilst living in Sweden in 1995 where winters get down to -20 degrees. Since then he has made and consulted on compost projects all over Australia.

Gerry Gillespie: Gerry is a pioneer in fermentative composting in Australia. He worked on worm farm operations before developing the fermentative or SPICE composting method as part of the original City To Soil Project in NSW. He is acknowledged as a world leader in managing food scraps and organics from towns and cities to help transform the earth. He has recently written a book, "The waste between our ears", which is published by Acres USA.

Wes Spencer & Karl Brown: Wes and Karl are organic farmers from central north Victoria. Karl has been successfully making and using compost for over 15 years on his mixed farm operation. Along with his family Wes helps run a mixed farm with crops and livestock. In the last few years Wes has been making compost on farm at scale. Karl and Wes have made both aerated and fermentative composting using a range of ingredients. In his spare time Wes has also built himself a compost turner too! 

How the Course works!!

The Course is 5 Zoom webinars, run one each week over 5 weeks. Each session will be recorded so if you miss a session you can catch up on Zoom via the Event Hub. We will also provide you with a Compost Action Plan to help you plan a compost project on your farm. Check out an introductory Composting on farm video here! The course needs a minimum of 10 participants to go ahead. We reserve the right to cancel/postpone the course if minimum numbers are not achieved. Full refunds are given.

What people say about the Course

"Informative, helpful and easy to understand. I would highly recommend this to both beginners and more knowledgeable people. These guys are a wealth of information." Jason NSW

 "This course topped up prior self learning from reading about Gerry's SPICE composting online. I have made several batches of the SPICE compost in the past few months on my horse property. The knowledge of Dave, Gerry, Wes and Carl was terrific and filled in so many gaps I had and will now be able to pursue the development of a much better product." Robyn WA

 "David’s humour and way of speaking made this course really easy to follow along and get so much out of." Donna

  "The Australian Standards for composting was very interesting, going
through the tests was excellent and helped pulled out key points. I
really enjoyed the discussion of compost quality as part of session 4."
Sharon NSW

 "Great, interactive and knowledgeable course for all levels of composting!" Amy

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Refund policy

Refunds are available up to 7 days prior to the event