charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

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

  1. erich

    erich Junior Member

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    I went to their web page, found nothing , got a link?
    Thanks
     
  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Erich,

    Discover tells me that since I have a magazine subscription, I get it before it hits the stands. Articles from the most recent issue will not be on the website until then... :(

    However, I DID notice that they are allowing anyone to view their online articles without logging in or having an account! It says "for a limited time" so get your reading in soon! :lol:

    9anda1f
     
  3. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Dunno who to ask these days but here goes...

    Murray, can we have a new sub-section devoted entirely to terra preta.

    It is, I agree, the most important thing I have heard about since Permaculture and any scrap of info seems to generate lots of questions.

    floot
     
  4. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Michaelangelica, I looked into using cat litter, and there are other additives in it that they don't recommend you put in vegetable gardens. They won't say what these are, as they are part of their proprietary blends. And adding that much clay to the soil over the long term might really change it. Those of us who already have clay soil don't want any more clay in it!! :lol: And I think the smallness of the particles don't really allow biological activity in/on them, the way larger pottery shards do. Plus we shouldn't use the cat poo part because of pathogens. But it is tempting to use the urine clumps.

    =====

    But the pottery in the Amazon would have been made from their soils, not glazed, very porous like stoneware, that when broken would allow bacteria to survive in it. Terra cotta clay is only in certain places in the world, is not as porous, but as we've all seen, clay pots that are damp and in the shade allow fungi to grow, which would be great in the soil.

    One thing I've noticed lately is any plants I buy at the nursery seem to be grown in a soil mix that has small bit of clay or brick in it. The plants never seem to do as well if I keep the plants in this mixture. So I'm not sure if it's that they are breaking up what they think are clay bricks, and they are really painted cement bricks that are adding too much lime to the mix, or it takes a long time and a lot of moisture for the clay pieces to work. I don't put any of the clay chip mixture in my potted plants. And I do no-till, so I don't know how I'd get clay under the soil, not sure that I want to. Anybody else ever noticed this new nursery mixture?

    And about the charcoal and a slow burn, if you do a regular fire, just take the charcoal out once the pieces are black with some white ash on them, and put them in water, or spray your fire with water from the garden hose to stop the burning, and you'll have charcoal without a lot of fuss.
     
  5. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    I'm still testing the idea, but I'm using coffee shop coffee grounds as a charcoal source, the grounds are mixed into my compost as cakes with added dolomite to balance the 5.5ph

    I'm going to start soaking the coffee in high bio mixes before adding them to my system, they should feed the acid loving blueberries well, I've just added some so I'm looking forward to seeing how it effects them.

    Sources, I have a good friendship with the local coffee shop and I get about 40lt of dry coffee cakes a week. we have two plastic 20lt kegs which work well transporting the quite heavy amounts I get.

    I found a chemical spec for coffee grounds online, now I can't support the amounts shown but will just go on that they are right.

    https://www.recyclethis.co.uk/20060605/how-can-i-reuse-or-recycle-spent-coffee-grounds
    The ground charred beans have boiling water jetted through it, giving it more space for tiny biolife, I'm hoping I get a low break down in my compost, I have two 400lt hot compost bins, adding 20lt's twice a week to each, this is getting mixed with normal compost material, I'm really keen to see how much they break down, I should be able to tell with that amount.
     
  6. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Baz, interesting! At first I thought, nawwww, how could coffee grounds be big enough to have that aDsorption property? Then I looked it up, and interestingly enough, they are looking into how coffee ground work with ammonia, i.e. pee with nitrogen, and they are very effective, which when applied to the circumstances in the soil, would be quite impressive!

    https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jos ... 1/_article

    and here's a straight comparison with the coffee grounds and their micropores seem to be more effective!

    https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/a ... 2/art05601

    Here's one on their ability to filter heavy metals from water:

    https://www.emaxhealth.com/16/346.html


    Very interesting! Thanks for the info!
     
  7. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    I have booked in to go to the International Agrichar Initiative 2007 Conference and all the field trips, i'm so looking forward to talking to experts in this field.

    https://www.iaiconference.org/2007conferenceagenda.html

    I'm hoping this will be a turning point in my involvement with biochar. I have also taken two web domains out as part of my research, https://www.biochar.net and https://www.solarchar.com, I will develop the biochar site as a information hub for permaculture and small scale organic producers, the solarchar site will be used in the development of a solarchar oven that i'm developing, both sites are not working presently but will be up and running as time permits.

    I will of course post some of the highlights from the Conference, was anyone from here thinking of going?

    Baz
     
  8. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    G'day Baz,

    Good to see you here mate - we'll be looking forward to your thoughts/highlights...I wish I could go but the timing is no good for me.
     
  9. erich

    erich Junior Member

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    ConocoPhillips $22.5 Million Pyrolysis Program at Iowa State

    Have fun in OZ, Say Hi to Michael for us,

    Your efforts and web sites sound great, and OZ conference should open many more doors.

    Also Here is the Latest BIG Terra Preta Soil news;
    ConocoPhillips Establishes $22.5 Million Pyrolysis Program at Iowa State

    https://www.conocophillips.com/newsroom/ ... 041007.htm



    Here is my latest post to Rep. Bob Goodlatte (House Agriculture committee) after speaking to him at his Agriculture Conference in Staunton VA on 3/19/07, concerning issues for the up coming Farm bill.
    I also got to button hole Bruce Knight,USDA under secretary for marketing and regulation, Arlen Landcaster, Chief of The National Resource & Conservation Service (USDA), and John Bricker, Virginia State Conservationist


    "Dear Mr. Goodlatte, Mr. Bricker and Mr. Goldberg,

    Thanks for hearing my concerns about regulations to support validation of Carbon Credits for the Sequestration of Charcoal in the soils at your Agriculture Conference Monday.

    This soil technology could be the perfect Republican environmental plank. A truly conservative position to take on the stewardship of the planet , a real form of "Creation Care".


    After many years of reviewing solutions to anthropogenic global warming (AGW) I believe this technology
    can manage Carbon for the greatest collective benefit at the lowest economic price, on vast scales. It just needs to be seen by ethical globally minded companies.

    Below is my review of these efforts in the Academic and private sectors, please forward this to all the experts you know, if you think it merits their time and support.



    Thanks for your attention

    Erich J. Knight
    Shenandoah Gardens
    E-mail: shengar at aol.com
    (540) 289-9750



    Could you please consider looking for a champion for this orphaned Terra Preta(TP) Carbon Soil Technology.

    The main hurtle now is to change the current perspective held by the IPCC that the soil carbon cycle is a wash, to one in which soil can be used as a massive and ubiquitous Carbon sink via Charcoal. Below are the first concrete steps in that direction;

    Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.
    Potential Carbon Emissions Reductions from Biomass by 2030
    by Ralph P. Overend, Ph.D. and Anelia Milbrandt
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory
    https://www.ases.org/climatechange/toc/07_biomass.pdf


    The organization 25x25 (see 25x'25 - Home) released it's (first-ever, 55-page )"Action Plan" ; see https://www.25x25.org/storage/25x25/d...ActionPlan.pdf
    On page 31, as one of four foci for recommended RD&D, the plan lists: "The development of biochar, animal agriculture residues and other non-fossil fuel based fertilizers, toward the end of integrating energy production with enhanced soil quality and carbon sequestration."
    and on p 32, recommended as part of an expanded database aspect of infrastructure: "Information on the application of carbon as fertilizer and existing carbon credit trading systems."

    I feel 25x25 is now the premier US advocacy organization for all forms of renewable energy, but way out in front on biomass topics.


    There are 24 billion tons of carbon controlled by man in his agriculture , I forgot the % that is waste, but when you add all the other cellulose waste which is now dumped to rot or digested or combusted and ultimately returned to the atmosphere as GHG, the balanced number is around 24 Billion tons. So we have plenty of bio-mass.

    Even with all the big corporations coming to the GHG negotiation table, like Exxon, Alcoa, .etc, we still need to keep watch as they try to influence how carbon management is legislated in the USA. Carbon must have a fair price, that fair price and the changes in the view of how the soil carbon cycle now can be used as a massive sink verses it now being viewed as a wash, will be of particular value to farmers and a global cool breath of fresh air for us all.



    If you have any other questions please feel free to call me or visit the TP website I've been drafted to administer. https://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/?q=node
    It has been immensely gratifying to see all the major players join the mail list , Cornell folks, T. Beer of Kings Ford Charcoal (Clorox), Novozyne the M-Roots guys(fungus), chemical engineers, Dr. Danny Day of G. I. T. , Dr. Antal of U. of H., Virginia Tech folks and probably many others who's back round I don't know have joined.
     
  10. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Trips all planned, staying at a good friends organic farm on the way, should be a good trip, I hope the car holds out :)

    I have a better place holder up for https://www.biochar.net too, I got the e-mail up and going, got a few business cards to hand out. I do feel a little out of my depth with this trip, but I'm sure I will learn a thing or two.
     
  11. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Skepticism to liven the discussion

    I can understand your sceptisism.
    At the recent IAI Confrence I found out that there are 6,000 year old, highly fertile, man-made soils in the Amazon.
    Believing in fairies at the bottom of may garden is easier than believing that.

    There is very little to "sell' with TP at the moment apart from the idea.
    It stands or falls on its own.
    It would be good if you could get to see the BBC, TV documentry Horizons programme on TP. it explains a lot.

    I believe it can be a grass roots backyard/farm operation
    and Big Business can go off and do their own thing with their high tec. char, carbon credits, electricity generation, green coal, government funded R&D, Ph.D writing, etc., etc.,
    ........................................
    Here are the topics on char and TP running on Hypography at the moment
    The sub- forum has only recently started. Please join in. It is a nice community like permaculture.
    https://forums.hypography.com/terra-preta.html
    There is also a new list sever at [email protected]
    It is already very busy.
    --
    M
     
  12. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Skepticism to liven the discussion

    [
    This is an excellent summary of waht happened at the IAI Confrence
    Kelpie Wilson | Birth of a New Wedge
    The first meeting of the International Agrichar Initiative convened about 100 scientists, policymakers, farmers and investors with the goal of birthing an entire new industry to produce a biofuel that goes beyond carbon neutral and is ...
    truthout - https://truthout.org

    An interesting Scientific American Article on Terra preta.

    https://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID ... =1&catID=4
     
  13. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    World Environment Day Awards 2007

    Pyrolysis gets a mention!!
    In the finals!
    Amazing!
    m



    UNITED
    NATIONS
    ASSOCIATION OF
    AUSTRALIA
    World Environment Day Awards 2007

    FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
    The United Nations Association of Australia today announces the finalists in this year’s UNAA
    World Environment Day Awards (see attached list). . .
    ...
    . . blah
    . .
    Award winners will be announced at the Awards Presentation Dinner to be held at the Grand
    Hyatt, Melbourne on Friday 1 June, 2007. This gala event will be hosted by Rob Gell,
    Environmentalist and President of Greening Australia, Victoria.
    For further details please contact:
    Patricia Collett, UNAA Executive Director
    Ph: (03) 9670 7878 or 0418 544 315
    Email: [email protected]
    Proudly sponsored by
    ________________________________


    World Environment Day Awards 2007
    FINALISTS ANNOUNCED Continued
    Sustainability Victoria Meeting the Greenhouse Challenge Award
    • Best Energies & NSW DPI – “Pyrolysis for Renewable Energy & Agrichar”
    • Carbon Pool – “Minding the Carbon Store”
    • CO2 Australia – “Carbon Sequestration Program”
    • Origin Energy – “Carbon Reduction Scheme”
    g
     
  14. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Potting mixes

    Thanks sweet pea I am establishing a new garden in a suburban garden that has obviously been designed by a landscaper. I could almost start a tea plantation with all the Carmelia sasanquas (boring)
    I killed most of what I planted at first
    Then tested the soil; and came up with a pH of 9!!
    Then went into hospital for a cancer op, a year disappeared;
    and
    now in the last 12 months have been growing everything in pots.
    and
    Triyng to do something with the soil!!

    I use a handful of no-name brand kitty litter (attapulgite ) in my potting mixes It seems fine.(Why dosn't everthing you buy say, by law, what is in it!)
    I am told that bi-carbonate of soda used to be added to KL to stop the smell but I don't see any evidence of that. Stephen Joseph suggested I use zeolite but I have not seen it for sale.

    You just inspired me to google zeolite. :idea:
    https://www.cmzeolites.com.au/
    MORE AT:-
    https://www.zeolite.com.au/products/zeolite.html
    THAT is an interesting read. Sounds like it does much the same things as charcoal in the soil!
    Email off to them next. "Please sir can a have a little bag" :)

    I like to make my own potting mix. I buy $3 bags of Coles PM and mix in seaweed, old manures, kitty litter, compost, river sand, charcoal, coco peat. I put seaweed and manures at the bottom of the pot and make sure the plant roots are in something innocuous
    I am trying to find some cheap volcanic rock!
    I change the potting mixes a little depending on what I know the plant likes (dry wet etc)
    I put up a sign at my local nursery's pot-recycling-depot for broken Terracotta but I need something a bit more permanent than computer paper! (dope! :withstupid:)

    There is a research article on what the Amazonian clay was made of. I know I posted it to the TP list. It may also be at Hypography.
    I was surprised by a picture of TP Clay at The IAI conference. There were stacks of BIG pottery shards. Going down 2 M or more.
    I thought perhaps the Amazonian Indians must have indulged in plate-smashing competitions like modern day Greeks!?:) :D

    Interesting observation about the clay brick. I wonder what it is? Nothing like that in my 'el chepo' mix.

    I now live in suburbia, I am not sure about backyard burning.
    I am sure it is probably illegal. But every time I go past some one's Moving-House-Rubbish-Pile with lots of wood waste I am sorely tempted.
    There is also a timber mill near me with a mountain of waste. It looks old; so they don't seem to be doing anything with it.

    I just need to buy a backyard pyrolysis unit.
    I am looking on the web now.
    Stephen Joseph the founder of BEST Energies retires next week.
    I might invite him over for lunch???

    Off to send some Zeolite emalis in my quest to make the "Holly Grail" of Potting mixes. (The local produce-merchant hates me "What do you want? Why:?: ").

    :angel5: :angel7:
    m

    “May those who love us, love us;
    and those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts;
    and if He doesn't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so we'll know them by their limping.”
    -Irish Blessing
     
  15. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    A car running on coffee grounds?

    Speaking of coffee grounds, this might be an even better use!!
    A car running on coffee grounds?
    I guess it has an inbuilt espresso machine?
    That's my type of car!

    https://www.theautochannel.com/news/2007 ... 48545.html
     
  16. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  17. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Terracotta & clay in Potting mixes

    I saw at a local nursery today crushed terracotta. It seemed to be crushed Terracotta roofing tiles. One side was often glazed. It did not look anywhere near as porous as terracotta pots. It was cheap $AUD 8. for 20K

    Any thoughts?

    They also had fine blue metal which is also said to be good in potting mixes
     
  18. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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  19. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    Just wanted to make this point again (because I think there's a lot of confusion on it) and also give an update on Australian happenings on Terra Preta:

     
  20. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    I just recently discovered that kitty litter is mainly fuller's earth.

    Here's some info at Wikipedia if anyone is interested. It does seem like it might fit in with TP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuller's_earth

    Sue
     

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