With our successful national conference now behind us, SBI’s Advisory Board has been hard at work developing strategies to build on the local excitement and knowledge gained at the event, and getting as much biochar into the ground as possible. We are poised to have a major growth spurt in our outreach and education activities in 2013. We also have plans to expand our field testing activities and to acquire and build the first biochar production facility in the North Bay.
Here are a few of the exciting projects we are working on:
Four grant applications have been written in 2012 and will have been submitted by Dec. 17th. We should know by early 2013 if any have been funded.
We supplied biochar to a UC Davis monitored vineyard field trial in Oakville, California, and are working with David Cook of Cook Vineyard Management on a field trial to start soon in the Sonoma Valley.
We supplied biochar to 30 individuals or organizations (including all of the elementary school garden programs) in the Sonoma Valley as part of a hands-on educational outreach effort called the Citizen Science Project. We are hoping to receive a grant to expand the program to 200 in 2013.
We supplied biochar to Tara Firma Farm and Greenstring Farm in Petaluma, where they are using it in their chicken operations. We are looking forward to building ongoing strong relationships with these and other food providers practicing sustainable agriculture techniques.
We supplied biochar to the Pollinator Pal Program in Sonoma Valley.
We are planning a number of hands-on events in 2013 where the public can come to learn about making biochar and why it is an important soil amendment.
We are expanding the capacity and communication outreach of our organization and just published our first Newsletter.
There are other efforts as well that I will expand on in upcoming posts, so stay tuned.