5-Day Soil Food Web Workshop with Dr. Elaine Ingham
April 27-May 1, 2015
Hosted by Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch
There is a whole world under the soil and no one knows this cast of characters better than Elaine Ingham! Elaine is one of the world’s leading soil microbiologists, with 30 years of research and teaching experience. Her easy and enthusiastic teaching style brings the soil food web to life. Elaine wrote the book on compost teas: The Compost Tea Brewing Manual.
This workshop is for those who want to learn about the soil food web and how to analyze and improve their own soils. This intensive course is for farmers, landscapers, ranchers, creators and distributors of agricultural products, waste management professionals, soil and garden enthusiasts of all types, and anyone who touches the earth. We will learn how to make composts and extracts to strengthen the soil food web and particularly how to visualize these elements under the microscope. The course will cover soil food web analysis, composts and compost extracts, the use of microscopes and will focus on real time microscopic analysis of different soil samples.
Healthy soil has all the interconnected elements of a “web”, retaining and cycling nutrients into the right forms at the right rates for the each organism while building soil structure, suppressing disease-causing organisms, protecting plant surfaces, producing plant-growth-promoting hormones and chemicals, and decomposing toxic compounds.
Do you know the optimum bacteria: fungi ratio for your plants? Every plant is different. In this class you will learn how to create compost which will give your plants the biology they need to increase green growth, get more flowers and veggies, revitalize your farm, or restore open lands, while increasing moisture retention in the soil from 30-50%.
Find out how to make your own Liquid Compost Extract (LCE) and save hundreds of dollars on fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Prevent Botrytis on seedlings, Powdery Mildew on roses, and other harmful diseases that reduce yield. Tailor your products to your plants with soil biology; see your garden or farm come to life!
After taking this workshop you will have an understanding of plant, soil, and microbe needs. Until recently, we have only understood the chemical aspect of plant relationships. Dr Ingham connects the loop from chemical, biological, to available plant nutrients. In fact, the USDA’s Soil Biology Primer is headed by Elaine.
Day 1 & 2: Soil Food Web Fundamentals (April 27& 2 – Dr. Elaine Ingham uncovers the basic principles of the Soil Foodweb, plant relationships, and bacterial to fungi ratios in this in-depth two day primer. Not only will you gain a fundamental understanding of the way soil biology drives plant nutrition, you will learn how modern agriculture selects for disease and pests. A must for anyone wanting a complete understanding of soil health and healthy plants.
Day 3: Compost Technology (April 29) - Not all compost is created equal. There is a big difference between good compost and reduced waste. One of the biggest mistakes people make when building a compost pile is not selecting the different Carbon:Nitrogen ratios for the plants they’re growing. Learn how to select the proper ratios that will give your plants the exact biology they need to thrive.
Day 4: Compost Tea Technology (April 30) – We cover the processes that will maximize biological diversity to get the most bang for your buck. Actively Aerated Compost Tea (AACT) and Liquid Compost Extract (LCE) are the most efficient methods for bringing back microbe diversity. This allows you to eliminate inorganic fertilizers and herbicides which decrease diversity and degrade soil health.
Day 5: Light Microscope Training (May 1) – Dr. Elaine Ingham leads this very special day of training on effective light microscope techniques and identification. Learn from the master herself about what constituents good compost and compost tea on a microscopic level. This part of the class is essential for anyone who wishes to gain “eyes on” knowledge of the soil universe and what really goes on under our feet. Get the necessary training to identify the bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes that drive the health and well being of our plants. Students are encouraged to bring their own microscope. Two microscopes will be available for use. Microscopes can also be purchased at a discount. Please inquire with Brandie about discount details.
All fees below include a daily lunch and snack. Classroom is limited to 30 students.Students can register for the entire 5-day course or for 2 other segments of the course. Limited space is available for part-time participation.
Full 5- Day Course: Early Bird Registration (before March 25): $765
Full 5-Day Registration (after March 26): $825
Day(s) 1 and 2: $485
Day(s) 3, 4, 5: $595
*****OPTIONAL morning yoga and evening hikes around the area will be made available throughout the workshop. Please inquire with Bethany or Brandie about details once you have registered.
Dining and Lodging
Fresh, local and organic breakfast and dinner packages available through Sweetwater Kitchen, located on property. Ala Carte dining available at Sweetwater Kitchen. (Check it out on Trip Advisor)
Lodging, dining, workshop discount packages available through the Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch Discount packages will be available until April 1, 2015. Limited on-site camping available. Please contact Bethany for more details on lodging, dining and camping.Special discounted lodging rates will apply to students attending the course.
For more lodging information please go to www.bouldermountainguestranch.com.
Group Discounts and Work Trade Options
BMGR is offering a 4+ more discount for you and your friends, co-workers, organization, or family. Extended lodging discounts can be applied to individuals willing to share rooms. In addition, BMGR is offering two partial Work Trade options that must be completed before the beginning of the course. Work trade can cover up to 50% of the tuition fees. Work trade candidates will be selected based upon their experience and their availability. Work trade projects will consist of various projects surrounding our garden food production, wild edible foraging, assistance in workshop set up, help with logistics during workshop. Please contact Brandie for more information on the workshop logistics, group discounts and our “Work Trade” Program. Brandie@bouldermountainguestranch.com
To Register or for more information on the Soil Food Web Workshop and Dr. Eliane Ingham's Bio click below: