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: