"The Beauty Above Comes From The Science Below"

Posts Tagged ‘biochar’

Exploring Earthworms and Soil Compaction

Walking to my car this morning, I was forced to step over “drowned earthworms” scattered on the sidewalk and driveway, following the night’s heavy rain. I would expect an even higher number of dead earthworms from soils that do not have very good water drainage. My thought was that the rainwater fills up the available…

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Spring Rains bring Pussywillows

In late March/early April, Pussywillows push out silky gray-white catkins on mahogany colored branches. Pussywillows are a type of willow (Salix), all of which grow fast and have separate male & female trees.  The Pussywillow does not have a typical flower; the silvery hairs insulate the female part (pistil) and the male part (stamen) against…

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NAKED Char’s amazing amount of Surface Area

Just one cubic foot of our biochar, NAKED Char, increases surface area within the soil by over 550 acres.  The amazing amount of surface area is due to two things: wood feedstock and fast, high temperature pyrolysis.  We have been telling people how porous our NAKED Char is and it’s been validated by scientific data. …

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VITAL Blend improved Hops yield in Michigan

In early 2017, we applied VITAL Blend granular and VITAL Blend 5M liquid soil amendments to young hop plants in a couple of rows on Bell’s Brewery demo plot. The plantings were done near the Kalamazoo location of Bell’s Brewery. We top-dressed the granular applications near the base of the plants and then used a…

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Building Soils and Relationships in LaGonave Part II

Mark and I recently went to the Haitian island, LaGonave.  We got down and dirty in the island’s agriculture with the help of a mission group called Starfysh (http://starfysh.org/).  The goal for working with the people on LaGonave is three-fold: To help improve their potting soil composition for seedling transplants by initially mixing VITAL Blend…

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Building Soils and Relationships in LaGonave, Part I

We shipped our Biochar and VITAL Blend to LaGonave American BioChar Company intends to help improve LaGonave’s impoverished soils and increase their food production. We followed our shipment to the island recently (end of October) and arrived for the very first time on LaGonave to start a project that I believe will be changing Mark…

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cowboy with lasso

Cowboy Fungus

The diversity of soil life is considerable, so it should not be surprising to learn that there are fungi that have lassos like cowboys taking down steers at a rodeo. Or that other fungi create nets to capture food like fishermen. These fungi have evolved to create traps when a.) their decayed food source is…

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green smoothie

Making Goulash Smoothies

Some mornings I make Goulash Smoothies. You may say there is no such thing as Goulash Smoothies or you may ask what does that have to do with VITAL Blend soil amendments. Please continue reading and I will clarify how goulash smoothies are connected to our soil amendment. Goulash is “Gooud” Goulash is the national…

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CEC and BioChar

Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) and BioChar are mentioned together in soil improvement discussions – How are they connected? Negative & Positive Attractions Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) is the soil’s ability to attract, retain and exchange positively-charged cations (cat-i-on).  Like a magnet’s attraction to iron, the negatively-charged soil particles will attract and hold the positively charged…

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Hidden Connections within the Soil

I discovered this albino beauty in the northern Midwest woods while looking for a wayward golf ball. This ghostly plant is a flower called the Indian Pipe (Ghost Plant or Corpse Plant).  It is related to the blueberry plant and has many medicinal uses such as a pain reliever and eyewash.  The Indian Pipe is…

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