Re: Beyond the trough


d.michael.shafer@gmail.com
 

Great idea. Everyone wants to do big. The point that you make is crucial: there are a lot of small farmers who collectively add up to something very big. If you don't go where they live, you will never - never - be able to address that big thing. 

Going where they are means dealing with not only their financial constraints, but also their time and effort/energy constraints. It means remembering, for example, that many must work off the farm to make ends meet, which means that only the old and disabled are around to char. 

Thinking small is an exercise in empathy that few in the "development community" take seriously. If you do, big opportunities open up to cool the climate, clean the environment and improve people's quality of life.

M


On Thu, Nov 15, 2018, 5:18 PM Geoff Thomas wind@... [biochar] <biochar@... wrote:
 

Good stuff, Michael, I can see how your reasoning would appeal to the cow cockies in australia, (small farms) beset by drought, and hardly able to make ends meet, - in a discussion I am involved in, I am advancing the argument, "If the Farmers of Australia, 2% of the workforce, would feed their cattle 330mg of charcoal/day, - which would make their cattle more healthy and productive and the soil better to retain moisture, they would be greenhouse neutral, but as the charcoal mainly stops Methane production, - a far more virulent greenhouse gas, their contribution would advance to 8%, so greenhouse positive, *4 and that charcoal, as it has then become Biochar, and buried by the dung beetles in the soil would attract more carbon and heal the soil, bringing amazing exponential benefits. - Thing is, to encourage the farmers to so do. - Carbon sequestration payment?

- They would all have 200 litre drums, many could make the thing fit, most could upscale once they were sure it worked.
But I am talking to poor farmers, - the change can probably only happen from the bottom up, nothing more bottom than a pit with a cheap lid.
Thanking You.

Cheers,
Geoff.

On 15 Nov 2018, at 7:12 pm, 'd.michael.shafer@...' d.michael.shafer@... [biochar] <biochar@...> wrote:


At Warm Heart, we love the trough (flame cap, whatever). After all, Karl Frogner developed and tested it here and Gordon Hirst drew it up.

But out here, reality is a big deal. Mountain farmers complained that a trough is too expensive and too heavy - and really requires water to quench.

What to do?

Regress.

The new trough is a short trench in the ground sized so that it can be covered with a cut open and flattened 200 l. drum.

You use the trench exactly as you would a trough, but when it is full you do not quench. Instead, you cover the trench with the flattened drum and seal the edges with dirt from the hole. Because smothering takes hours, you then move on to the next trench.

Cost reduc tion? About 90%. Weight reduction? About 95%. Water hauling reduction? 100%.

Pretty cool.

It's not elegant, but then, who's looking?

Michael Shafer


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