The Importance of Biochar in Humid Climates

Hello, biochar fanatics! Here’s this week’s biochar roundup.

A Biogeochemist in Houston by the name of Caroline Masiello is discovering and chronicling the incredible water retention that biochar has. In this NPR article, she elaborates on why biochar is perfect for humid climates:

“A lot of plants around here have a waxy cuticle designed to repel water that will persist and create problems in the soil,” she says. “[…]biochar will really improve the soil’s capacity to hold water.”

Give the article a read here

Speaking of Caroline Masiello, here’s another concise quote from her about carbon cycling:

“When people mow their yards here in Houston, the carbon from the grass clippings returns to the atmosphere in about six weeks,” says Masiello, assistant professor of Earth science at Rice. “We call this carbon-cycling, and it’s a universal process. Making biochar is one way to remove carbon from the atmosphere and lock it away for a long time.”

This quote comes from the research and news website The article discusses a new study published last week in the Journal of Biomass and Bioenergy. The study discovered that (as we learned last week) not all biochar is created equal. Turns out that biochar created at 450 degrees celsius (842 F) would be more likely to impact water retention and soil drainage. Better biochar means better crop yield for lots of communities. Have a gander at the article here.

If you’re familiar with Yahoo Groups then you’ll recognize how awesome it is to discover a Biochar Yahoo Group. The group was started and is organized by the Biochar Discussion List website and we can see the potential that this forum has for growers worldwide.

Hey Welsh biochar fans: need some advice? Why not consult with Bangor University. They’re offering free consultations and research under the umbrella of a program designed to promote biochar usage in wales.

Finally, here’s a post by a great blog called Permaculture. The blog is seriously awesome, in both design and content. They feature ways to reuse or repurpose common household items. The video they posted would be great to show anyone who ever asks, “what is biochar?” At just under 9 minutes, it is kinda long but the amount of information packed into those 9 minutes is impressive. Give it a watch (and post it around your favorite social networks).

That’s all for now. Have a great week!

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