Topics

biochar in water microcatchment #watercatchment


mikethewormguy
 

Good Day ! 


Am curious regarding what folks have been doing regarding the application of biochar for purposeful rain water microcatchment in order to improve soil water holding for next season's crops...


I did come across the "Zai Pit" method but it did not use biochar, as far as I know......


Am planning on doing some experiments at the end of season to test out some ideas on this subject....


Mike


Tom Miles
 

Mike

 

Several years ago a farmer/composter in the Gambia told us that he put a mixture of compost and biochar into zai holes and then planted them with wheat. His yields were much better than with compost alone. At the time we tried to interest the Norwegian Drylands Coordination Group (2017-2018) in biochar. That project has now ended. You can find their archives at https://www.utviklingsfondet.no/dcg/ Their projects often used techniques like composting, retention of residue in the farm, intercropping and minimum soil disturbance/ripper and “Eco-farming” techniques such as seed priming and improved seeds, or fertilizer micro dosing.   

 

I haven’t heard that biochar-compost in zai holes  has been proliferated as a technique but it sounded promising. Much has been learned about biochar since then so it might be re-introduced.  

 

Tom

 

From: biochar@...
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 7:20 AM
To: biochar@...
Subject: [biochar] biochar in water microcatchment

 

 

Good Day ! 

 

Am curious regarding what folks have been doing regarding the application of biochar for purposeful rain water microcatchment in order to improve soil water holding for next season's crops...

 

I did come across the "Zai Pit" method but it did not use biochar, as far as I know......

 

Am planning on doing some experiments at the end of season to test out some ideas on this subject....

 

Mike


mikethewormguy
 

Tom,

One rainwater very micro-catchment approach we are going to try after our growing season is ended  :

1. dig a hole in a grow bed

2. fill the hole with wheat straw biomass.

3. make flame cap wheat straw biochar in the hole.

4. quench the fire with the excavated soil.

5. top dress the hole with leaf compost&wood biochar blend.

6. plant into this spot next season....

This approach does take some extra work&planning but if you look at your soil health improvement efforts within a 2 season framework than you are playing forward potential benefits..

Another idea we are noodling on is to dig a hole in the ground, fill the hole with particulate wood biochar, and let the snow&rain infiltrate over a 7 month period into the subsoil.  Next season you plant plants around the hole.   This biochar hole will continue to infiltrate water into the subsoil horizon for awhile I suspect....

We want to see what in-ground approaches can be developed and "ground-truthed"  using biochar to catch&hold rainwater in the subsoil for later crop use...........

my 2 cents,

Mike








.





Stephen Joseph
 

Hi Mike

I did a little experiment this year and put biochar at the bottom of pots and covered this with soil and grew a range of plants.  I didnt need to water and growth was much better than last year.

I also have made 4 new wicking beds with the wicking material being biochar.  Fantastic cauliflower response.

Regards
Stephen

On Thu, Sep 5, 2019 at 12:54 AM mikethewormguy@... [biochar] <biochar@...> wrote:
 

Good Day ! 


Am curious regarding what folks have been doing regarding the application of biochar for purposeful rain water microcatchment in order to improve soil water holding for next season's crops...


I did come across the "Zai Pit" method but it did not use biochar, as far as I know......


Am planning on doing some experiments at the end of season to test out some ideas on this subject....


Mike


Stephen Joseph
 

Hi Guys

Read this page.  Very interesting



On Thu, Sep 5, 2019 at 1:52 AM tmiles@... [biochar] <biochar@...> wrote:
 

Mike

 

Several years ago a farmer/composter in the Gambia told us that he put a mixture of compost and biochar into zai holes and then planted them with wheat. His yields were much better than with compost alone. At the time we tried to interest the Norwegian Drylands Coordination Group (2017-2018) in biochar. That project has now ended. You can find their archives at https://www.utviklingsfondet.no/dcg/ Their projects often used techniques like composting, retention of residue in the farm, intercropping and minimum soil disturbance/ripper and “Eco-farming” techniques such as seed priming and improved seeds, or fertilizer micro dosing.   

 

I haven’t heard that biochar-compost in zai holes  has been proliferated as a technique but it sounded promising. Much has been learned about biochar since then so it might be re-introduced.  

 

Tom

 

From: biochar@... <biochar@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 7:20 AM
To: biochar@...
Subject: [biochar] biochar in water microcatchment

 

 

Good Day ! 

 

Am curious regarding what folks have been doing regarding the application of biochar for purposeful rain water microcatchment in order to improve soil water holding for next season's crops...

 

I did come across the "Zai Pit" method but it did not use biochar, as far as I know......

 

Am planning on doing some experiments at the end of season to test out some ideas on this subject....

 

Mike


David Yarrow
 

thank you stephen.
such a joy to see photos of people on the planet 
truly, deeply desperate for this soil regeneration technique
benefiting from this "terra preta nova".

i'm currently building new "lasagna"beds, 
same ingredients, layered on the soil surface, rather than dug in.
but i have an abundance of biomass ready to use, 
and water to keep the biomass moist, 
even thin "topsoil" to scrape off the edge of a farmed field.
and i have an abundance of mineral & microbes enrichments
to sprinkle on the stacked biomass.
these folks in kenya have to scrounge for everything.

i always delight to see people's surprise how things grow in a bed.
i imagine these folks in kenya can smile brighter watching their food plants grow.

for a green & peaceful planet,
david yarrow


On Wed, Sep 4, 2019 at 5:15 PM Stephen Joseph joey.stephen@... [biochar] <biochar@...> wrote:
 

Hi Guys

Read this page.  Very interesting



On Thu, Sep 5, 2019 at 1:52 AM tmiles@... [biochar] <biochar@...> wrote:
 

Mike

 

Several years ago a farmer/composter in the Gambia told us that he put a mixture of compost and biochar into zai holes and then planted them with wheat. His yields were much better than with compost alone. At the time we tried to interest the Norwegian Drylands Coordination Group (2017-2018) in biochar. That project has now ended. You can find their archives at https://www.utviklingsfondet.no/dcg/ Their projects often used techniques like composting, retention of residue in the farm, intercropping and minimum soil disturbance/ripper and “Eco-farming” techniques such as seed priming and improved seeds, or fertilizer micro dosing.   

 

I haven’t heard that biochar-compost in zai holes  has been proliferated as a technique but it sounded promising. Much has been learned about biochar since then so it might be re-introduced.  

 

Tom

 

From: biochar@yahoogroups..com <biochar@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 7:20 AM
To: biochar@...
Subject: [biochar] biochar in water microcatchment

 

 

Good Day ! 

 

Am curious regarding what folks have been doing regarding the application of biochar for purposeful rain water microcatchment in order to improve soil water holding for next season's crops...

 

I did come across the "Zai Pit" method but it did not use biochar, as far as I know......

 

Am planning on doing some experiments at the end of season to test out some ideas on this subject....

 

Mike


mikethewormguy
 

Stephen,

Great find..... filled with alot of practical information.....

Never too old or educated to learn.....

have a wonderful day !

Mike


David Yarrow
 

great idea, mike.  
i hope to something similar next year with a hemp crop.
harvest buds for CBD extraction.
dry, then char stalks & other hemp debris right in the row.
soils involved are badly low carbon, 
and i imagine the first 4 to 6 hemp crops will need to be charred in place 
to get biocarbons up to adequate minimal levels.

my rough plan is the trench method: plow a furrow down the center of a bed, 
stack hemp biomass in this trench 
-- there are 3 different possible protocols: top-down, bottom-up, end-to-end
smother by scattering on thin cover of moistened soil.
and manure or poultry litter.
kinda like a "Zai Trench."

or we could do a first-year dense-planted hemp cover crop, 
then mow, chop and char in place, 
get the carbonizing done faster.

for a green & peaceful planet,
david yarrow


On Wed, Sep 4, 2019 at 9:54 AM mikethewormguy@... [biochar] <biochar@...> wrote:
 

Good Day ! 


Am curious regarding what folks have been doing regarding the application of biochar for purposeful rain water microcatchment in order to improve soil water holding for next season's crops...


I did come across the "Zai Pit" method but it did not use biochar, as far as I know......


Am planning on doing some experiments at the end of season to test out some ideas on this subject....


Mike


mikethewormguy
 

david,

we are growing industrial hemp (CBD) currently.   we used particular wood biochar mixed in the planting soil.   we used bone. char in the planting hole..

we will be turning the hemp woody biomass into char.  this char will be added to the soil in the late fall. this year.....

let us know how we can be of assistance to your hemp efforts.....

mike..


Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone


mikethewormguy
 

david,

we are currently growing CBD hemp..

we used both wood and bone char in its grow out....

let us know if we can be a help in your hemp efforts.....

mike.


d.michael.shafer@gmail.com
 

Mike,

A visitor to our Malawi project just reported that by adding biochar to the garden soil, they had reduced watering requirements by at least half. All they do is hand mix a lot of ground char into the dirt and then pile a lot in a donut around the plant stem 

Here we suggest that people work around extremely bad soil by using the "fertility pocket" method. That is, they use their hoe to create a hollow that they then refill with one third of the original dirt mixed with one third biochar and one third rice husk, manure and/or compost. They plant in these "pockets" repeatedly for several years." Every time they plant, they pop open a hole with their planting stick, drop in a handful of biochar mix (biochar + manure-compost) spread a little dirt over, drop in two seeds, add the rest of the dirt and pat it down. After a few seasons, we suggest that they start over again 20 cm or so further along.

Its not a lot, but it adds as much water holding capacity as gel-packs and it's free. We call it "poor man's climate change risk remediation." (Actually, we don't, but I have considered calling it that when trying to figure out a narrative for a "remediation" grant that doesn't involve lots of money and technology.)

M


On Wed, Sep 4, 2019, 9:54 PM mikethewormguy@... [biochar] <biochar@...> wrote:
 

Good Day ! 


Am curious regarding what folks have been doing regarding the application of biochar for purposeful rain water microcatchment in order to improve soil water holding for next season's crops...


I did come across the "Zai Pit" method but it did not use biochar, as far as I know......


Am planning on doing some experiments at the end of season to test out some ideas on this subject....


Mike