Contact me to set up a workshop introducing the soil foodweb including a live microscopic safari of the microbes in your soils, composts, and compost teas. Soil organic matter chemistry, residue dynamics, and function of humic substances are topics I teach. Honorarium negotiable.
Teaching the Microscope
Ready to identify and count your own microbes because you just got a tea brewer and you're going to be responsible about it, so you also got a microscope? Nice job. I can help with identification, dilution, and counting. Honorarium negotiable.
Soil/Compost Biological Assay
Please contact me using the contact form on this site to make an appointment for sampling. Samples must be fresh, so I require booking to make sure I can get to them right away. Sample collection, packing and mailing instructions will be provided by return email. A summary and explanation of the biomass figures is included, as well as one 10 minute consult by phone per sample.
$15 - Quick peek. Some questions can be answered quickly. Is there much good fungi in this compost? How's my humus looking? Is anything looking bad? If you don't need to keep precise records and just need an informed opinion on a compost, this is the ticket. We'll schedule a call or skype session and I'll talk through a sample for 10 minutes. $1/minute for additional time. I'll take a few pictures of what I find and email them.
$60 - Standard assay. Bacterial and fungal biomass values, protozoa numbers and ballpark estimate and comments on nematodes. This is the standard process for qualitative assay as taught by Dr. Elaine Ingham. Images of the diluted sample, one 40x field, and three 400x fields included with comments. Values are reported on wet mass basis (ug/g wet).
$30 - Nematode screening. Want to know more precisely about the functional diversity and abundance of nematodes in a soil or compost? This screening collects all the active nematodes from a larger sample of material into a small amount of water. This concentrate is counted under the microscope. Nematodes are identified to functional group (bacterial feeders, fungal feeders, root feeders, predatory nematodes). The result is better abundance data (nematodes/g wet), and a much higher likelihood of detecting groups that are present in low numbers.
Feel free to contact me to ask if this precision data on nematodes would be useful information for your operation.
$80 - Standard Assay + Nematode screening