November 7-11, Swallow Valley Farm, Sonoma County, California

Register Now! Space Limited to 50 Students

Who should attend? Small farmers, home gardeners and anyone interested in soils, plants and small scale biomass energy. CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT

What you will learn from our faculty of 12 prominent biochar experts:
•    No-cost and low-cost ways to make plenty of biochar for your farm
•    Biochar application rates and methods for best results
•    How to make biologically active, nutrient balanced biochar fertilizer blends
•    How to analyze biochar characteristics
•    How to integrate biochar economically and ecologically into your farm production systems
•    How to design biochar devices that capture useful energy

Exciting Demonstrations and Lectures:
•    Hear Toby Hemenway talk about biochar and permaculture
•    See how Penny Livingston is using biochar for restoring native grasslands
•    Experience the amazing Adam Retort with Peter Hirst
•    See the latest biochar stove designs from Dr. TLUD
•    Learn about biochar from experts Gloria Flora, Kelpie Wilson and Josiah Hunt, among others
•    Visit Bloomfield Organics to see how a CSA farm uses biochar

PROGRAM SCHEDULE (subject to change):


Classroom — “101” classes offered Friday and Saturday. “201” classes offered Sat, Sun, Mon:

  • Biochar 101 – the basics about biochar and how it works in soil
  • Pyrolysis 101 – the basics about the chemistry and physics of the biochar-making process and how different devices work
  • Biochar 201 (part 1) —  Biochar Compost Science & Methods (Josiah Hunt, Hawaii Biochar & Kelpie Wilson, Wilson Biochar Associates)
  • Biochar 201 (part 2) – Biochar Application Rates & Application Methods (Phil Small, Land Profile & John Miedema, BioLogical Carbon)
  • Pyrolysis 201 (part 1) — Design for Heat Transfer (Peter Hirst, New England Biochar & John Miedema, BioLogical Carbon)
  • Pyrolysis 201 (part 2) – Pyrolysis Economics for Farm Scale (Josiah Hunt, Hawaii Biochar & John Miedema, BioLogical Carbon)

Labs —  Labs will be offered on Saturday, Sunday and Monday:

  • Open Fire Kilns – how to make and operate pit kilns, cone kilns, top lit open burns and new devices (Michael Wittman, Blue Sky Biochar & Paul Anderson, Dr. TLUD)
  • Make a Jolly Roger Oven – make this 55 gallon gasifier to take home. $100 materials fee (Art Donnelly, SeaChar)
  • Make a Biochar Stove – make a very simple, easy tin can stove that you can really cook on that makes biochar from wood pellets (Paul Anderson, Dr. TLUD & Kelpie Wilson, Wilson Biochar Associates).
  • Feedstock Management – learn how to process, handle and store different feedstocks (Matt Banchero, “the tree-hugging tree cutter”)
  • Adam Retort – learn how to operate the Adam Retort (Peter Hirst, New England Biochar)
  • Biochar Characterization – learn how to tell different biochars apart and what they are good for (Phil Small, Land Profile)
  • Biochar Fertilizer Formulations – learn how to make biologically active, nutrient charged biochar with compost and other ingredients (Josiah Hunt, Hawaii Biochar & Simran Rafael, Bloomfield Organics)
  • Nutrient Capture and Bio-Filtration on the Farm – make a biochar/sand filter; learn about the biochemistry of filtration and use of biochar in swales (John Miedema, BioLogical Carbon).
  • Biochar and Permaculture – learn how biochar works in permaculture systems (Gloria Flora, USBI & Penny Livingston-Stark, Regenerative Design Institute)
  • Terra Preta Sanitation – learn how to close the loop with biochar and use biochar to manage human waste (Kelpie Wilson, Wilson Biochar Associates)

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