Scooping biochar out of a bag



A couple of years ago a gardening friend shared with me her excitement about a biochar workshop she had attended. “I can’t wait to get back into my garden and start making and using biochar,” she said.

Biochar, one of gardening’s relatively new wunderkinds, is what remains after you heat wood — or other plant material such as rice husks, yard trimmings, or manure — with insufficient air. It’s akin to charcoal, although its physical characteristics vary with the kind of plant material, the amount of air during the burning, and the duration and intensity of the heat. BiocharRather than releasing the carbon in wood or other material into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide by burning it or allowing it to decompose, the carbon in biochar remains locked up. Less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means less global warming.

And yes, biochar can be made at home — outdoors, because the process gives off Read more