Chris Kott wrote:I agree with the whole perfect being the enemy of the good and the analysis paralysis points. But how long did it take for the traditional knowledge surrounding the making of terra preta to come about? Trial and error can take a long time.
I am not saying to not do anything until you get the process perfect. That doesn't make sense. But I think it makes sense to get as much knowledge as possible without letting the research impede you. I think that is what the sans microscope analysis is about.
And I love both the tink test and the stink test, Redhawk. Sounds like a great practical approach to analysis.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:The ancients, most likely didn't know they were making Terra Preta, most likely they were using the charcoal to loosen the soil for plants to grow better and over time the bacteria moved in to set up house keeping and thrive there.
In areas that are far from "civilization niceties" methods needed to be found that could be used with decent repeatability and conformity, that is where I came up with the "Tink" test.
Smelly charcoal is easy to detect and odors come from non- carbon materials that remain, so that too is an easy test method to determine if your charcoal is "pure enough".
Far to many people do get hung up on things that really don't matter as much as they want them to matter, it seems to me these are folks that lean towards the "nerdy" side of science instead of helping science be practical.
The main concern with making charcoal is to get rid of all the contaminants that reside in wood, we just want the carbon that is in there and so have to use heat to combust all the crud.
In the big picture, if your charcoal has some impurities it will still work once the microorganisms are living in it, it might even work better because of those impurities.
The thing is, get it done and into the soil so your microbiology will improve greatly and thus your soil will improve greatly.
one of the big things bio char does is hold extra water, it works a lot like a sponge, the water is soaked in and as it becomes used, air takes the place of the water.