Transition Whatcom

I’d rather be talking about bio-char or terra prieta if you will. My wood stove allows me to control the air intake. Giving a lower supply of Oxygen is the goal in achieving pyralysis. At the end of the night I add a  stick of wood and reduce the intake. The small black charcoal pieces and ash are added to the compost pile for a week or two and then combined with a wheelbarrow of fertile forest soil, some pound scum, a small bucket of clam shells (broken), mycyliated wood chips (local varieties). In a perfect world this would then set for a thousand years. Unfortunately for time constraints, I’ve had to narrow it down to more like a month. My first application to the red cedars and hemlocks I’ve planted over the past seven years was stunning. The results began quickly and continue to impress me. I want to try it on an older Douglas fir next, and maybe the apple trees as well. It adds remarkable vitality. It’s something to try at home.

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ahh and when the rains come so will more fun-gi!  Are your 'stunning result' the fungi sprouting from under these trees?  This reminds me to put my summer campfires out early enough to toss some char into the garden for the critters to transform into biochar!  

JC, do you feel inspired to attend the Whatcom Skillshare Faire?  Demonstration space is no fee, or you could go to the website for online presentor questionaire.  I don't think we are ready for any flaming biochar kiln demonstrations, but having a table where  folks could see & touch the soil & critters sounds like to fun to me.

Details here http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/events/whatcom-skillshare-faire/show or here http://whatcomskillsharefaire.org/ .

Someday I'd sure like you to enjoy a beer or tea with one of my other favorite soil geeks, he's a farmer you've got to meet in person  ;-)  !

You may also want to consider... breaking the bio-char into smaller pieces (dust mask) to expose more surface area.

... adding chicken or other manures to the mix along with the shavings (or the source for the bio-char)

... a small amount of pond or lake dredge

... your urine

... If the final destination is the garden, emphasize the compost bacteria over the fungi.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-01/stri-fmd010714.php

Fungi may determine the future of soil carbon

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