Biocharred

By Elliot Blumberg 25 March, 2015

Gathering wood to convert into biochar. We used three truckloads in all Unloading gives a better perspective at the amounts we were dealing with. James uses diesel and kerosene to get the ‘starter package’ ready. And we’re off! The pile took ~3-4 hours to burn all the way through. Even from a distance of 7-8 meters, the flames radiated heat too intense to stand. Fun fact: There is a way to produce biochar without releasing CO. Rob from Ceiba uses water to stop the biochar from breaking down further. All in all, we got about a cubic meter of biochar. A good day’s work!

March is the transition month from the dry to rainy seasons here in Panama. As it so happens, seasons are changing for Earth Train and her many partners and friends in the Mamoní Valley Preserve.

You may remember a post from last September outlining our strategy talks with Ceiba Forestry and Rainforest Capital for bolstering an ecologically-sustainable economy in the Mamoní Valley. If you don’t remember, feel free to read here.

Ceiba returned this month to further our joint vision for a Mamoní Valley Preserve that lives on the cutting edge of ecological restoration, biocultural renewal and socially positive enterprises. On this visit, we lit the match on biochar and got Ceiba’s nursery going with a cubic meter of the fertilizer-on-steroids.

It’s backbreaking work, from harvesting to loading and unloading the lumber; burning the industrial refrigerator-sized pile; shoveling, crushing and bagging the char; and all of this is compulsory before even mixing and burying the product for fertilization! Thankfully, James Rob, and Christian from the Ceiba crew successfully passed the torch to the local employees, who will be producing the black gold en masse to jumpstart the nursery, which is one exciting part of our collective vision for the MVP.

Oh how the second-hand trembles onward!

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