Introduction to Hot Composting for Compost Teas

April 1, 8, 15 — 6:30-9:30pm
The Workaround Toronto, Alligator Room

Learn more during this three-week intensive about improving soil health organically to better support your backyard urban farms, vegetable gardens, or perennial beds. Week one will cover soil health and the soil food web; week two will cover hot composting techniques for the urban context; and week three will cover the basics of brewing aerobic compost tea to improve microbial health in the soil. Students will learn the steps to create their own compost tea brewer, how to prepare basic recipes for tea, and will develop a plan for generating compost in the home garden. Facilitated by Sean Smith of Crooked Farmz.

(Sliding scale support is available if cost is a barrier.)

This is designed as an intensive introductory course which aims to be rewarding to both the composting beginner as well as the more experienced gardener looking to improve skills and develop received wisdoms. The approach will blend lecture style with discussions, worksheet exercises, and demonstrations.


“The compost maker is a farmer of microbes, no less a farmer than a dairy farmer or a vegetable grower.”

(Grace Gershuny, ‘Feeding the Soil on the Organic Farm’)

Week One: Soil Health and the Soil Food Web

  1. Land Acknowledgements
  2. Benefits of Compost Tea
  3. Soil Health: A Closer Look
  4. The “Soil Food Web”
  5. What is Hot Composting?
  6. What is Actively Aerobic Compost Tea?

Week Two: Hot Composting

  1. Types of Composters
  2. The C:N Ratio
  3. Aeration and Moisture
  4. Feedstocks and Amendments
  5. Nonhuman Partners: Fungi, Worms and Others
  6. An Annual Cycle for Spring Tea

Week Three: Actively Aerobic Compost Tea

  1. Bioreactors and Bubblers
  2. A Basic Compost Tea Recipe
  3. Amendments for Bacterial and Fungal Brews
  4. Application Rate and Frequency
  5. Shelf Life
  6. In-Class Workshop



Please note that space in the workshop is limited to 20 participants — first-come, first-served. Completing the registration form below will temporarily hold your space, but you will not be fully registered until you send an Interac e-transfer to in the amount of $80.