Farmer Elana talking about City Beet Farm with a group of workshop participants with umbrellas in the rain.

Compost tea & community engagement at City Beet Farm

We kicked off our first Urban Farm tour of the season with City Beet Farm! Farmers Elana Evans and Maddy Clerk showed off some of their beautiful urban farm sites in the Riley Park neighbourhood. Homeowners seemed to get a kick out of having a group of 15 urban farmers and community members loitering around and learning in their yards. A super star home-owner even invited the whole crew in for coffee.

A workshop highlight was when Elana spoke about compost teas and why she chooses to use them in her farming practice. If proper biology is not present, then the soil is not able to cycle nutrients (even if they are present in the soil) and plants are more susceptible to pest and disease pressure.

Farmer Maddy looking at a soil sample through a microscope

Farmer Maddy checking out a soil sample.

We saw City Beet’s DIY compost bubbler in action and Karen Tomkins, local soil biologist, came equipped with her microscope to measure the diversity and amount of microbes in the tea. It was very exciting stuff and one intrigued neighbour jumped the fence to join in on the workshop and get the inside scoop on compost teas.

Thank-you to all the participants who joined us! You are fun and inspiring bunch and we look forward to hearing about your future soil biology adventures. And a special thanks to the participant who came all the way down from Prince George to catch this special workshop and the participant who donated $200 to our soil biology analysis of compost project. Stay tuned for details – exciting stuff is a’ brewing.

If you missed out on Saturday but are curious about compost teas we are happy to share some helpful resources with you. Send an email to and we will hook you up.