SOIL FOODWEB INSTITUTESoil Rehab Specialists Since 1986
Soil Foodweb is an international soil biology group providing laboratory soil testing and soil biology consultancy services.  It was founded by Dr Elaine Ingham, a leading international soil microbiologist.  The systems developed by Dr Ingham have been designed to analyse the microbiology present in soil samples and to develop appropriate responses to achieve desired levels and balances of soil microbiology.

Small Microscope Classes

These classes are held subject to sufficient demand.

Is this class right for you?

Do you:

    •    Make your own compost tea?
    •    Want to assess the biology in your compost tea?
    •    Want to be able to monitor and improve your compost tea quality? 
    •    Have your own microscope, or plan to get one?

If so, this class is for you.

NEXT CLASS WILL BE HELD ON (date to be set)

(book as there are only 8 to 10 seats available)

Time 9.00am - 4.30pm (usually on a Tuesday, or on a prearranged day).

Location  SFI Laboratory,80 Faulkner Road, Wyrallah, NSW.

$330.00 (incl GST), includes the microscope manual.

Registration   To register for the class, fill out the registration form attached and send with payment to SFI. Payment can be made by cheque, credit card or direct payment.    

Program These classes are for people wanting or needing instruction on what they see using their microscope.  Please bring your own microscope along with you to use in the class. 

  • We will go through Kohler illumination and get everyone to be able to maximise the amount of light their microscope can focus on the sample.
  • Shadowing techniques. This is critical.  The microscopes we have at SFI use DIC, which is a shadowing technique, and allows you to clearly see things that have the same refractive index as water.  Phase contrast methods fail because of that little problem.  So, with your inexpensive compound scopes, we will help you do what you can to mimic the kind of clarity we get with SFI scopes.
  • We will look at examples of the many different organisms you will be seeing in teas.  We will do a compost prep as well, so you can see why these microscopes don't work really well with compost.
  • We will see different kinds of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes.

You cannot ID the cells you see to the species level.  Often not even to genus.  You can however, get an idea of how much the KINDS of bacteria or fungi or protozoa, etc. are changing in your tea.  You can monitor your tea brew hourly if you want to see the changes in critters as the tea matures.

  • We will help you see WHEN your tea is "ready”.  We will help you learn the cues you need to develop for your own system, to know whether the tea is growing enough of the right organisms.
  • We will teach you how to tell if your tea is “ready”.  If you don"t have the biology you need, you should brew longer, or add some foods, or even add more compost.
  • We will go through the standard curve for determining good tea with adequate or even outstanding organisms biomass, or determining “bad” tea, lacking in the proper set, or kinds, of organisms.  We’ll go through some ideas for “fixing” bad tea.  Sometimes, you just should throw it on some weeds, because it would be nice to kill them.  Sometimes, you can add more compost, or more foods, and bring the tea up to par.  We will go over how you know those situations. 

You need a microscope with 4X, 10X, and 40X objective lenses (that 40X is critical), 10X eyepieces.

See the SFI Online shop for Microscopes 

Download Small microscope Class Information

  The Registration form is in PDF format.  

Download the Free Adobe PDF reader if you need it.

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