As one of our more shy DOW members I wanted to put up a link to a forestry professional talk Gary Gillmore has signed himself up to do:
Dec 9th, 2014
Appears to be a live web presentation with a sign-in guest link.
GaryG has a message and is not afraid to present. Just a bit shy about beating his own drum.
Here is some drum beating for you friend Gary.
Steve is right. Gary is one of the most humble, down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet… Much respect for this man.
The opportunity to meet Gary was one of my highlights of life
I will be sure to tune in .
Very good! I’ll try to be there as well.
I will certainly try to tune in…
Because I need a reminder and I’m sure some of you do as well
I also have the string tied around my finger
Well! Our Gary did a really good job with his part of the webinar as did David Laird. I especially enjoyed Gary’s presentation because he is a ‘git er done kind’ of guy who not only understands the theory but shows practical ways to use it. Thanks Gary for a wonderful job and Steve U for making us aware of this webinar. For those that missed it they said it might be on you tube tomorrow. Use the same link above and scroll down to the links.
For those that missed Gary Gilmore’s webinar it is on You Tube here:
On the webinar they said that 5 tons of biochar is the minimum amount recommended per acre and after calculating that it comes to 576 cu. ft. which is about 20 cu. yards. That is a lot of ash dumps from our wood burning vehicles! One good thing is that you only have to do that once because it does not break down in the soil and lasts for years and years.
Gary, you brought up some uses and differences between low and high temp produced charcoal. My guess the low temp produced charcoal is made with a retort system and the high temp version is with our gasifiers for an example?
You gave a picture example of charcoal being used for water filtration. It contained a barrel with layers of sand and charcoal. My concern lies in if there are possible health risks if one were to use our gasifier byproduct vs charcoal from a retort for such applications? If there is a concern, then is there a concern with animals also ingesting it? I understand that charcoal’s job is to absorb but maybe it needs to be ‘washed’ first?
Gosh, Thanks for the kudos. I am blessed to be able to do some of this work with charcoal in my capacity as a forester for the State of Pennsylvania. Charcoal is such an amazing product and it has so many beneficial uses. Uses that we will need as society moves into a very uncertain future. Bill, to address some of your concerns about using charcoal for a filter or animals ingesting it. The latter first. Wayne has shown pictures of where he cleaned out some of the ash and charcoal from his gasifier while parked in the pastrure. The next day the charcoal has been consumed by the cattle. Nothing poisonous there. (unless you are using treated or painted wood which is a NO NO) What is in the char that is poisionus? There may be some tars, but that is what give smoked meat and cheese its flavor. Partially charred wood will not make a good water filter media because it will be hydrophobic. But go ahead and chew on it. If it is poisionous, there would be accounts of it in the literature since humans have been using charcoal for millenia. With that said, if you check with the State of California, just about everything seems to have a label stating the material is carcinogenic, even charcoal. I think mangos may not be on the list, but…
I guess what I’m trying to say is do not worry about it. Whether the charcoal comes from your wood gasifier or a high temp retort, it will not hurt you if taken in moderation.
Gary in PA
Gary thanks for the clarification.
Gary; I have several hundred gallons of char out in my shed. Not sure what I am going to do with it but I do have several projects ( generators, motorcycles, lawnmower) that could stand a Simplifier. I’m working on a sifter to sort the ash and very fine stuff from the chunks. Because of the ash that is in with the char, these fines will get spread on the ground. What do they mean or what do I do; to “charge” the charcoal before using it on the ground?TomC
Soak it in whatever liquid effluent you want to give back to the soil. Compost tea is the best.
Hi Tom I made triple mix this year with my charcoal screenings. 1 part compost or well rotted manure, 1 part charcoal screenings, 2 parts rough sand. Mix the manure with the charcoal, saturate with water let sit for a few days, add in sand, mix well use as a potting mix or spread on your garden space you want to improve… Worked well for me.
Thanks Alex and David. I would like to add nitrogen to my yard. So if I get some 0-0-10 fertilizer and desolve it in water and soak the char in it, I should get what I am looking for? Got a lot of sifting to do first.TomC
Hi Tom, from my understanding, Mixing char with compost, manure or other types of nutrients allows the char to absorb those nutrients. The char and the compost are mixed with the ground and the char acts like a time release. Throughout the years it will continue this cycle. It is also alkaline and will help acidic soils. I’m pretty sure charcoal doesn’t absorb nitrogen, at least not much if it does. We find this out in our gasifiers. I could be fos, but I don’t think I’m too far off.
One more word about compost tea.
The REAL workhorses in your soil are the microscopic organisms whose bodily processes make the minerals and nutrients in your soil available to the plants. These little guys are our friends and literally keep us alive by making N, P, K and everything else in the soil into edible food for us and the animals we like to eat, in harmony with the miracle of photosynthesis. This is the biggest reason to avoid harsh chemical soil treatments - gives our little friends bad tummy aches.
Fresh compost tea from your own active compost pile will infuse your charcoal with billions of these little guys and, as Gary says, “give them a place to hang out” happily hydrated, eating, and pooping.
AT in TX - land of an annual drought, where water retention is THE biggest agrarian challenge.
Bill and Alex, thank you for the advice. I haven’t been an organic type person or conservation guy, but working with woodgas I have learned a little about their importance. I am trying to do the right things but I need help like what has been suggested on this thread. I hope others are paying attention to these post, now that many of us are producing charcoal as a byproduct.TomC
Thanks Alex for explaining that in words I can understand.