Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sir Richard Branson names Bio-char as Finalist in his $25 million challenge.

At last there is some movement in the results of the famous challenge that Sir Richard Branson and Al Gore initiated to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as well as other greenhouse gases.One of the companies is from North America.

Here is the link---

Ken Bourne.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BIO-CHAR retains water in agricultural soil.

BIO-CHAR retains water in agricultural soil.

This link will take you to an article about the use of bio-char to retain soil moisture.

Of course this is true! But there are so many more benefits of bio-char that I had to write a comment! Here is what I wrote---

The fact that bio-char helps
Ken Bourne (not verified) | November 9, 2011 - 7:15pm

The fact that bio-char helps to retain moisture in a known fact! The benefits of bio-char as an agricultural amendment are ancient history,e.g. terra preta. What we need is for some brave scientist, who is not funded by international chemical companies,to start telling the truth.
The world is inundated with problems that politicians are reluctant to cure. Waste, pollution, water shortage, food shortage, diseases and other chronic health problems, and worldwide unemployment.Power is also a massive problem especially where nuclear energy is concerned. Most of these have been caused, in my opinion, by over application of chemicals which reduces the amount of nutrients in food, and the products obtained from oil.
All of these problems can be reduced, if not eliminated by bio-char and organic food production. All organic waste can be turned into bio-char. So can sewage, farm manure, waste from sawmills and farms, forestry waste(slash piles) and the millions of trees that dead from pine beetle. Sewage would not pollute the oceans and our water would be filtered by the charcoal in agricultural and forestry soil. Chemical farmers must change over to organic farming and the large monoculture farms split up and returned back to family intensive farms. This would eliminate the food shortages as the food produced would be nutrient rich so that the consumption would be reduced considerably as, for example, one apple would contain the same nutrients as 5 of today's!(This would be the same as the nutrient value of food 60 years ago.) There would be far more available jobs, power would be created from the heat of creating the bio-char, and the resulting bio-oils and gases can be used for vehicular power instead of oil and natural gas. the actual process of creating bio-char creates more power than is used. Organic food production results in more food per acre than chemical farming and restores the top soil that farmers have nearly eliminated. This would also reduce the amount of diseases that are caused by our immune systems being compromised, and the associated health problems of obesity. (Good food would taste so good that children would eat it!) Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson realize the potential, lets hope that the people we elect and those that we pay to research come to the same conclusion soon.
Ken Bourne. BC. Canada

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bio-char TLUD stove- my newly built effort- works perfectly!

On my 5 acres I have lots of stuff lying around ( some day I will use it!) so finding a few 55 gallon barrels was easy! The stove took about 3 hours to build- here are some pictures of the results.

On this barrel I had to drill 40 holes for the updraft effect. This was quite tedious but not difficult.
This is the afterburner/adapter that goes on top of the first barrel.
This is the completed stove ready to be filled with wood waste and produce bio-char!
This is one wheelbarrow load of kindling cut from some slabs from a local mill.
Nearly full with added twigs- when completely full I will light a fire on the top- let it burn to cinders- rake it over the top of the fuel wood waste- put on the afterburner and the chimney and make bio-char.
After all the hard work- perfect results! Not only an addition to my soil but a fuel for my forge as well!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Effects of Bio-char on the soil.

Here is a comment I made on the article on Michigan Bio-char site--

Ken Bourne says:
There is no doubt that Bio-char is beneficial to the soil. However it is my experience that the most benefit is obtained when added to good organic soil after the bio-char has been inoculated with a tea made from a good compost, aged manure or from worm castings that contain a myriad of microbes. I would also stress that the adding of chemical fertilizer to soil that contains bio-char would be detrimental as that action would kill the microbes that are extracting the nutrients and feeding the plants! The benefits of bio-char are the effects that it has on the microbes in organic soil and the increase in the available nutrients so this results in bigger, stronger and healthier plants.
Ken Bourne
BC Canada

and here is the link to the article-------

Sunday, September 11, 2011

BIO-CHAR and reclamation of toxic mine tailings

Here is link to a story about how the area around toxic mine tailings is being reclaimed. An example of the sensible use of bio-char. It is well worth a read- ---

Ken Bourne

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Strawberries, not a big crop but lots of runners.

This is a new planting of strawberries that I did not allow to crop to its full potential.I let the plants produce lots of runners and either rooted them in the bed or into small pots for next year's crop. out of this small bed I got 86 new plants from only 12 originals.

Fresh peas and even some to freeze!

All of our family love fresh peas so with this exceptional crop this year we are having regular visits from the kids. I am going to grow twice as many next year!
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Carrots -thinned once- and need thinning again

This bed of carrots measures 2 feet by 10 feet and should give me a harvest of over 600 1 inch diameter even after all the thinning. the bed did not have a lot of horse manure just the sandy loam with some bio-char and rock dust and worm compost tea. I will try some bigger ones next year in a 40 gallon barrel with 3foot holes for each carrot. Used to do this in England for fun and won lots of competitions!

Potatoes under a blanket of grass clippings

This year I grew all my potatoes 6 inches deep and covered them with the soil in the raised beds which was enriched with bio-char and rock dust. As they grew I hilled them up with a layer of grass clippings. This made them easier to harvest and I could check on them without disturbing them too much. it worked really well and I will do it again as I have a friend who cuts grass for a living and I get all his clippings.
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Celery is worth the trouble!

Seeds sown in February- they got very leggy-trimmed them down to 3 inches and planted them out in the garden in the middle of May. I had to cover them frequently with plastic because of the late frosts- but they survived!

Russet Burbank Potatoes and Lincoln Peas

My favourite baking potatoes, always do well here, and the peas this year are exceptional. This could be because I feel so good after being sick for the last 4 growing seasons! I have not dug this crop yet but have stolen a few from under the grass clippings mulch that I used to hill them!

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Rhubarb in the Cariboo

Probably the easiest crop to grow here! I got these plants 20 years  ago  from a neighbour who had had them for over 40 years.
This is the last pickings! Had more out of one tire than we could eat, and have frozen the rest. The tractor tire , roughly 4 feet across, had a layer of old horse manure, about 6 inches, and then was filled with a mixture of compost, sandy loam, bio-char and rock dust. as with all the other crops regular liquid feeds of fish emulsion and kelp meal were given every 10 days.
Ken Bourne BC Canada
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Excellent crops will grow in the Cariboo with Bio-char and Rock Dust.

Nutrient rich crops are the aim of all organic gardeners and here is proof that the addition of bio-char and rock dust will help you achieve that.
This crop of potatoes yielded over 50lbs from 5lbs of seed potatoes (27 half potatoes).
The peas in the background were 2 double rows of Homesteader which grew this year to a height of 6feet! the yield from the 2 double 10 foot rows was, up to now, over 15lbs of shelled peas and we are still picking.
Ken Bourne. BC Canada

Thursday, April 28, 2011

BIO-CHAR and Mine Tailings

Experiments in Europe have confirmed that the addition of bio- char to mine tailings helps to reduce the spread of the heavy metals and promotes the growth of foliage.

 Here is the text and the link---

Mine tailings represent a source of toxic pollutants, mainly heavy metals, which may spread to the surrounding areas. Phytostabilization, a long-term and cost-effective rehabilitation strategy, can be achieved by promoting the establishment of vegetation to reduce the risk of pollutant transfer. In this work, the application of pyrolyzed biomass (biochar) was studied to evaluate the amelioration of the mine tailings properties for potential use as a phytostabilization technology.
Four substrates were obtained by mixing the mine tailings from a dumping site in Cave del Predil (NE, Italy) with biochar from orchard prune residues at four dosages (0%, 1%, 5% and 10% biochar in the mine tailings). The physical and chemical properties were determined and the bioavailability and leachability of the contaminants were estimated. The pH, the nutrient retention in terms of cation exchange capacity and the water-holding capacity increased as the biochar content increased in the substrates and the bioavailability of Cd, Pb, Tl and Zn of the mine tailings decreased. The changes promoted by the biochar seem to be in favor of its use on mine wastes to help the establishment of a green cover in a phytostabilization process.

Monday, January 31, 2011

BIO-CHAR Carbon neutral will not solve our problems of too much Carbon Dioxide.

A new attitude to Farming and gardening is the only way that we are going to reduce the carbon in our atmosphere. Here is a link to a site that explains it succinctly!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bio-char, Rock Dust,Organic Gardening advocates-You MUST read this!

Surely there is enough evidence here to stop this nonsense of creating GMO seeds and products that are going to negatively affect all of our lives? Thank goodness I use my own heirloom seeds, grown organically to provide most of our food. Having read this report I will definitely be even more careful!! Here is the link- please read it!