charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by bazman, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Billie

    Billie Junior Member

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    Organic carbon sales/purchases in Aust.

    Re; How to save the world from it's worst pest etc

    Please just refer back to that posting/message for the relevant info

    Thanks, er sorry. Billie
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Hypography have split their Terra preta discussion

    Hypography have split their Terra preta discussion into a sub-forum as it was getting to busy and big
    See
    https://forums.hypography.com/terra-preta.html

    By the way, they have a "Chemistry 101" thread where you can ask dumb questions about chemical matters that might effect the garden planet etc and get an expert to answer them for you. Great for chemical ignoramuses like me
     
  3. TropicalRose

    TropicalRose Junior Member

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    terra preta soils

    Wow, this is a pretty timely subject for me. We have 44 acres of undeveloped land that has been burned every year for weed control prior to our buying it hence heaps of charcoal and won't have to burn anymore trees. Will definitely be using it in the gardens. We're also in the tropics so it should be a pretty good experiment.
     
  4. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Tha Amazonian Indians invented Permaculture

    Tha Amazonian Indians of 2,000-2,500 years ago seem to be the people who first invented Permaculture.
    Read this article
    and see

    https://news.mongabay.com/2006/0514-amazon.html
     
  5. TropicalRose

    TropicalRose Junior Member

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    Yes I think we are of necessity reinventing the wheel.
     
  6. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Wow,

    Interesting observation there Michaelanglica, it may even be relevant.

    Permaculture is NON specific in its rationale, be it urban platform, altiplano, rainforest or desert. It is a method, an understanding.

    I appreciate your new-found enthusiasm, but really, to make the statement
    Really, this statement is redundant. The central theme of permaculture is sustainability. Did these mysterious folk sustain?

    Enough from me

    floot
     
  7. Scott A. Meister

    Scott A. Meister Junior Member

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    Floot...I have to agree with you there.

    I'd also like to add to that...

    I've heard so many times from so many people that "so-and-so, or such-and-such culture invented permaculture years ago!" It's actually quite impossible. First of all...because most people tend to pigeon-hole permaculture as being just about organic gardening, which it is in fact not. Like Geoff Lawton often says, organic gardening is just like a hanger in the wardrobe of permaculture, or like I enjoy saying, a tool in it's tool-box. Permaculture is a design science aimed at providing all of life's needs in a sustainable fashion, not just food (even though it usually starts with food for good reasons). Furthermore...the permaculture that I learned incorporates a diverse set of technologies borrowed from various cultures around the world. Technologies and systems that work in concert to create sustainable settlements. One culture created swales and small dams...one chinampas...one passive solar heating...another ways of passive solar cooling...one, creates one way of organic gardening...another creates another...and they're all put together now in the form of permaculture. The communication channels and the means of travel to discover them all and put them all together didn't exist until very recently in human history.

    It seems like all the information on this thread is very interesting and useful, and I personally want to thank everyone for all the great information! I've actually been quite enthralled reading this all night. This internet forum allows us to continue to add new elements, and new hangars in the wardrobe of permaculture, and it looks like this charcoal agriculture shtuff is on it's way to becoming another thing to put in the permaculture bag of tricks.

    Cheers!

    -Scotto
     
  8. Billie

    Billie Junior Member

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    Bloody fantastic

    Floot, your a bloody legend, my man. Thanks for that link. I will give that a go along with the Carbon Gold.

    It will be interesting to see the effects with regards to pasture and bush regeneration. I'll wait a few months before I take soil samples after application. Then I can post that info. up for all.

    And thanks to bazman and mike'lic.
     
  9. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    Absolutely Floot, Scott, ...to me Permaculture is about identifying inherently strong, mutually beneficial connections...creating maximum efficiency flows between these connections through observation and informed planning and all that goes along with these things...it goes infinitely beyond organic gardening and food production.

    IMO, if you understand its full intention and potential, Permaculture permeates every facet of life.

    But back to the specific topic, I really have to add...terra preta charcoal isn't what some people seem to think of as 'charcoal'...it's not the remains of a hot burning woodheater, barbecue or what's left over after a raging forest fire or high intensity burnoff. We're talking about low intensity fire (pyrolising) which leaves behind a charcoal which is far more like little chunks of pummice or sponge - the ideal medium to provide zillions of little 'niches' which vastly expand the number of beneficial soil micro-organisms by providing them with ideal habitats.

    Apart from perhaps the very edges, high intensity fire doesn't create the same sort of 'pummice effect' with all the microscopic niches necessary.
     
  10. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Its been said before about those indians inventing "permaculture" By me ....


    Youve taken the statement literally ...was meant to be .."as in using certain bits of what we recognise, maybe as permaculture ideas,concepts, Of course they didnt invent "permaculture" They probly couldnt spell the word!!!!!

    Permaculture practises have probly been around since Ugg was a cave dweller, but to them it was just COMMON sence.......Something thats lacking in our present world today.
     
  11. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Did everyone actually read the link I gave?

    I wonder

    They sustained themselves for 2,000 years and left the soil still highly fertile and the environment in a healthy state.

    Will we?
     
  12. TropicalRose

    TropicalRose Junior Member

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    Michaelangelica I read the link and thanks so much for posting it. It gave me much food for though. Amazon farmers may have cultivated and managed entire ecosystems

    I suspect (and hope I guess) that our early dry season fires which often just smoulder for weeks after the grass is gone may produce the right type of charcoal.

    And thanks Jez, I will look for the type of charcoal you described. I'm sure I've seen some like that around half burnt trees. Can't go and look for a few days at least though, we're being deluged here.
     
  13. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Yes isn't the rain great
    are you in Oz?

    Aborigines usually lit 'cold' fires. That is, fires that were burnt on cold damp days. This has more chance of producing charcoal than wildfires in summer (I think,-don't quote me). I am told that they also burnt around areas rich in rainforest bush food to protect them from wild fires.
    Most fires produce a lot of ash which has very different effects on the soil to charcoal (see the Permaculture thread on Wood Ash)
     
  14. TropicalRose

    TropicalRose Junior Member

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    Michael, yes I am in Oz in the NT. I never knock the rain, I love it though its a bit hard not being able to get out in the garden.
    The fires that burnt our property previously were lit by the previous owner for weed management but they stick to some Aboriginal fire management principles up here eg. burning while there's still moisture in the ground and green grass.
     
  15. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    I'm just inland from Cairns on the Tablelands ATM TR, we've had stacks of rain this wet season too.

    You're right, we can't dare complain about being stuck indoors due to rain now and again when we see how dry the rest of Australia is can we? :wink:
     
  16. erich

    erich Junior Member

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    Sustainability Question

    The ONLY thing un-sustainable about the Amazon TP culture was their immune systems. Once exposed to the diseases of pigs and cows via western contact (to which we are immune through 8,000 years of living with domestic animals cheek to jowl) the culture was so decimated that all this knowledge was lost.

    Thank god their work was so recalcitrant that it survived for us to gain this knowledge just in time!

    I can't recommend highly enough the books , "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jarrod Diamond and "1491" by C. Mann to provide a most complete understanding of how and why the west ended up dominating technology and the world despite other cultures actually developing most of these technologies first.

    If it wasn't for a few unics in the royal court, we probability would be having this discussion in Chinese.
     
  17. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: A FEW LINKS ON MAKING CHARCOAL

    I am told that if you do it properly. You could have a system that has no more emissions than a diesel truck
    However any home plant will not meet the strict EPA standards that apply to industrial thermal plant,and many suburban councils may go bizzerk about smoke.
     
  18. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  19. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    Yo Erich, if you dig Diamond, I highly recommend you check out Alfred W. Crosby's "Ecological Imperialism; The Biological Expansion of Europe 900 -1900". His style is really great and the same arguments are there, but Crosby's book came out in the 70's or 80's, anyway, years before Diamond wrote Guns, Germs & Steel, which I suppose is the sexier title!
     
  20. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Noted a Terra Preta article in the Discover magazine I received this afternoon...I'd better go read it!

    9anda1f
     

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