The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that $225,875 is being awarded to four entities in Hawaii through the Conservation Innovation Grant. One of these is a biochar project involving SBI member Peter Hirst of New England Biochar.
Whispering Winds Bamboo <http://www.whisperingwindsbamboo.com/> Cooperative Corporation, an organic bamboo timber, teak and produce farm in Hana, Maui, was awarded funds to convert bamboo timber waste to biochar using a farm-scale Adam-Retort, of which New England Biochar is the exclusive American supplier. The grant was made to demonstrate that appropriately sized farm based charcoal kilns can be cost effective, income generating and fertility enhancing to a farm operation. Total sequestered carbon will also be calculated to show how much carbon footprint offset is made by the adopted technology during the project term.
The New England Biochar Adam-Retort is the unit that SBI and others are hoping to bring to the Sonoma Valley to support similar enterprises here.
“We are pleased to provide this federal funding to help these innovative projects to help our farming community,” said Mr. Angel Figueroa, NRCS Director of the Pacific Islands Area. “These new techniques can be adapted by others.”
Peter will be in Hawaii in January as a principle presenter at the Maui Aloha Aina Body & Soil Conference <http://www.mauialohaaina.org> at Kumulani Farm in Olinda and working with Whispering Winds on their project.
Before his arduous duty in the Islands, however, Peter will be visiting us here in late October and will be spending some time in the Bay Area before traveling to Chile to install an Adam-Retort for the Instituto de la Patagonia at Magellan University in Punta Arenas, Chile.