SOIL FOODWEB INSTITUTESoil Rehab Specialists Since 1986

Small Microscope Classes

These classes are held subject to sufficient demand.

Is this class right for you?


Do you:

    •    Make your own Compost, Compost tea, Compost liquid extract, Worm castings and or liquids, regenerating or sustaining soils?
    •    Want to assess the biology?
    •    Want to be able to monitor and improve? 
    •    Have your own microscope, or plan to get one?

If so, this class is for you.

NEXT CLASSES WILL BE HELD ON THE  22nd, 23rd & 24th March 2024.......Intermediate Microscope course 25th, 26th & 27th, March 2024

(book as there are only 12 seats available)


Time 9.00am - 4.00pm 

Location  SFI Laboratory,12 Ridge Terrace, Millicent, SA. 5280

$1650.00 (incl GST), includes the microscope manual. or $2180.00 for both courses combined

Duration: Three days

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. Contact Chris Ellery if you need assistance.

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 or ask us if we have one available to use. 

  • 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 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 organisms as the tea matures.

  • · We will also look at soil and composts. Teach you how to do basic assessments on what are the organisms present.
  • · We will also add biological foods to the soils and composts we looked at originally, assess what has changed and how   that will affect your potential management practices with the soil and compost.
  • · What do the assessment results indicate, how can you change things for the better, etc.
  • 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 organism’s 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.

Please feel free to look at testimonials from some of our very happy past course participants

See the 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.