Thursday, March 31, 2016

What Time Is It? Time for Restorative Energy

14 foot tall Biochar Okra
Amazing growth is reported by many folks in these parts who combine biochar into their other best growing practices.  Search "David Yarrow + Carbon Smart" for in depth information.  David is a frequent contributor to Acres magazine and long time soil restoration advocate.  Two images that say a lot regarding biochar - from his touring slideshow:

Biochar has immediate benefits, and long term restorative improvement that is not available from any other soil amendments.

Source: Dr. Johannes Lehman, Cornell University

Using energy from biochar production closes the loop on the only energy strategy that actively reduces atmospheric carbon.  Note that it is also zero waste, and enhances biomass production for next season, so is a self-reinforcing positive loop.

Dr. David Laird, USDA-ARS National Soil Tilth Lab Iowa State University wrote an article highlighting the restorative potential of converting local biomass to energy. The title says a lot.

"The Charcoal Vision: A Win–Win–Win Scenario for Simultaneously Producing Bioenergy, Permanently Sequestering Carbon, while Improving Soil and Water Quality."

In this article Dr. Laird describes the benefits of widespread use of small scale biomass gasification systems to overcome the transportation and distribution cost inefficiencies of transporting low value ag wastes. - Agronomy Journal • Volume 100, Issue 1 • 2008

Restorative energy models are available and not particularly difficult to implement on a local scale.

"And he gave it for his opnion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together."  -- Jonathan Swift - Gulliver's Travels 

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