Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kathleen Draper tells us about BIO CHAR

Our guest speaker On November 10, 2012 was Kathleen Draper who gave a fascinating overview of the history and current research related to bio char. She recently completed her Masters in Sustainability where her thesis focused on the creation of a small scale, replicable bio char model.
Bio char is a carbon negative soil conditioner that boosts plant growth while reducing the need for fertilizer and watering. Baking organic waste turns lots of the CO2 absorbed during the plant’s life into a stable form of carbon. When the char is planted in dirt, it ditches the carbon cycle and snuggles up with plant roots; the result is lots of beneficial micro-organisms, a safe place to roost, and it holds water.
This filtration medium and soil conditioner is what bio char is all about. Over 2000 years ago, Native Americans in the Amazon were actively improving the soils in rain forests. Pre-Columbians created what’s known as terra preta, “black earth.”
Kathleen has launched Finger Lakes Bio Char and has been working closely with several area vineyards to help them reduce phosphorous and nitrogen leaching into ground water and Lakes.

Kathleen can be contacted at
Respectfully submitted, Peggy Kane

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