SAY IT WITH WOOD
Using crushed charcoal, or Biochar, on farms and gardens is nothing new.
The Aztecs utilised it to make a rich growing medium called Terra Preta. This enabled them to produce food on nutrient poor ground. In modern times biochar is a common tool in European and American agriculture – for instance 90% of the biochar made in Europe is used in cattle farming.
Biochar has many benefits. Put simply it acts as both a sponge and a buffer. The particles absorb water, liquids and nutrients which are then accessible to plants over time. Due to its open structure it has a large surface area, acting as a host for beneficial mycorrhiza. These attributes support plant health and growth by allowing the efficient processing of nutrients. The charcoal stays working effectively in the soil for hundreds of years, with the added benefit of locking carbon away.
‘Say it with Wood’ is a Herefordshire based woodland management and timber products company. With only 50% of British woodlands being managed, the production of biochar also has exciting possibilities to help rejuvenate neglected woods. Fortunately charcoal production can make use of the low grade timber felled during the first stages of this rejuvenation management process. So, it’s a win for nature and the environment as well as our farms and gardens.
Aly May (partner at Say it with Wood) says,” At Say it with Wood, we are passionate about the link between the products we make and the management of local woodlands. Herefordshire is a farming and growing county, so for us biochar is the perfect solution for many problems. For example cattle farmers can put charcoal down with bedding before bringing animals in over winter. The charcoal will soak up slurry and act as a slow release fertiliser once spread on the ground. Currently research trials are being undertaken to assess the benefits of using biochar to help combat fungal disease in Hops and Orchards.”
As part of their work to promote the use of this fantastic material, Say it with Wood will be holding workshops through the summer, with local horticulturalist Laura Russell demonstrating the ways crushed charcoal and biochar can be used in the garden and on farms.
For more information please contact Laura firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0795834583. www.sayitwithwood.co.uk