Nikolaus Foidl, January, 2012

In a small non scientific trial in my garden i can observe increased resistance against cold. Since 35 days the outside conditions are hovering around - 4 degrees Celsius during the night and 4 degrees Celsius during the day and still all the char plus trace minerals and salicylic acid treated plants are growing and flowering. There are rosemary,sage,roses,perennial flowers strawberries etc. I get fruits on the strawberries and they continue flowering. As well the rose is flowering and new flowerpots are growing. It seems that char with mineral mix and salicylic acid increases frost or cold resistance. In 3 of the foots you can see the through where i did not apply and there only the winter hardy evergreens are surviving, the rose died and the rest of the plants are dead or dormant as well. I in general observed increased drought, heat and cold resistant with this mix. Might be of interest for the char community.
with my best regards Nikolaus

Sunflowers growing on the Balcony

Nikolaus Foidl, September, 2011

Trying to get my balcony garden to be more productive, i digged out the whole through and layed a layer of pebble stones on the bottom 10 cm of wood cuttings ontop and then a mix of the digged out soil with bark mulch and char( 50 tons per ha).

Then i planted 8 sunflowers per 2 m2 half of them with additional salicylic acid. As the birds where eating up already the half ripe seeds i had to harvest the already bigger heads. The non salicylic acid treated are about 10 days slower in ripening and somehow smaller.

Head diameter average of the salicylic treated is 34 cm( between 32 to 35 cm).The only char treated are around 24 cm diameter(22 to 27 cm). I have no non char non salicylic treated samples as i have not enough space on my balcony.
But the trial serves as an anectotal trial not as a scientific trial.

So have fun with the pictures
best regards Nikolaus

Nikolaus Foidl, October, 2009

Recent literature suggest that the split from a common ancestor between rice and the ancestor of maize happened some 45 to 60 million years ago. Maize was formed from teosinte as a common ancestor. Sorghum apparently split from the common ancestor with maize sometimes between 16.6 and 11.9 million years ago.

If the environment is overcharging the abilities of the gene set, then the plant seems simply to split up in different lines of development (??), although keeping the, during evolution silenced gene sets, or inactivated subprograms.

Now and then, trigger events, like stress or chemical influence, or not compatible gene sets in hybridizations, cause those silenced subprograms to activate and express themselves causing to see, what

Nikolaus Foidl, September, 2009

Some Photos which prove that normal 450 degree Saligna char for barbequu use is quite bug friendly, housing demand for three different bugs is high and the bugs are still alive after digging through and forming there pupae. So high toxicity of the volatiles or the char it self seems to be an issue to overcome by some bugs. ( or its an other urban myth to be busted?) If a swiss cheese would look like this the would advertise him as an aerogel.
Please add the photos to your collection in the bio char list.
With my best regards Nikolaus

Charcoal and Salicylic Acid
Nikolaus Foidl, Bolivia, February 6, 2008

Dear All , some photos.

First the difference between Charcoal and non Charcoal was nearly 60 cm in height, then after correcting soil minerals and applying Salicylic acid the difference vanished and the plants started really to grow.The maize started to get up to 5 cobs build on every shank in every axle. Could harvest now up to 4 fully developed cobs per plant in the no charcoal and in the charcoal plot. No measurable difference between the two areas.Will repeat those trials to get to the bottom of it.This time will mill and extract with different acids all minerals from the charcoal prior to the introduction to the soil to see if there is still some growth enhancing effect left in the first stage.( without adding salisylic acid.)
Best regards Nikolaus

for an update see:


Property of PODERCO S.A
Design: Robert Lerner

Subsistence farmers, home gardeners,
and other small stakeholders represent
a huge potential resource for distributed
biochar production worldwide. Reaching
this audience with affordable, reliable
biochar technology could have a huge impact
on carbon sequestration, crop yields,
and sustainability of agricultural practices
for hundreds of millions of users. The
proposed development platform offers
the potential for low-cost, controlled, lowemissions
biochar production, adaptable
to multiple feedstocks and circumstances.
A potentially valuable tool for biochar
investigators, Hornito can produce small

stocks for pot trials and characterization
The basic kiln consists of a drum with

on a Rocket Stove base (biomass stove

drum to fuel feed of stove. Condenser for
wood vinegar collection also depicted.


Subscribe to Foidl