Full Ears of Corn by July 4
Healthy Roots - Corn July
Good healthy growth Mid June
Adapted No-tiill setup for applying biological amendments

Farmer J.R. Bollinger has been seeing remarkable results with his no-till corn this year in the Mississippi valley near Cape Giradeaux, Missouri. As you can see from the pictures he had lush, green 6 foot corn in mid June, and full ears of corn by the fourth of July. As you can see by the root growth and green leaves, these are healthy plants and have ready access to the nutrition they need to grow and develop fruit.

Mr. Bollinger built a custom pre-tillage rig on his no-till tractor toolbar that allows him to add both wet and dry amendments as he is pre-tilling his field. Allowing him to create stripes of ground that already contain a blend of biochar, beneficial microbes, mycorrhizae, minerals and other biological amendments. Next he precision seeded the corn into the amended strips. The seedlings were directly in contact with beneficial amendments with a minimum of passes (compaction of the field) and grew vigorously and quickly. This type of system allows farmers to amend fields efficiently and use long term soil amendments like biochar and mineral amendments in a cost-effective way. In this way, he's adding carbon, micro-nutrients, and minerals to the field, and by thinking of amending a series of strips over a number of years, can improve the long term health of his soil, while growing a healthy crop for market.

For more detail see http://www.terra-char.com/blog/biological-agriculture-works


David Yarrow
October, 2012

For details see:

From his description:
The new TLUD barrel burner is an improvement over the crude, rough-cut barrel Brad Rush and I made at 4 Oaks Farm in the winter. Most upgrades were to improve air flow up through the burn barrel, and up the chimney. These were successful, and this new equipment performed significantly better, evidenced by faster, hotter burns, and the gas flare contained inside the chimney.

The new barrel has a removable lid, making it easier and faster to load and unload. The one-piece barrel we used at 4 Oaks Farm was loaded through an 8-inch chimney hole in the top, and emptied through the same hole. The lid is permanently attached to the first length of chimney, making it secure against strong winds, safer to remove, with tighter air seal at the lid-chimney junction.

David Yarrow and Jim Welch, June 2010

Last summer, Jim Welch built a rocket stove on a concrete pad in my backyard to make biochar in a 55/30-gallon nested kiln & retort. this first test of a hybrid biochar burner was a great success, despite a few troublesome difficulties with the process, beginning with having large, still-moist logs of red pine timber for feedstock.

This spring, Jim scaled his experiment down to a 5-gallon retort nested in an 18-gallon kiln, with a shoebox-size rocket stove to fire up the retort. last saturday jim brought his modest unit to my biochar workshop at Saratoga apple, and gave us an inspiring demonstration of how simple, effective and easy pyrolysis can be:

Read more at http://www.carbon-negative.us/JWelch/

David Yarrow, May 2010

Using Biochar in Soil

Preparation & Application

Biochar Preparation

Applying raw biochar to soil can inhibit plant growth one or two
years while microbes inhabit the char, form diversified, stable,
functional communities, and gather balanced mineral supplies.
Microbes also consume tar residues that inhibit water absorbtion.
Several weeks to a few months are needed to age char for
soil. Proper preparation can reduce this time to two weeks, and
reduce char volume needed for vigorous plant response. Four
simple steps assure rapid response, high yield and healthy plants.


Biochar’s first service to soil is water digestion, retention and
slow release from its sponge-like micropore matrix. Char must
soak up water to be an effective substrate for microbial cultures
and mobilize minerals for ion exchange with plant roots. To
moisten char, hydrophobic residues must be broken down and
removed—a task done mostly by microbes.

Spring Grower Gathering, David Yarrow April, 2010

Spring Grower Gathering

How to Make and Use Biochar

Sponsored by Transition Town Great Barrington (MA)


Founding Members Meeting
Biochar Northeast, inc.
not-for-profit association to study, advocate and use biochar in environmental management
and the
Northeast Biochar Research Consortium
collaboration of institutions, industry, farmers, foresters & landowners

8pm, Friday, November 13, 2009
Campus Center, UMass Amherst

In our onrushing confrontation with multiple limits
of our planetRunning Sneakers | Men's Footwear

2009 Events Calendar Carbon-Negative Northeast Network
Communities Confronting Climate Change, Energy Independence and Food Security
David Yarrow,November 2008

Carbon NegativeCarbon Negative

2009 Events Calendar
final version. see attached .pdf file
one page

i am assembling information into two FAQ sheets, one on biochar, the other on carbon-negative.

Attached is my first draft of the biochar FAQ.

for a green & peaceful planet,


David Yarrow: Confronting our Climate Change Challenge the Biochar Strategy
David Yarrow, July 28, 2008

I've revised my powerpoint illustrations for my "confronting our climate change challenge" talk about carbon-negative biochar strategy. They are now available as auto-running powerpoint slide shows, with "click to continue" prompts. I saved them in the version 1997-2003 format, although I created them with the new vista 2007 version.

The full set of 47 slides is a 20mb powerpoint file. I divided this into 9 smaller files of 1.4mb to 3.5mb:

1_Climate Change Introduction - 13 slides -- 2.1mb

2_Terra Preta History 1 - 5 slides -- 3.4mb

3_Terra Preta Research 1 - 3 slides -- 3.5mb

3_Terra Preta Research 2 - 6 slides -- 3.2mb

Agriculture Carbon Trading

David Yarrow, May 21, 2008

spent all day at a workshop on trading carbon credits for agriculture at the albany county cooperative extension office. the workshop was targeted for government staff and educators who advise farmers, and farmers themselves. it seems this is a step in the complex process of gearing up for RGGI (www.rggi.org) -- the regional greenhouse gas
initiative cap and trade carbon exchange involving 10 northeast & mid-atlantic states -- which will be implemented beginning 2009. considerable effort was required to get complete agreement from all 10 states on standards, protocols and policies, but the system is open to admit new states.


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