I currently live in santa cruz, CA in the mountains which are dominated by a redwood forest. This place has had a history of fires (mostly low intensity) in the redwood understory. I notice when I am wandering around the forest that i see old stumps that were previously cut down by loggers about 60-100 years ago. These stumps, however, are covered in what looks like biochar! So i had this crazy thought that I could simply harvest the biochar by scraping it off with my knife into a bag. This biochar is already infused with native micro-organisms as it has been immersed in the fungal and bacterial rich forest. I would like to do a couple tests on the biochar to learn more about it: PH test and bacterial/fungal inspection (with microscope). I will try to get photos in the near future...
As long as you're not taking away native plants/animals from the area, I think it's absolutely awesome! The microbial richness and diversity of that old redwood forest must be amazing. I am very, very jealous. I studied microbiology in college, so "wee beasties" make me happy.
This is the finest explanation I have read on the process of [size=10pt]biochar testing[/size]. Hugh lays it out like medical triage to extract the data most needed for soil carbon sequestration. A triage for all levels of competence, the Para-Medic Gardener to the Surgeon Chem-Engineer. http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/Characterizing_Biochars
Field Trial Data Base; The new version of BiocharDB has been released! To see it, please visit http://biocharbazaar.org.
Virginia Tech is in their 5 th year with the Carbon Char Group's "CharGrow" formulated bagged product. An idea whose time has come | Carbon Char Group The 2008 trials at Virginia Tech showed a 46% increase in yield of tomato transplants grown with just 2 - 5 cups (2 - 5%) "CharGrow" per cubic foot of growing medium. http://www.carbonchar.com/plant-performance
The BlueLeaf Inc./ Dynamotive study are exciting results given how far north the site is at 45 degrees, and the low application rates. I suspect, as we saw with the Imperial College test, the yield benefits seem to decrease the cooler the climate. In 2008, a 20% increase in grain yield was shown and for a forage mixture in 2009 a 100% increase in fresh biomass was obtained. Other parameters showing increases with CQuest Biochar included earthworm, nematode and mycorrhizal root colonization, supporting the hypothesis that biochar may serve as a refuge for soil microbes. Surface soil water infiltration was also greater in biochar amended soil. http://www.biofuelsjournal.com/articles/BlueLeaf_Inc__and_Dynamotive_Release_2nd_Year_Field_Trial_Results_With_Dynamotive_CQuestT_Biochar-90009.html
Yeast devil! Back to the oven that baked you! And take this tiny ad too:
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