Wintersowing & Biochar

This years arctic blast afforded me my one of kind video and on the not so fun side, lots of damage to shrubs, trees and buildings. Makes me wish for a wood chipper, seriously, when asked what I would like to do for Mother’s Day, I can honestly say” I would like to chip wood of course! “ After suggesting how the gardens will love it, and that we get stall bedding FREE, maybe DH will gift me with one, I hope I hope. Meanwhile there are some hefty Fir limbs out there creating quite the habitat for birds, squirrels and the like. My sledding debut will have to suffice as I don’t think we will be featured in any landscape design articles any time soon. However, I have high hopes for farm beautification up my flannel sleeve. Wintersowing! I learned of this wonderful project from the folks over at Our Little Acre. And glory be the sun dared to come out and I jumped on this project.


I planted my milk jugs with seeds I purchased from Wallyworlds Wall O’ Savings. Literally a top to bottom huge wall of seeds, probably last years, at discounted prices I love. Yahoo! I also used seeds I harvested last year from the garden-dill, swiss chard, cilantro,columbine, and marigolds.

We as many of our friends have succumbed to the nasty flu and cold viruses that have run rampant in our area. My daughter and her family have been on the mend for a month now. A real hanger on r. While recouperating I have had ample time to browse the net. I must say I done learn’t some things!

Know what this is good fer?

BIOCHAR! you thought I was gonna say for keeping warm, for drying out wet shoes and socks and making hot water during the power outage during an arctic blast!. You are absolutely correct, but see those two lil’ ol’ pieces of firewood smoldering in that there woodstove? I be a makin’ biochar too.

I read an intriquing article in the Mother Earth News about a 3,000 year old ancient technique for improving soil using biochar. The blacky half burnt pieces of wood you see in my woodstove, or left over burned pieces from a campsite fire pit, or when you outside burn garden brush and woody debris. All of this is food for the soil. The charcoal amended soil holds plant nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium much more efficiently than unimproved soil. I’m there for “uppening” the soil, especially with a technique you can implement while at the same time disposing of woody debris simply. To make yourself biochar right in your garden:
Start by digging a wide enough trench to accommodate your woody debris and brush. Loosen the bottom of the trench with a garden fork. Pile in the stuff and light it. You want to get a nice hot fire going. When the smoke thins and becomes somewhat of a grayish blue you dampen it down with some garden soil, thus reducing the oxygen supply and then leave it to smolder. After the organic matter has smoldered into charcoal chunks, use water to put out the fire. Ta Da, biochar. A soil web food source, YOU made and will likely be there a hundred years from now energizing the soil. I recommend a thorough read through of the article for skeptics inclined to regard this process as contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. You will be surprised! Yikes! In trying to find a link to this particular article for your convenience I became befuddled. Apparently I can’t navigate around a webpage. However I can link you to this interesting little featured video on Mother’s gardening page about land I’d forgotten I owned, and you too, in Washington, D.C. Woo Doggie!

In my teapot I am enjoying Chammomile and White Peony leaf. AHHHH, blessings ya’ll, I’m off to rest.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009 – Untitled Comment

Posted by Lorie
Very interesting. I think my dear grandma used to do something similar in her garden. And Lord knows, that woman could grow most anything! Can’t wait for this weather to warm up so we can all get outside and do some gardening activities. Come on spring!

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