Soil and Compost forum: Biochar or charcoal for your compost

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Name: Thom Foote
Colbert, WA (Zone 6a)
Organic herb farmers
Feb 23, 2012 1:30 PM CST
I watched a video on YouTube from Amy Smith of MIT about making charcoal. Biochar is a great thing to add to garden soil and/or compost. I just tried it this morning and it took an hour to make charcoal. I put this into my compost to absorb nutrients. By this summer it will have become infused with nutrients and will release them slowly when I add the compost to the garden. Easy to do, not very dirty and you can use virtually any material that is made of carbon. Actually straw, twigs, branches, etc.
My farm facebook page is Old Fart-a-muit where I describe it in more detail and will post a video.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Feb 23, 2012 1:33 PM CST Admin

We made many batches of charcoal a couple years ago. We would grind the charcoal into powder and inoculate it with compost tea from vermicomposting. This biochar was then added to our compost where it eventually reached our gardens and potted plants. I have a lecture on the subject that I've delivered to several master gardener groups around Texas, and I've been planning on taking my lecture and making a tutorial article for ATP. Smiling

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