SeaChar is working with South Seattle Community College to test Biochar in Corn Plots

Erin Rasmussen

Art Donnelly, September 2010 has been working with South Seattle Community College in testing the effectiveness of Biochar in outdoor Corn test plots. You can see the full story in article by the Seattle Herald:

From the article:
The 5 year project has SeaChar working with SSCC and a large number of other organizations. They set up a 4600 sq foot site that was planted this year with corn. The site was broken down into sections with un-amended soil, another amended with compost only, another amended with biochar only and the last amended with both biochar and compost.

The goal is to determine which plot produces both the most harvestable crops and the most nutritious.

The harvested ears of corn were separated, from the "stover" or left over corn plant biomass. Half the corn will be given to Fare Start and half will go to the SSCC Culinary Arts Program. The biomass was weighed (total and harvestable), then the plant by product was ground in a chipper, put in bags and organized by the plot each came from.

People from WSU's Puyallup Research Center were on hand to help with preparing and recording samples for testing by the USDA. Other volunteers pulled this seasons last set of soil samples to be sent to Jim Ippolito at the USDA-ARS lab in Kimberly Idaho. The results are expected in two to three weeks.