Greg Martin wrote:
Trace Oswald wrote:I use the method as outlined by Paul, and I find that it works great. I didn't think anything was misrepresented in the film.
My apologies Trace. I pulled my comment out about that. I went back to look and realized it was his garden tour that I partially watched. He was referring to how the experts say you can't do this because of nitrogen loss, but all the experts I know have only warned against rototilling woodchips into the soil to avoid stunting the growth that year. I can't imagine anyone saying that laying woodchips on the soil surface is a problem since it is very common practice and has been for a very long time. I've been doing it for 30 years and thought it was common practice back when I started.
Phil Stevens wrote:@Chris - If i mix char with feed, I'll use finely ground material. I expect, however, that a gizzard would be one if the best ways of grinding chunks to powder. Since I'm about to start producing larger quantities of char for some pilot testing in waterways, I'm looking for a grinding and grading method, and I'd love to have a giant chicken gizzard. Last weekend I tried a makeshift ball mill with a concrete mixer and a few steel balls and large river rocks. They just rolled around on the char and rounded off all the edges after a while. I'll start a new thread with volcano photos.
@Kola Redhawk - I'd definitely start with small amounts in an effort to keep internal biomes functioning. As to the naming, I appreciate the distinction. In an effort to evangelise biochar to the rest of the world, and especially the farming community in NZ, I have been using the term "biochar" to refer to well-pyrolised biomass from a variety of feedstocks. I distinguish the raw material from the inoculated stuff simply by describing it as inoculated or soil ready. This is kind of a tough one to figure out, because I know why you and others (including myself not too many months ago) are careful with terminology. I am currently working, via a number of avenues, to get biochar into the mainstream by proposing its application in several settings in my region as a water quality improvement tool. This means direct application of raw char in sediment traps and bunds, where its sorption attributes can reduce dissolved pollutants (especially nitrates) and then eventually be either retrieved and incorporated in soil, or left to serve as durable carbon in a wetland environment. There's a bit of buzz here associated with the word "biochar" now and since one of the things I'm promoting is the ability of farmers to use feedstocks that they grow, I've chosen to make raw vs inoculated the distinguishing factor.
@Trace - The material I put in the coop was still damp from the quench process about a week prior. But when I got into a bag of the material that I made in the wood fire last winter I was reminded that a respirator really is a good idea.