Growing Great Compost


Alive, highly-mineralised compost is the very heart of regenerative gardening. Not only does it build the soil, it’s also the mechanism for creating nutrient-dense food and reversing climate change.

Making it is easy, once you’re familiar with the humus-building process and the steps to achieving balanced and high levels of minerals and microbially-active compost. The large volume of gardeners facing difficulties with these processes has inspired this workshop.

With more than two hours of video and a generous resource database (graphs, charts, and additional information), it’s your ticket to creating wonderful compost that bursts with life and acts as a catalyst for more life.

Between the two methods showcased, you’ll learn a technique that fits your budget, soil situation, and environment.

Before long, you’ll be a compost artist.



  • Self-paced online workshop with video lessons and complementary reading
  • Books, booklets and many other assets, all in digital formats
  • Kōanga Student Facebook page for support and questions
  • Taught by Kay Baxter (Kōanga Founder)


Time required:

  • Students typically require about 10 hours in order to complete this workshop at a reasonable pace
Do you feel this course is perfect for a friend or a loved one? You can buy a gift card for this item!

Share this course

Course Category

Who is this course for?

  • All levels of home gardeners (and even small-scale commercial growers) who are hungry to grow nutrient-dense food without relying on industrial fertilizers. Also those people looking for a workout plan that doesn’t require a gym 🙂
  • In addition, the workshop is an excellent way to teach children about their environment, and what happens when we harmonise with it.
  • New gardeners. You need no prerequisite knowledge
  • Parents who are homeschooling their children and want a resource for teaching them to reconnect with their environment
  • Parents looking for wholesome family activities for the school holidays!
  • Schools and educational projects looking for more resources to support their curriculum


Here’s the lesson plan



  • Learn about Kay’s successes and (more importantly) failures with compost
  • Learn why commercial fertiliser is not a regenerative option for the medium or long term (but can dramatically help in the short term)
  • Learn about Koanga’s composting goals
  • Learn the process by which humus slowly builds in the forest
  • Learn how to speed up soil building by making compost and working with heat
  • Understand the ‘laws of nature’’ (principles of science) responsible for successful compost
  • Understand why an optimal Koanga compost heap is made up of a 60:1 carbon to nitrogen ratio
  • Learn how different carbon forms (metabolic and structural) affect the compost making process
  • Learn why it is critical to add minerals to grow both soil and nutrient-dense food
  • Understanding that recycling your garden’s deficiencies through your compost heap will fail to build soil
  • Understand the composting steps to take to avoid recycling your garden’s deficiencies 
  • Understand which minerals are missing in most NZ soils and exactly where to find them in your local environment


Koanga’s Compost Heap

  • Watch the Koanga garden crew make a compost heap in the Thorny Croft seed garden, using the principles learned in Episode 1
  • See how we build a heap from beginning to end, adding minerals to build soil and high BRIX seeds
  • Observe the quantities of minerals being added to a compost heap of this size
  • See for yourself that it’s possible for anyone to build amazing compost!


The Design Process

  • Discover the appropriate amount of compost to apply to your garden beds
  • Understand how compost made with different ratios of nitrogen and carbon will affect the quantity of humus produced
  • Learn how different carbon and nitrogen rations will influence your garden’s quality and quantity of production
  • Learn to design your gardens to ensure you’re producing the optimal quantity of compost for building soil and growing high-quality vegetables
  • Learn what compost crops are and how much carbon is in each one
  • Learn how big your garden needs to be to produce enough carbon for your compost to build soil
  • Learn what to do if you have a small garden that isn’t big enough to produce all the carbon you need for a compost heap



  • Watch Bob and Kay collect local  materials and create ingredients for a compost heap on their house site
  • Learn how each input is chosen and what they offer to the compost, along with alternative options
  • Observe the range of inputs into their compost – like bone and shell ash, biochar, seaweed, clay, comfrey, alfalfa, along with carbon from the garden like corn, chia and buckwheat


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
  • Gain confidence that you can do this easily in your own garden and get excellent results with the principles learned in Episode 1



  • Learn the importance of building a relationship with your living alchemical compost heap, along with how to do it (using your senses)
  • Understand the usefulness of recording information about your compost heap, which you can do with the form included with this workshop
  • Learn how to guide your compost heap to a successful end result and what to do if you end up with an anaerobic heap or one that’s too hot
  • Understand the three stages a compost heap will go through
  • Learn how to regulate the moisture levels in your heap
  • Understand what happens if a compost heap becomes too hot or cold


Chicken Compost

  • Watch Kay creating a system for her chickens to make compost in the chicken house
  • Learn that while there are many ways of making compost, the “laws of nature” around building humus still apply
  • Learn the key elements that ensure this method is useful in the garden or forest garden


You’re also invited to join our community

All online students are welcome to join our exclusive regenerative gardening facebook group. It’s a place to share questions, enthusiasm, (mistakes!), and successes with like-minded students. We’ll be standing by!

And if you don’t like it

We’ll give you a 100% refund. No questions asked.

Enrol above for $79.99

To your family’s health,




CLIMATE: The workshops are based around giving people an understanding of the principals of science and the laws of nature which can be applied in varying ways to any climate. In our videos we are specifically showing people how to apply these rules in a temperate and mediterranean climate.