Biochar isa charcoal-based soil amendment -- locking in carbon back to depleted soil.
Michelle, Matt, Dane, and Greg are students of Prof Michael Moore, NOT THE Michael Moore, but The Michael R. Moore of Mich Tech Univ Humanities Dept, (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) where he teaches English and other Humanities courses. This summer he and the four students explored an amazing soil enrichment/amendment/facilitator process called
What biochar looks like is that light fluffy charcoal looking stuff left after a campfire. It's not ash and it's not charred wood, but it is burned wood that crumbles easily.
Michael is a "boomer" (baby boomer) and in his studies has traveled a lot in South and Central America. Honduras is where he came across biochar which is an ancient burn process the results of which add water and nutrients to the soil--permanently. The bits of biochar are like magnetic sponges, attracting and soaking up nutrient and water molecules and increasing plant growth 880%. Yep, you read it right-- 880% and forever!
Anything formerly living can be slow burned and turned into biochar.
It is also called agrichar. And best of all mixed into the soil, biochar is carbon negative. I think that means that carbon is drawn out of the air into the soil. I have to double check this to really understand the process; but the main point that the creation of biochar is carbon neutral and probably reduces carbon in the air when added to the soil.
The burn process can be done in your backyard or on a commercial level. As I understand it better more later. So thanks to Vaboomer Prof Moore and his four students for introducing me to this amazing process. Cornell Biochar; Biochar Org Producers of Agrichar
RENEWABLE HEATING ALTERNATIVE:
Also of interest are biomass briquettes for heating and cooking alternatives.
Briquettes are made from crop waste from harvested crops: corn stalk residue, sugar cane, rice husks, newspapers or sawdust.
They can be made with a hand press - a PVC pipe and some wood. Binding material such as molasses or corn starch may be added, or the natural binding material within the residue may suffice.
What the heck are we waiting for!?!