Growing Great Compost


This is a fantastic workshop for those of you wishing to reconnect to the natural world and for those of you wanting to ensure your actions contribute to a regenerative process for life on earth. 

Most people find making high quality effective compost extremely tricky, this course will turn it from being a real struggle into a very satisfying work of art.

If you’re sick of buying industrial fertilisers and dead compost and want to make your own exceptionally fantastic living compost right in your own back yard then this course is for you!

This course Includes 

*over 2 hours in videos

*the Koanga Gardens art of composting booklet 

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. 

Growing great compost is the key to gardening and growing food regeneratively. 

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Who is this course for?

This course is for people who specifically want to grow nutrient dense food without buying commercial fertilisers. 

This course is for all levels of home gardeners and small scale commercial food producers. 

This course is also for people who are keen to get some good exercise without going to the gym 🙂 

This course is suitable for both country and urban gardeners. 

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 climate.


Episodes and Learning Outcomes



Episode 1

  • 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