Monday, May 2, 2016

Biochar Compost Workshop May 28 - Roseburg

Please come on out to the Tierra Buena Worm Farm for the Biochar Compost Workshop.

Here is the poster - please print it out and help spread the word
Biochar Compost Workshop Poster to download and print

Using Biochar with Manure and Compost
Saturday, May 28, from 10am-3pm
Tierra Buena Worm Farm
8530 North Bank Rd, Roseburg, OR

Join the Umpqua Biochar Education Team (UBET) and Kelpie Wilson of Wilson Biochar Associates for this hands-on biochar workshop.
  • Learn about the chemistry and biology of biochar compost
  • Learn how to construct a compost pile with correct C:N ratios 
  • Learn how to make bokashi – a fermented fertilizer
  • Learn how to make your own high carbon fertilizers by charging biochar with nutrients and microbes

If you like, bring items for the Pot Luck Compost Pile we will build:
  • Straw, grass clippings, sawdust, shavings or wood chips
  • Food scraps or manure (please bring in closed buckets)
  • Biochar

Please bring a sack lunch and a chair to sit in for the slide show
Also, we will be outdoors part of the time and working with wet and dirty materials, so dress appropriately and bring work gloves.  More info at Or call Kelpie Wilson at 541-218-9890.

A Few Days in the Life of the CIG Project

Here are a few pictures from last week's activities working on the Conservation Innovation Grant project that UBET/SURCP is sponsoring. We are essentially creating a learning network for farmers and ranchers, helping them make biochar from waste biomass and learning how to use it to compost manure.

As part of the project, Don Morrison got some help from USDA researchers Kristin Trippe and Claire Phillips to design and implement a pot trial study of three different biochars using his pasture soil. He wanted to know which biochar was best and also whether he should add additional nitrogen to the soil. The growth part of the study was performed in Don's greenhouse, but we had help from the USDA researchers to harvest the tiny blades of grass, dry them, weigh them, and perform other analysis. On Monday last week, Don and I drove up to Oregon State University in Corvallis to work with the researchers to process our 50 small pots. Science is a lot of work! We will report the results soon.

Then on Tuesday, Don accompanied me to visit two of our ranchers, Troy Michaels and Jerry Sabol. We wanted to look at Troy's manure pile with added biochar and talk to Jerry about how to make biochar from the excess wood on his property where he has been doing oak savannah restoration.

Here is what our two days looked like:

Americorp Crew Learns about Biochar at Elkton

From Greg Flick:
Here are some photos of the Biochar workshop that we had April 28 at the ECEC, Elkton Community Education Center.  From the top:  OJ talking about his brick chimney retort kiln; brick chimney retort kiln without the chimney; flame cap kiln; and Scott McCain with a Weber kiln.  The audience was mainly Americorp volunteers working at the ECEC.  There were also about as many interested folks from the community that had heard about the workshop at the Glide Wildflower Show and the Roseburg News Review.  In total there were about 20 participants. ECEC has a big feedstock pile and is looking for an open burn or a demonstration of the Oregon Kiln in the future. Great workshop with a lot of interest generated and a lot of knowledge shared.  Posters of the May 28th compost workshop were available to the participants.