Another weekend, another marvellous workshop. Over the past two Saturdays, Papatuanuku ki Taurangi was the site for a Dirt Doctor workshop run by Pania Robinson.
Topics covered included the soil food web and soil biology. This was interesting stuff – complete with images of nematodes, fungi and protozoa – all those little living things that take such joy in eating each other, and in the process, help make soil nutrients available for our veges.
Pania says that the Dirt Doctor himself Jim O'Gorman likes to remind people to tend their “underground cow”. When soil is healthy, says Jim, the mass of all the micro-organisms in an acre is similar to the mass of a cow.
From the science to the practical, the workshop also included hands-on sessions making compost, brewing compost tea and making up seedling mix.
It was great to have a bunch of enthusiastic gardeners making use of our facilities. And it was fun seeing everyone digging around in the orchard and grabbing handfuls of mulch to look at through an eye-piece – the better to see the mycelium – the fine white strands that make up the bulk of fungi (mushrooms are just the “fruit” of this underground structure).
Thanks Pania, we hope everyone had a good time. And thanks to all for making that new compost pile in the corner. It's steaming.