Worm Farms and Compost Tea

Worms are great as soil conditioner

Home worm farms are easy to maintainThis hands-on half-day workshop will introduce you to two easy ways to supercharge your soil with worm farms and brewing your own compost tea. Healthy soil is the basis for healthy food production, and healthy soil relies on organisms both microscopic (e.g., bacteria and fungi) that can be brewed in compost tea, and bigger ones like worms that are the most fantastic helpers you can get in your organic garden. 

Too often our soil is depleted and low in fertility, which can result iWorm casting are a great soil additiven all sorts of problems in the garden or on the farm. Unfortunately the common solution of adding fertilisers only makes the problem worse! Restoring fertility to soil is dependent on establishing a thriving world of organisms in the soil, and worm farms and compost tea are two easy and dynamic ways to do it quickly.

This workshop will introduce you to worms, their crucial role in your garden, how to provide the perfect environment for them, and what to feed them. You'll also be introduced to fungi, bacteria, and other tiny microbes that live in healthy soil, and learn their important roles in helping your plants grow.

Compost tea is very good for soil healthDuring the second part of the workshop you'll check out a worm farm; watch a compost tea brew being made; learn how to make a home-scale compost tea brewer from simple, easy-to-source components; and look down a microscope to see for yourself the types of critters that grow in the right conditions.

The workshop is taught by Hugh, whose experience with soil microbes, compost tea brewing, and microscopes has taught him the crucial difference between making a compost tea brew that is teeming with life, and producing brown water!


By the end of this workshop you’ll know how to make your own worm farm, how to multiply the benefits of worm castings many millions of times by brewing compost tea, and how to make your own brewer. You'll learn how to create supercharged soil that uses less water, stores more carbon and grows more disease-resistant plants that produce healthier food.

"Excellent, clear, friendly, accessible, great info and practical hands-on."
Rita Gyorffy, central Victoria

Who is this workshop for?

  • People who are interested in gardening
  • People who already grow, or want to grow, their own fruit or vegetables
  • People who rent houses with fruit trees or gardens in the backyard
  • People who look after fruit trees or gardens in the community
  • People who are interested in permaculture, organics, growing their own food, or food security
  • People who already grow, or are interested in growing, food commercially

What does this workshop cover?

  • Soil microbes - the different types, what they do, and how they are connected to one another
  • Worm farm basics and different types of worm farms
  • The benefits of using worm castings in your garden
  • The difference between compost tea and compost extract
  • Brewing compost tea
  • How to make a compost tea brewer at home
  • Making different types of compost tea for different situations
  • How to avoid brewing the wrong types of microbes
  • How to know if your compost tea is healthy

What’s provided?

  • Workshop notes
  • Your own worm farm to take home (plus there'll be worms for sale on the day, $20 per 1000 worms)
  • Plans to build your own compost tea brewer

What you need to bring:

  • A pen and/or coloured markers for note taking
  • Appropriate warm and outdoor clothing (part of the workshop is inside, but depending on the venue it may not be heated, and part of the workshop is outside)

About Us

We – Hugh and Katie Finlay – draw on over 15 years' experience as orchardists at our farm, Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens, to bring you the Grow Great Fruit Program, the farm-proven system for home fruit growers.

To read the full story of our farming journey, click here 


Our blog gives a snapshot on various aspects of life on the farm. Currently Katie is documenting her journey as winner of the 2015 RIRDC Rural Women's Award for Victoria!

Visit the blog 

MAFG Forum

Grow Great Fruit Forum

Our Grow Great Fruit Forum is a place where our program members can access member resources, ask questions, and find answers to their specific fruit-growing problems.

Visit the Forum here.

Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens © 2018