USBI 2016 Biochar Conference: Save the Date Aug. 22nd – 25th

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The Synergy of Science and Industry:  Biochar’s Connection to Ecology, Soil, Food and Energy

Registration is now open for what is sure to be a fantastic gathering of scientists, entrepreneurs, farmers, enlightened government officials, energy, soil, and fire geeks, agricultural change agents, NGO’s devoted to sustainable practices and carbon sequestration, backyard biochar tinkerer’s, and folks just interested what all the fuss about biochar is about.

 

Located at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center in beautiful Corvallis, Oregon, it is sure to be the biochar event of the year in the U.S.

Go to:  http://usbi2016.org/   for more information.

 

Indigenous Agriculture Classes at Sonoma Garden Park

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The Sonoma Biochar Initiative, The Sonoma Ecology Center, Whole Foods Market Sonoma, and  Native American educator Cuauhtemoc Villa are collaborating on a series of four free classes on indigenous farming techniques. Held at the Sonoma Garden Park on successive Thursday mornings from 9 A.M. to 10 A.M. (July 16, July 23, July 30, and Aug. 6), these classes will cover a range of topics including the preparation and use of Bokashi (a fermented, anaerobic composting technique), biochar preparation and use, Hugelkultur mounds, and other traditional farming techniques used by various indigenous cultures.  Go here for more information and to register:

http://nativeag.brownpapertickets.org

Sonoma County Biochar Project Workshop and Demonstration

Written by admin on . Posted in Biochar General, Biochar Policy, Biochar Technology, Citizen Science Project, Initiative News, Member News, Uncategorized, USBI Conference 2012

The Sonoma County Biochar Project Presents:

Biochar Soil Management and Pasture Benefits

A Workshop and Demonstration

Date:  July 25th, 2015  /  Time: 10am to 2pm

At  Swallow Valley Farm, 1100 Freestone Valley Ford Rd. Valley Ford, CA  94972

For more information, click here.

Conservation Burn and Biochar Training/March 27th

Written by admin on . Posted in Initiative News

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative and the Sonoma Ecology Center are pleased to announce our second Conservation Burn and Biochar Workshop this coming Friday March 27th at Circle Bar Ranch!

By replacing conventional open burn methods with the conservation burn you can significantly reduce emissions (visible smoke and invisible chemicals and particles) from agricultural burns in your community and conserve resources, especially carbon. You will also learn how to produce biochar, a valuable soil amendment, in the process.

Go here to register:  http://biochar2.bpt.me

These workshops feature both hands-on, in-the-field training and a classroom style component.

The early morning classroom session (8 A.M. to 10 A.M) will focus on biochar itself, including why it works to improve soil, the benefits of using it in both animal and plant agriculture, how to properly condition it prior to use, and how to apply it. Conservation burn theory and methodology will also be covered, including the scientific theory behind the process, safety and permitting considerations, pile construction, burn management, and maximizing production of biochar.

The late morning session (10:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.) will include hands-on field training using one pile of vines and vine trimmings.

A portion of the proceeds will support programs at both the Sonoma Biochar Initiative and the Sonoma Ecology Center. Please bring a bag lunch and a water container if you are staying for the extended training. Coffee and water will be available.

Mendocino Biochar Demonstration Project Events in April

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The Redwood Forest Foundation is excited to invite the public to learn about the RFFI Biochar Demonstration Project. RFFI is holding two events in April, a Regional Technical Transfer Workshop, and a Biochar Conversion Unit Demonstration Tour.

Biochar Project Regional Technical Transfer Workshop
April 9, 2015
10:00 AM- 2:00PM
Eureka, CA

Biochar Conversion Unit Demonstration Tour
April 24, 2015
10:00 AM-2:00PM
Branscomb, CA

SPACE IS LIMITED RSVP REQUIRED
RSVP judith@rffi.org
Judith Harwood
Biochar Project Coordinator

Visit the RFFI website at www.rffi.org for updated info and directions to the Branscomb, CA event.

SBI Selected to Submit a Full CalFire Project Application

Written by admin on . Posted in Biochar General, Biochar Policy, Biochar Technology, Citizen Science Project, Initiative News, Member News, Uncategorized

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative (SBI)recently received a formal invitation from CalFire to submit a full grant application to expand our Conservation Burn Training Program statewide. CalFire received 381 Concept Proposals, totaling over $135 million, from various entities and landowners throughout the state under California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds Grant Programs, and only a limited number of these received an invitation to submit a full proposal by April 30th. Unfortunately, only $21 million is available for funding for the fiscal year 2014/2015 and not all proposals will be successful. However, we strongly believe the conservation burn training program has so many merits as a greenhouse gas reduction strategy and co-benefits to the ecosystem with the resulting production of biochar that we feel our proposal stands a good chance of being funded.

SBI has also been working to advocate at the state level for large-scale, high-profile biochar field trials. We hope to start working soon with California Food and Agriculture Director Karen Ross’ office to coordinate a stakeholder meeting (including representatives from the academic, technology, agriculture, business, policy, energy, and biochar advocacy sectors) to come up with a roadmap to bring these essential field trials to fruition.

Conservation Burn Workshop at Circle Bar Ranch

Written by admin on . Posted in Initiative News

The Workshop we held on February 13th at Circle Bar Ranch was a great success. Attendees (including vineyard managers, flower farmers, compost producers, RCD reps and others) spent the morning learning about the science aspects of the conservation burn training, and a few hours in the afternoon learning how to build and manage a pile of vines. Below are a few pictures from the event:

Most of the smoke produced gets consumed by the  top-lit flames.

Most of the smoke produced gets consumed by the
top-lit flames.

The pile is burning nicely now with virtually no smoke.

The pile is burning nicely now with virtually
no smoke.

Putting out the fire—that is steam, not smoke!

Putting out the fire—that is steam, not smoke!

The result:  a nice pile of biochar that can be used in the very  vineyard where the vines were pulled out.

The result: a nice pile of biochar that can be used in the very
vineyard where the vines were pulled out.

Mendocino Workshops Announced

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The Sonoma Biochar Initiative, a project of the Sonoma Ecology Center, in cooperation with the Mendocino Biochar Demonstration Project, is offering two separate workshops in Mendocino County on Friday April 11th. Both workshops feature Peter Hirst, a nationally known biochar expert and trainer, co-owner of New England Biochar, and farm manager at Swallow Valley Farm.

The morning workshop (8 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.), to be held in the Chenin Blanc Room at the Ukiah Conference Center, 200 S. School Street, Ukiah, focuses on biochar, including how it works to improve soil, its many benefits, how to properly condition it prior to use, and how to apply it.

The afternoon workshop (1 P.M. – 5 P.M.), will be held at the Ingel-Haven Ranch, 9000 Westside Potter Valley Rd., and will feature hands-on, in-the-field training for the conservation burn technique, including the scientific theory behind the process, safety and permitting considerations, pile construction, burn management, and maximizing production of biochar.

Workshop fees are $35 per session, or $60 for the whole day. We only have room for 36 people so be sure and pre-register using the link below. A portion of the proceeds will support programs at both the Sonoma Biochar Initiative and the Sonoma Ecology Center.

For more information and to register, click here.

New Biochar and Conservation Burn Workshops Announced

Written by admin on . Posted in Initiative News

***Upcoming Events***

Biochar Workshop & Conservation Burn Training featuring Peter Hirst

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative and Sonoma Ecology Center are pleased to announce a Biochar workshop and Conservation Burn training to be held on Friday March 21st at Circle Bar Ranch, south of the town of Sonoma.

By replacing conventional open burn methods with the conservation burn you can significantly reduce emissions (visible smoke and invisible chemicals and particles) from agricultural burns in your community and conserve resources, especially carbon. You will also learn how to produce biochar, a valuable soil amendment, in the process.

***The morning training (8 A.M. to 12 P.M. ) will focus on the conservation burn technique, and include both classroom and hands-on field training that will include the scientific theory behind the process, safety and permitting considerations, pile construction, burn management, and maximizing production of biochar.

***The afternoon workshop (1 P.M. to 5 P.M.) will focus on biochar itself, including why it works to improve soil, the benefits of using it in both animal and plant agriculture, how to properly condition it prior to use, and how to apply it.

For more information and to register, click here.

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