I'm new on here so i figured i'd throw a topic up that i haven't found except under other topics. BioChar, is it good? I've always been trying more sustainable ways to grow before i heard the phrase "permaculture" Now i've seen about every video on it i can find on you tube and other dvds. I've introduced it to 2 of my friends and they are wanting to get large plot and split 3 ways between us to go big, money being the issue though. Anyway, I've been looking at all the ways to become sustainable using new technology since it's already there and would be useful to have if some sort of depression or collapse happens. I ran across biochar and how it's being pushed to farmers to spread on their fields to build organics back up etc. I think biochar has its place and isn't something i would set as a goal but a byproduct. I am fascinated by all the various ways to fuel engines and i really like the gasifiers. I'm thinking if you have a wooded area that you can use the gasifier to split firewood to burn for heat or use if for a generator if need and you decide to go off grid. So you get free fuel plus the char to enrich soil. I see a few people making their own charcoal briquettes too. I thought about that and instead of making just charcoal briquettes you could soak them in compost tea and use it almost as a slow release fertilizer. I do not agree with any of this if you are taking down trees at a rate they can't replenish. I also do not agree with it on a massive commercial scale. Thats one worry i have about mono-croppers jumping on biochar bandwagon. You will see forests planted of the fastest growing trees before long to keep a biochar supply. It is helping their soil some but robbing it elsewhere. I think it should be used where it is also an alternative fuel source only if needed or even better stick to hugelkulture. I understand though if you buy land that is a spent cornfield with no trees or anything on it. That is the land for sale around me and what i may have to deal with. I love to start from a clean slate but it will take awhile to collect resources to enrich the land again. To get a piece of land stuck between a highway and interstate with a little stream is around 350,000 for 40 acres. That may be cheap compared to the rest of the world though. Farmland is being sold left and right around here in usually 40 acre plots for 300k and it's flat and usually in the middle of another field of someone elses. Back to biochar, i believe it's beneficial used in ways that i mentioned and would love to hear other ideas for it. Maybe we can drive around gasifier cars and tractors again. Mount one to the front of the ol' ferrari. I live on 1/8th of an acre right now and don't need biochar. I take all the neighbors leaf piles that were waiting for city pickup and compost them in my front yard. Throwing in a hugelkulture row in garden, sheet mulch on one row, raised bed on one row then a row of vines climbing and of course throwing in some clover to grow where ever and start cover cropping. I'm done with tilling from now on. My dad debates the clover and says they will choke everything out. He worked for U.s.d.a before i was alive. I like to prove people wrong. I'm done with fancy flowerbed though i have to make them nice because the wife doesn't care about permaculture at all since we don't share food bill and refuses to lay off the taco bell. So this is my endeavor that i hope my newly born son will someday understand. Sorry for making this long and off topic ALOT.