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2701 North 29th Street
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2701 North 29th Street, Boise, ID, US
Climate zone:
Cold Temperate

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The Biochar Experiment

Project: 2701 North 29th Street

Posted by Daniel Broockmann almost 12 years ago

In the Spring of 2012 some friends and I decided to make and test biochar for increasing soil health and productivity.

I have been trying to figure out what to do with the growing pile of fruit tree limbs from my orchard.  This spring a friend started talking about the values of biochar for use in soils.  Viola!  The answer for what to do with all those extra limbs!

The idea behind biochar as I understand it is that it will lwer soil acidity, increase the ability of the soil to hold nutrients and nourish a rich microorganic community, sequester carbon, and a number of other things.  Seemed like it would be worth a shot.

I built a char making kiln using the double retort method.  I've tried a number of different carbon based materials as fuel and learned a few lessons about how to cook things.

The test bed is set up and I have tried very hard to remove extra variables so that we are looking at the effects of bichar.  The test bed is set up with three sections: "charged" biochar, a center control area, and stragith biochar.  I planted the same guid of plants in each (from the same batch of seedlings at about the same rate of development) and have provided them each with the same drip irrigation lines and water amounts.  Stay tuned to see how they progress!

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Richard Self
Richard Self : That sounds very interesting! I am keen to see how you get on. I have just started making biochar in tin - about 5litres in size - just big enough to fit wads of used A4 paper from work into, lying on its side. I am looking forward to seeing how your test goes. :)
Posted almost 12 years ago

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