Garden workshops

Gardening and composting workshops

Wanaka’s green-thumbed guru Ben Elms gives advice and runs workshops on gardening and composting as part of the Dr Compost project funded by Queenstown Lakes District Council and delivered by Wanaka Wastebusters. 

Our gardening and composting workshops for this growing season are now finished. They’ll be back in spring. Like us on Facebook, and we can let you now when they’re coming up.

If you’ve got a burning question, don’t despair. You can get free personal gardening and composting advice from Dr Compost by emailing him at

We get very positive feedback from everyone who attends Ben’s workshops, both novices and experts. The bonus is that the workshops are free, thanks to Queenstown Lakes District Council’s funding to reduce organic waste going to the landfill. Food and garden waste can break down in the landfill and release methane, a harmful climate change gas.

Advice from Dr Compost

Dr Compost writes regularly for newspapers on our local area and for gardening magazines. You can read some of his latest pieces here on composting and gardening topics.

Dr Compost features in the Otago Daily Times

Waste not, want not

All that once lived

Tea time for soil

Fertility the key for food forester

Resource-full composting

Six simple rules for worm farms

Trumping Jack in the garden


Dr Compost articles in the Wanaka Sun

Rollercoaster veggie gardening

An autumn tidy up

The mighty White Cabbage Butterfly

Growing monster garlic

Food scraps for plants

My five top crops

Signs to plant by

Spring’s a’ comin’…


Top Tips – Handouts from workshops

Sourcing good things for your garden

Top five crops to plant

Cold composting (slow method)

Hot composting (fast method)

Creating a wilderness in your garden

Winter veggie tips

Thriving worm farms