Recently I helped bring Bob Wells of New England Biochar to Bridgewater State University to give a demonstration on how to create biochar and to give a talk about the benefits of biochar. Bob's mission is "To empower people to sustainably produce and use biochar as a healing medium for our soils."
Biochar is wood that is converted into pure carbon by the burning off of the wood gasses and moisture. When it has been converted into carbon, it is mixed with organic compost where it absorbs the nutrients. Then you can put it in your vegetable garden soil where it acts as a reservoir of soil fertility that lasts for years. Because it is pure carbon, it will take hundreds if not thousands of years to break down; Therefore it is a solution to take carbon out of the atmosphere and put it into the ground where it can do good instead of harm. To learn more, watch the New England Biochar UTube Channel. The biochar produced by the students and Bob Wells was put into the new university organic vegetable garden.
This year I implemented biochar into my organic urban vegetable garden for the first time. My husband and I crushed up the biochar and mixed it with fish emulsion produced by Neptune in Gloucester, MA. This by-product of the fishing industry is created from the fish waste and is an excellent nutrient source for vegetable gardens. We diluted it with water and soaked the bio char in a large trash barrel. After two weeks we mixed this into our soil. We got exceptionally healthy, productive and resilient plants as a result!
I attended a conference held by Bio4Climate in February 2015, where I was first introduced to biochar. I was so amazed by the presentation, that I had to learn more, which lead me to UTube where I discovered New England Biochar. 2015 was a transformative year for me in my knowledge of permaculture and sustainable agriculture practices, and I will never look back.