Nestled in a picturesque valley near Macclesfield in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia, Greg Marlu makes biochar from local timber waste for home gardeners. Greg is passionate about his work, which he sees as an essential part of the rebalancing mankind needs to do to live sustainably. In his words;
Biochar has the potential to change the world. That’s a big claim, but given the things research and history tell us about it, I believe it is justified.
Many peoples throughout history have used the technique of adding charcoal to soil to increase the productivity of their gardens, the most well known of which are the indigenous Amazonians with their ‘terra preta’ soil, (Portuguese for ‘black earth’). By doing so they were able to support large populations on what should have been poor rainforest soil. The International Biochar Initiative website says “the terra preta provide a neat and convincing example for the deliberate use of biochar in agriculture.”
This ability of biochar to make soil work better is one of the things that could help feed humanity as our numbers grow. Couple that with biochar’s potential to remain in the soil for thousands of years and you have a winning combination. Again, from the International Biochar Initiative website: ‘Biochar is the only proven currently available technology for the long term removal of atmospheric CO2’
Research papers often have ‘with’ and without’ photos that look impressive. Biochar can make a real difference in the right conditions. This YouTube clip does it again. http://youtu.be/MxYcwiOXI-8
Gavin is a client who became a friend, and took the time to put together a record of his own journey with biochar.