The biochar solution

biochar book cover
Biochar solution, link to on line vendor and PDF download

Here is the book that started it all off for us, The Biochar Solution by Albert Bates.

Just a few short years ago  our colleague Steve Jones  had been asked to write a review of the ground breaking book for the Permaculture Magazine. His enthusiasm for the subject challenged us to read the book as well and we were instantly inspired to find out  much more on this amazing subject.

Biochar offers us a tool that if used correctly could provide the  means for a genuinely carbon negative strategy for land management.

We immediately set up some trial beds to grow with at home and Steve began his own experiments at the Cultivate project in Newtown.

Garden Planet Biochar is the result of the last 5 years of playing around with biochar, making it, we have developed our own retort kiln and have been testing cookers and stoves, as well as growing with the biochar as a soil improver.

We have lots to say on the subject,and this blog hopefully will give us the chance to get our ideas out there and to link with other people with similar interests. Meanwhile here is a short video of Albert talking about the book in an excellent interview that gives a really good idea why we are so excited about biochar.

We won an Unltd Do it! award for social entrepreneurs!

We were thrilled to learn yesterday that we have won a £4,500 award from Unlimited, an organisation that likes to give business development support to social entrepreneurs. We were invited to the Hay festival last month to present our ideas at the Green Dragon’s Den,  and though we were only one of the 2 runners upon the day we have still been equally successful if getting the start up grant we had applied for.

Its enough to get us mobile, get us out the garden shed as it were. We can build a mobile demonstration unit and put it on a decent trailer.  So we will be able to take it to locations to make biochar in situation and use it as a demonstration and training facility.

We are also hoping to get our first batches of biochar made up, we have only made test batches so far but we are nearly ready to go into production.

We will be at the British Biochar Foundation conference next week and will be taking the burner with us, so we can participate in testing at the conference. We will also be able to get the resulting char scientifically tested at the event as well, so it will be a big moment of truth for us.