In June 2023 Soil Wise, a collaborative project to help farmers and land managers improve their soil health and nutrient management, supported a roadshow across seven catchments in south-west WA to encourage farmers and landholders to build their knowledge and skills to make and use compost.
The workshops were presented in collaboration with Lower Blackwood LCDC, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Leschenault Catchment Council, GeoCatch, Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee, Torbay Catchment Group and Oyster Harbour Catchment Group.
The full-day events were hosted by independent composting experts. In the Lower Blackwood David Hardwick of Soil Land Food took the helm, then the rest of the tour was led by Mark Tupman of Productive Ecology.
Every workshop was full, with some locations even having to prepare a waitlist, culminating in over 200 land managers attending the events. The days were packed with information, kicking off with a composting 101 and followed by a hands-on compost making demonstration.
Through the seven locations the participants built the whole range of composts: a Fermented Compost at Glenarty Road in the Lower Blackwood; a Johnson Su Bioreactor at both Fresh Tracks Farm in Peel-Harvey and at Cook/Allen Farm in the Wilson Inlet; a Thermal Aerobic pile at both Harvey Ag College in Leschenault and Karri Heights Farm in Torbay. At Molita Grove in the Geographe catchment and at Willyung Farms in the Oyster Harbour catchment, participants were able to see larger scale farm composing systems.
Feedback has been incredibly positive and there’s lots of enthusiasm for both large and small-scale composting as well as plenty of interest in making compost teas and extracts for seed coatings.
Thank you to all our host farms, our compost experts and the on-ground coordinators who made this such a successful roadshow.
The workshops were funded by Soil Wise. Soil Wise is funded by the National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants – an Australian Government initiative. It is supported by Healthy Estuaries WA – a State Government program.
Visit the Soil Wise events calendar to see upcoming events across south-west WA: https://estuaries.dwer.wa.gov.au/soil-wise/events/