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Soil Food Web Courseworks


Compost Tea & Soil Food Web Intensive

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March 5-9 2018, at the M.A. Center in Castro Valley

This workshop with Dr. Elaine Ingham, the internationally revered soil expert of our time, 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. Simply put, this information needs to be central to any sustainable agriculture and land management endeavors.

Take one day or all five!

Day 1 & 2: Intro. to the Soil Foodweb • $275

Dr. Elaine Ingham uncovers the basic principles of the Soil Food Web, 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 • $145
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 appropriate Carbon:Nitrogen ratio for the plants they’re growing.  Learn how to select the proper ratios and composting strategies that will get the right biology based on different types of plants and their needs.

Day 4: Compost Tea Technology • $145
We cover the processes that will maximize biological diversity and 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 • $160
Dr. Elaine Ignham 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.  Microscopes will also be available for a group discount at the workshop.

Register Here 


The methodology for analyzing soil health based on identifying and quantifying soil micro-organisms was developed by Dr. Elaine Ingham. After 30+ years of studying and improving soils, she and the Soil Foodweb, Inc. have identified optimal soil microbe ratios for compost, compost teas, crops, landscape plants, trees, and shrubs. Soil, compost, and compost tea/extract samples sent to these labs below will be analyzed for microbial diversity and compared with optimal ranges.

United States Testing Laboratories

Soil Foodweb, Inc.

(*Please note: Taking soil samples in winter -- Most organisms are dormant when soil temperature is low (<40F). Thus, better times to take soil samples are in fall or spring)
The Environment Celebration Institute
13193 Oroville Quincy Hwy 
Berry Creek, CA 95916
Phone: 530-589-9947
Mobile: 707-225-5762

Samples are ONLY accepted on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursdays. This gives the technicians time to complete the testing. Pre-payment MUST accompany the submissions form, we do not do invoicing. We will not be able to do your test if received on other days or without payment. Please use fedex OVERNIGHT to send samples because the Institute is up in the mountains and fedex is the only service that is guaranteed to arrive on time. Take the sample the day you send it. Only send 1/4 cup of dry material, more is not necessary, or 1/4 small water plastic bottle full of liquid teas. Take samples of soil using an apple corer. We only need a sample from the top 1-3 inches of soil. Please fill out the submission form and the chain of custody form and send to us with your payment.

Testing: Soil, Compost,  Compost Tea, and Extract (Qualitative Assessments), Total Bacteria (actinobacteria, rods, cocci), Total Fungi (colored wide diameter vs narrow, clear), Protozoa (flagellates, amoebae, ciliates), Nematodes (to functional groups), Total Foodweb Package (Bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes). Click on the link "Soil.Foodweb.Order.Form.a.pdf" to download the form to submit your samples.

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Harrington's Organic Landcare Services
70 Highland Park Drive
Bloomfield, CT 06002
Office Phone: 860-243-8733 x 11
Fax: 860-882-0271

Our laboratory opened in 2007 to serve as both a research and soil testing faciltity. Our state-of-the-art equipment enables us to research and evaluate the efficacy of new products, provide in-house quality control, and learn more about how microbes affect soil fertility and plant health. Our lab performs soil chemistry and soil biology testing. this proactive approach helps us to understand just what your soil requires, both chemical and biological, allowing us to custom design a program based on your regional soil type(s). Types of testing include: Basic Plus test, Complete Chemistry Test, Qualitative Microbe Package, Basic Foodweb, Complete Foodweb, Complete Foodweb + Mycorrhizae. Interpretations of test data can be included or excluded. If you want organic product recommendations based on a biological soil test, a phone consultation will need to be scheduled with one of our staff members.

Australia Testing Laboratories
Agpath P/L
105 Gunn Road
Garfield, Victoria 3814 Australia
Phone: +61 (0)3 5629 1253
Mobile: +61 (0) 413013247

Testing: SFI suite of tests; fungal identification; pathogen identification; soil microbiology; water testing for human pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, coliforms, etc; compost and compost tea analysis; workshops on making thermal aerobic compost/compost tea; farm management by biological methods; and many more. Ask and we will advise.