- Making Biochar using dry mulch
- Mulch is loaded into an old beer keg
Roasting green coffee beans using an old popcorn maker.
Read the full article on how I roast coffee here.
Before I roasted coffee for the first time, I had never seen green beans before. They were smaller than I expected, heavier too, and they didn’t smell like coffee.
Biointensive Growing in a Permaculture System
Before I found out about permaculture, I was studying up on the bio-intensive method of growing food, and was about to dedicate the whole property to a biointensive farming system. As it happened, permaculture swept me off my feet and into a swirl of fascinating ideas and possible directions. As the dust settles now – as my head drifts gently out of the clouds, the bio-intensive idea is still glowing, but not as something separate from permaculture, but as a potentially integral part of it.
Permaculture has always meant heading in a direction – a direction toward sustainability, both in agriculture and culture. But what is it doing to us in the meantime?
It’s a leap to shift from thinking that there must be one right thing to do, one correct way to see a landscape, or best practice for developing a sustainable food system, to the discovery that there are many mutually beneficial things to do, many useful ways to see a landscape, and many developmental paths which can be taken toward sustainability.
“Biochar can be made cleanly and effectively on a home-scale, using a biochar retort.”
Biochar is a desirable material for anyone looking to improve their soil. Buried, it acts as a water retainer, nutrient trapper, and home for beneficial bacteria and plant roots, and it continues to support life and fertility for thousands of years! On a home-scale, biochar can be made from waste wood or mulch, using a biochar retort.
- Produces biochar – a permanent soil amendment
- Burns clean and hot
- Can be used for heating or cooking
- Can be fuelled with waste materials
- Close the gas-out valve on the digester
- Open the gas-out valve on the collector
- Turn off the gas-out valve
- Fit the effluent bucket securely