Richard Stein: Suggests biochar to enrich soil

Monday, March 13, 2017
Suggests biochar as additive to enrich soil

I agree with the comments in the March 10 article in the Home section, “Stop treating your soil like dirt.”

I agree with most of the suggestions, but an additional one that I and my associates have found valuable is the use of biochar. It is an ancient technique practiced centuries ago by natives of the Amazon who enriched their soil and developed a flourishing agriculture.

This is made by heating biomass (farm waste, wood waste, etc.) in the absence of air that converts it to this soil additive that increases its productivity for years. It is effectively taking the carbon from the carbon dioxide that is consumed by growing biomass during photosynthesis and adding it to the soil where it benefits agriculture and remains there for many years. I, my relatives and neighbors have been very pleased with its use in enriching soil for gardening.

An excellent source of information is the web page of the International Biochar Initiative at www.biochar-international.org/ where one can obtain descriptions of its preparation and successful use.

Richard Stein