John Suavecito

gardener
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since May 09, 2010
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forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike
Food forest in a suburban location. Teaches grafting and helps people learn how to grow food. Involved with a local food exchange group. Shares cuttings and knowledge with schoolchildren.
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Recent posts by John Suavecito

That looks like it works well. I like how you talked about your place and what the parameters are.   I think too many people have become aggressive about their system being the one and only correct model for all situations.  I had seen the evidence and wanted to make biochar for years, but I didn't figure out one that would work for my situation until I saw one a few years ago and decided to adapt it and make it work for me.  Obviously, a large farm, small farm, suburb and urban areas will probably all have different applications, but can learn from and adapt ideas to what they've got.

John S
PDX OR
4 days ago
I tried to stir the biochar during the inoculation phase. Almost impossible when it is dry doesn't have the "Sauce" in it.  Pretty easy when it is soaking.   I can't completely stir it 100% of the way, but I can mix it a bit more.  The sauce itself mixes all of the nutrients throughout.  I also don't think that it is crucial that each tiny piece of biochar has equal amounts of nutrients in it.  I think the mycelium will distribute that.  That was in response to Roberto Pokaninni.

J Brun-It is in an extremely aerobic situation for 23 hours and 58 minutes of the day. It just gets drenched once per day, so that is definitely aeroblcally dominated.

John S
PDX OR
4 days ago
I would think that the push for the law came from animal feed manufacturers.  

THis is a really interesting area.  I would imagine there is a lot of benefit with this.

John S
PDX OR
4 days ago
Thanks for the detailed video. I think the process shows promise. It is actually rather similar to my TLUD in a 55 gallon barrel.  I think there will be many applications to many people's circumstances. Most of the people who I talk to here locally make small biochars like this.  For me, I need the 55 gallon size because I need the amount of biochar on a larger scale. The more options we can show people, the more people will be improving their soils, sequestering carbon, and improving the heatlh of their produce and their bodies.

John S
PDX OR
5 days ago
THe concept of deep soil inoculation with bokashi is a really interesting one.  I have mostly focused on the top foot of the soil, where it should be aerobic.  I can't speak on Elaine Ingham's nor Redhawk's ideas about deep soil and anaerobic amendments.  Kind of intriguing, really.
John S
PDX OR
6 days ago
As Elaine Ingham and Bryant Redhawk have mentioned, we want oxygenated soils, because that's how we have soils dominated by microbes that help our food plants.  This includes mushrooms.  

Bokashi, as I understand it, is a fermentation process, without oxygen.  There are useful places for that process, like decomposing animal flesh and preserving vegetables (sauerkraut and kimchi).  Even adjusting some nutrient dense organic material might be optimally used with bokashi.  However, I think it's a temporary way to create a limited amount of compost or bioavailable nutrients.  These nutrients would optimally be oxygenated before being introduced to the soil in any sort of large way.  We don't want to introduce a large number of pathogenic microbes to our crops.

The original terra preta biochar makers may have made these particular distinctions, but we have no records.  When you kill off the storytellers, you don't get their story, so you lose.

John S
PDX OR
6 days ago
Great question Roberto.
I don't have acreage. I'm just doing a suburban yard version.  After crushing the char, I want it to be mixed in with the other nutrients.  I start with about 4 gallons of charcoal, and I layer it in so that the nutritious sauce will flow throughouot the charcoal, turning it into biochar.  After I add the 4 gallons to each layer, the 5 gallon bucket is about filled up.  When I drench the sauce through once a day, it will have a chance to mix through.  If I wanted to premix it, I would need a larger container.  I don't think that layering the nutrients in is structurally beneficial.  It just lets me make sure that I fit the right mix of nutrients and charcoal.  If I had a 10 gallon bucket I could mix them all together first, I guess.
JohN S
PDX OR
1 week ago