Bio-Complete Compost

We run a biological/regenerative farm on Banks Peninsula New Zealand, growing medicinal herbs, running workshops, raising livestock and growing nutrient dense food for our family.

Bio Complete Compost on a No-Dig garden bed at KoruKai Herb Farm

For all of those above elements compost is at the heart of the business – but not any compost will do.

Bio-complete compost brings us all the benefits of soil regeneration and plant health.

Bio-complete refers to the biological specifications recommended by soil microbiologist Dr. Elaine Ingham for compost:

  • 300 micrograms of bacterial biomass per gram
  • 300 micrograms of beneficial fungi per gram
  • Fungal : Bacterial Ratio at 1:1 or higher fungal content
  • 10,000 protozoa per gram, like flagellates and amoebae
  • Less than 100 ciliates as they would indicate low oxygen conditions if found in high numbers
  • 100 or more beneficial nematodes like bacterial and fungal feeding ones
  • No bad guys like spirilla, spirochetes or streptococci chains and no more than 15 micrograms of oomycetes.
  • No root feeding nematodes and no e.Coli.

High Quality Ingredients

To create compost with the above specifications careful selection of the ingredients is required. The starting materials contain the majority of the composting organisms. Other microbes come from the air, water and surrounding environment where the heap is constructed as well as the equipment used.

Maximum Diversity

It is crucial to have a large diversity of starting materials to get a large diversity of microbes. The composting material needs to be high quality to become high quality compost. Anaerobic and rotten waste material containing pathogens is not a great start for high quality compost.

Controlled Temperature

One gram of composting material already contains 600 million of bacteria. Overnight they can grow to 600 billion, creating heat as a byproduct of their rapid reproduction, which we can measure with our BioKai Compost Thermometer.

Aerobic Conditions

Maintaining aerobic conditions throughout the composting cycle is important to achieve bio-complete compost. A slotted base, open sides, some coarse composting materials and the correct carbon to nitrogen ratio are crucial.
We prevent water logging with our breathable and water shedding Compost Cover

Growing Nutritious Food

Many commercial composting operators are performing municipal waste-management and do not choose most of the ingredients that go into the resulting compost.

To grow nutrient dense and healthy plants, it is best to make your own compost at home. Use starting materials from the local surroundings plus garden waste, food scraps, autumn leaves, seaweed and hedge trimmings. Therefore you know what has gone into your compost. The microbes on those composting materials are from the local environment and adapted to suit your local conditions.

Biological Assessment

At KoruKai Herb Farm we produce 3-4 tonnes per year and use a variety of composting methods – hot composting, worm farming and Johnson Su Bioreactors. We also maintain a large woodchip pile, which we use to inolulate all other composting systems with a variety of beneficial fungi.
We are also skilled in light microscopy and have completed a lab technician certificate with Dr Elaine Ingham’s Soil Food Web School. A microscopic assessment of each compost pile gives us reassurance and guides us on the quantity needed for a certain crop.
The Soil Food Web NZ can give you this analysis as well.

Compost extract with billions of beneficial microbes per teaspoon. Beautiful dark brown and rich with humic acid and plant available nutrients.

Learn With Us

We have done small urban composting as well as medium scale and are happy to share our knowledge that we have gained over the last 10 years.
Our goal is to help you succeed at home, on your livestyle block or on your farm as we know just how hard it is to find high quality commercial compost and potting mixes.
We run on farm workshops as well as online composting classes. Find out more here.

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