Biochar forum: Welcome to the biochar forum!

 
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AlohaHoya
Feb 4, 2010 11:39 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Here is the biochar forum.
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AlohaHoya
Feb 4, 2010 11:44 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
I can't get to the Welcome...so will make the intro here...

We live on a 300 year old lava flow and use nooks and deep places to plant...or we get a BobCat in to break up the lava and make holes for trees. The only 'dirt' we get is old volcanic ash from the old sugarcane industry that is depleated of anything but residues of nasty stuff.

50% of my time is spent making good soil to grow in, or ameliorating the already planted areas.

I am learning a lot about Biochar which we are involved with the production of. It is really a marvelous element!!!
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AlohaHoya
Feb 4, 2010 11:49 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
1 gram of Biochar (charcoal) has the surface area of a Tennis Court and it is, essentially, a blank slate as it has no 'nutrition' in it. It DOES however, hold anything you soak it in...

I soak mine in Fish Fertilizer and molassas with a bit of EM or IMO. When added at about 10-20% to my planting medium, the biochar releases slowly. It is great because in heavy rain it wont leach.... The differences in plants are amazing. Adding it to your compost is brilliant...and the micro organisms love to hang out in it. Such a simple ingredient.

Anyone else have experience with it?
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Imagestormyla
Feb 5, 2010 5:19 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Carol, What do EM & IMO stand for?
AlohaHoya
Feb 5, 2010 12:09 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
EM = Effective Micro organisms and you can read about it at http://www.EMamerica.com. This is a cocktail of micro organisms already assembled. Good stuff.

IMO=Indigenous Micro Organisms. These are micro organisms you collect through a process and they are relative to THAT particular spot where yu collect them!!! It is part of the Natural Farming methods from Korea.
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Imagestormyla
Feb 5, 2010 10:24 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I can get pretty bogged down in those Korean techniques. I used to read those Bokashi threads for growing organisms and did my own types of brews. I am not a purist in anything. But I'll gratefully read that link you posted. Thank you.
AlohaHoya
Feb 5, 2010 11:39 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Actually, I find that with a good organic mix in the soil, watering with a chicken or compost tea with molassas added to it, creates a lot of good micro organisms....I use EM sometimes...
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Imagestormyla
Feb 6, 2010 12:04 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Carol, That's been pretty much my approach too. Last year I tried Bat Guano in the tea for the first time too.
AlohaHoya
Feb 6, 2010 12:10 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
So...when you mix the Biochar in with your TEA, let it soak for a while, the Biochar becomes like a slow release in your soil....
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Imagestormyla
Feb 7, 2010 1:44 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Carol, What form does the BioChar come in? You're not talking about regular charcoal brickets for grilling are you?
AlohaHoya
Feb 7, 2010 4:45 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Stormy...BioChar is just charcoal....hard woods that are burned with little Oxygen so there isn't a big flame and it doesn't become ash. NOT the briquets .... if you have charred logs from a fireplace or woodstove, you can use them...pound it so it is in fine pieces like a pea. Lots of times when a wood stove is tamped down for the nght, in the morning there is charcoal...not ash...yu can use that.
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Imagestormyla
Feb 7, 2010 6:03 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Oh, I have several bags that I have saved already. I like to keep the fire low. I have been mixing it into the compost and planting dirt, but didn't realize that I should soak it first.
AlohaHoya
Feb 7, 2010 6:54 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Biochar itself has no N (don't know about the P)... But if you compost it, it will take on all of the goody stuff from the compost and store/release it. That's why it is so good soaked because it acks like a slow release fertilizer..
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Imagestormyla
Feb 7, 2010 8:34 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Do you soak it before you compost it?
AlohaHoya
Feb 7, 2010 11:10 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Ya' know...it could go either way. I use the soaked Biochar PLUS compost mixed with 'dead dirt'...soaking it and adding it to the compost...? Let me ask DH...chemical engineer...cheech...remembers the small stuff!!!

Carol
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Imagestormyla
Feb 7, 2010 11:27 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
LOL They do come in handy!
AlohaHoya
Feb 8, 2010 10:38 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
When/if you put the Biochar in compost, it collects all the wonderful beneficial micro organisms the compost is producing....and hold them for a long long time.....
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Imagestormyla
Feb 8, 2010 10:49 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I will cut open one of those bags and soak the stuff and add it to my compost.
AlohaHoya
Feb 19, 2010 10:49 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Sounds great.... Sorry, have been off island and have had alot of problems with my computer....
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Imageardesia
Mar 26, 2010 7:00 PM CST
Name: Ali
SC
Do you think you could use briquets - the kind without fire starter, if they were smashed up? I am willing to try but I don't have a source for other types of charcoal.

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