Soils

Biochar Bob highlights a project near DC where they are using biochar in a wetland restoration project to filter pollutants out of run-off and restore natural water infiltration to that neighborhood.

For more videos from Biochar Bob see his YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/BiocharBob

From Living Web Farms in Mills River, North Carolina
http://www.livingwebfarms.org/

Great introduction to making clean biochar lead by Bob Wells, soil scientist Jon Nilsson and Patryk Battle.

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Biochar blends
Biochar blends is for creating value added products using biochar and different types of matter (living and non-living) for soil amendments and also multiple uses before ultimately reaching the soil. This is a simple chart to explore the possibilities of using biochar considering diversity of conditions in the field such as soils, types of crops, environments, climatic conditions, availability of raw materials, socio-economic, cultural, traditional, etc.
http://www.slideshare.net/saibhaskar/biochar-blends

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From Biochar Merchants, some great tips for using Biochar in your Compost Bin or pile.

http://biocharmerchants.com/index.php/building-soils-by-composting-with-...

HowTo

  1. For a new pile or bin, start with a layer of biochar to catch nutrients from the compost bin that would normally seep into the ground with normal water flow
  2. Add 12 inches (or a decimeter) of compostable materials, e.g. yard waste, kitchen cuttings, egg shells, coffee grounds, etc. - alternate 'greens' and 'browns' and make sure that the particle size is fairly small -about an inch or two or less in size.
  3. Add a layer of biochar (no more than 1/2 inch)
  4. Keep building the compost as normal
  5. Keep in mind, that turning the compost and keeping it moist but not too wet will help change it into the magical dark fertile compost we love.

Also go to the Biochar Merchants web site for more Soil Building articles:
http://biocharmerchants.com/

Some good reasons to compost with Biochar

David Yarrow, May 2010

Using Biochar in Soil

Preparation & Application

Biochar Preparation

Applying raw biochar to soil can inhibit plant growth one or two
years while microbes inhabit the char, form diversified, stable,
functional communities, and gather balanced mineral supplies.
Microbes also consume tar residues that inhibit water absorbtion.
Several weeks to a few months are needed to age char for
soil. Proper preparation can reduce this time to two weeks, and
reduce char volume needed for vigorous plant response. Four
simple steps assure rapid response, high yield and healthy plants.

Moisture

Biochar’s first service to soil is water digestion, retention and
slow release from its sponge-like micropore matrix. Char must
soak up water to be an effective substrate for microbial cultures
and mobilize minerals for ion exchange with plant roots. To
moisten char, hydrophobic residues must be broken down and
removed—a task done mostly by microbes.

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