Workshop

The Soil Food Web Experience

This is the ultimate, full day workshop for growers of any scale. This is an easy listening and learning day covering all the basics of soil and foliage microbes. This is an introduction to the Soil Food Web concepts and would be ideal for groups or as a gift!

Each workshop is limited to a minimum of 5 and maximum of 12 participants to ensure a personalised learning experience. 

The workshop is largely hands-on with powerpoint used sparingly and there will be plenty of time for questions throughout the day.

An outline of your workshop:

9:15am
Welcome and orientation.
9:30am
An introduction to the soil food web.

With the use of slides and videos, this session describes the soil food web and the way in which soil microorganisms drive plant succession from bare earth to old growth forest. We will explore fungi:bacteria ratios, the ‘poop-loop’ and the basics of plant nutrition as provided by the microbes. Next, we will introduce the soil food web microbes!

10:30am
How healthy is a soil or compost?

In this practical session we will examine samples of soil or compost. We will consider geology and climatic zone, look at sample colour, structure and texture, as well as smell and any other signs of life; we will also take a measure of pH and salinity.

11:15AM
Taking a closer look.

Moving to the allotment laboratory you will learn how to prepare a sample for biological analysis. Then we will focus in on the wonderful microbial world beneath the lens! Will the sample meet your expectations gleaned from the first session? Down at the Compost Station we will look at a range of bought composts and prepare more samples for microscopical examination to see how they compare.

12:15pm
What are your plants telling you?

In this session we will look at the above ground, foliar-related signs of a fully or poorly functioning soil food web and chat through a Broad-Spectrum analysis. We will consider how to maintain optimal conditions for your microbial helpers and what biological remedial actions you can take when conditions become challenging for them.

1:00pm
Lunch.

Entirely plant based and a chance also to wander freely through the garden and home allotment.

2:00pm
Pests and diseases – a vital part of the soil food web?

In this session we will consider the conditions that enable pathogenic microbes and encourages pests. We will look afresh at the role of pathogens and how they seek out the weak and vulnerable plant.

2:45pm
You are what they eat!

We will prepare a range of shop-bought vegetables and fruits for BRIX testing – this is a measure of the nutrient density of the food you might buy. This session will illustrate how microbes working in harmony with plants deliver the highest nutrient density and in doing so protect plants from pests and diseases.  

3:30pm
Rejuvenating degraded soil - common composting techniques, practices, and practicalities.

In this session at the Compost Station, we will discuss static composting and batch composting (thermophilic and JohnsonSu) using on-site examples. We’ll look at the C:N ratios of composting materials and discuss recipes for a crop of your choosing.

4:15pm
An introduction to extracts and teas and amendments.

In this session we will use a biologically rich compost and work together to produce a compost extract. I will explain how to recognise a suitable compost without the need for a microscope. We will then set the tea brewer running and I will explain the process for successful outcomes such as ‘Peak Protozoa’, and what to do if something goes wrong! How will you know if a brew has gone ‘wrong’ – you’ll smell it! During this last session we will consider amendments such as biochar, bonemeal, rock-dusts, and Effective Microbes.

We will finish this session with a final look under the microscope at a bio-charged compost.

5:00pm
Final thoughts and questions.

For any clarification ahead of booking just email [email protected] or simply phone me on 07376 238608 and I’ll be pleased to help.

Full Day Workshop – the ultimate no dig experience!

Date to be arranged after booking
9:15am to 5:15pm including lunch
From £100pp

What people are saying about my workshops

Rhizophyllia Quote Icon
Eddie is a passionate and extremely knowledgeable teacher who will guide you through the wonders of soil life in this information packed day. I left feeling truly inspired and would highly recommend attending this course if you wish to gain more of an insight into this fascinating and vitally important subject.
Rhizophyllia Quote Icon
Eddie’s enthusiasm is infectious as he shares his wealth of knowledge of the wonderful web of life under our feet. He brings the soil food web alive in your imagination ready to put new found information into practice. RhizoPhyllia provides an opportunity to explore and understand the importance of healthy soil and how to achieve it. Plenty of practical involvement and a chance to delve into unseen aspects of your own soil – the end product being healthy nutritious homegrown food. Fantastic hospitality and delicious homemade food.
Mary Hugill, organic allotmenteer, East Devon
Rhizophyllia Quote Icon
Eddie is a rare and inspirational person who will open up the incredible life of the soil to you. The day is fun, hands on and full of science. You will end the day knowing that the future of our soil is our future.