Greg Martin

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since Oct 04, 2014
Greg likes ...
food preservation forest garden homestead solar trees wood heat
Biochar maker, forest gardener/edible landscapist, plant breeding dabbler, forager.
Maine, zone 5
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Recent posts by Greg Martin

Yes, the cone kiln and the open pit/trench are essentially the same, except that you don't have to buy a metal object and have it shipped.  The in-place trench method is perhaps the best if the land is open, not already a food forest.  Clearing dropped branches in the fall in a trench that will become a planting bed in the spring is pretty attractive.  A great mimic of a forest fire disturbance.  Composting in place with that spot would make it even better.  Anyone who has not composted with biochar in the raw materials mix is missing out.  It's the most beautiful compost you'll lay your eyes on!
1 hour ago
If you end up not liking your drum consider the open pit method.  Since using an open pit I've realized that I will never go back to a drum....too little production and just another ugly thing taking away from having a permaculture paradise.  I was very happy when I got rid of mine....although I do singe myself sometimes with an open flame (will add a large stone or other surface to draft the flame and act as a chimney to take care of that issue).  Best wishes.
4 hours ago

Dale Hodgins wrote:My mother cares what people at her church think. And she would like to fix me up with someone who is completely inappropriate for me because of their religiosity. She's been an embarrassment all my life with her imaginary friends and faith healings.

Got it...when folks come from such different places their ideas of what makes one happy are on different planets.  I was idealizing the mother relationship (I am a somewhat hopeless idealist) and what perspective she might be bringing to the table (worries and concerns for you)....but very little is ideal out there.  It seems that perhaps your sister was coming closer to the voice I was thinking of.  Best wishes Dale.
4 hours ago

Dale Hodgins wrote:My mother thinks it isn't proper, whatever that means.

Dale, I have no idea what your relationship is like with your mom, but it might be of some value in considering what her opinion means.  She could be interested in what truly is in your best interests.
14 hours ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:

Greg Martin wrote:Biochar (but what would that symbol look like???)

Somehow I missed this when you first posted it. If you can think of a good image, I can try to make it!

I'm noodling over what could possibly work for biochar.  Not sure it would be easy or recognizable, but maybe a mini image something like this one?

Travis, the open pit method has been posted on here a few times.  It's my favorite method and I use it all the time with great results.  Here's a link describing the method:

If you have any questions I'm happy to help....cheers.
2 weeks ago
Another vote for...

David Tennant is just so fun to watch.
2 weeks ago
Hi Travis.  Partially charred wood has that smell, but fully and properly produced biochar/charcoal has no odor.  Properly produced biochar reaches a temperature of almost 1000F.  At those temperatures there is nothing volatile left to produce smells.  But partially charred wood still has lots of volatiles in it that were produced during the burn.  Due to it's absorptive high internal surface area biochar will actually absorb odors, not emit them.
2 weeks ago
Peter, is this a good time to use some of that stored water to prewet the soil around your place as much as possible so as to try and get better rain infiltration?  Just a thought as I have no idea how dry or not your soil is, but they're saying they expect a lot of run off due to hydrophobic soil surfaces due to dryness.
2 weeks ago
Also, very sorry for the multiple "should" use in that last post....I should not have done that!
3 weeks ago