We believe the way we farm matters. We need to nourish the earth that nourishes us. This is how we do that:
- Grow vegetables that are certified organic by MOFGA.
- Amend our soil with carbon-sequestering biochar.
- Use mostly electric farm equipment partially powered with solar power.
- Use biointensive and permaculture farming practices.
Why do we farm this way?
The vast majority of climate experts say:
- The climate is changing.
- These changes are largely due to human activity.
- Humans can slow down or reverse these changes.
In addition, even people who are skeptical about the claims of these experts are increasingly coming to the conclusion that the potential risks of climate change are so large that it’s worth taking action. At Growing to Give, we have chosen to take action by adopting climate-friendly farming methods as one of our values.
Here are a few of our favorite resources on biochar:
- International Biochar Initiative – The International Biochar Initiative provides a platform for the international exchange of information and activities in support of biochar research, development, demonstration, and commercialization.
- US Biochar Initiative – The US Biochar Initiative is a not-for-profit organization promoting the sustainable production and use of biochar through research, policy, technology, and doing it!
- Sustainable Obtainable Solutions – Sustainable Obtainable Solutions is a non-profit organization dedicated to the sustainability of public lands and the plant and the animal and human communities that depend on them.
- New England Small Farm Institute – The New England Small Farm Institute (NESFI) is a land-based, non-profit organization that encourages more sustainable regional agriculture and promotes small farm development by providing information and training for aspiring, beginning, and transitioning farmers.
- Backyard Biochar – Backyard Biochar is a website that collects news and information on promising backyard biochar methods worldwide.
- Sonoma Biochar Initiative – The Sonoma Biochar Initiative (SBI) is a project of the Sonoma Ecology Center (SEC), and is dedicated to promoting biochar education, production, and use throughout Sonoma County, California.
- CharGrow LLC – CharGrow LLC produces and sells high-quality “loaded” biochar to build soil and capture carbon while using the process energy to generate heat and electricity. This website also contains a concise summary of the results of seven years of field trials in conjunction with Virginia Tech. Look under “Results for CharGrow.”
- Biochar Company – The Biochar Company sells commercial-scale biochar equipment (incorporating Biochar Solutions, Inc.) and SoilReef brand biochars and blends.
- Sullivan Center for Sustainable Agriculture – The Sullivan Center for Sustainable Agriculture (in Sullivan, NH) is a CSA and consists of a small-scale, permaculture-based organic farm and orchard, a biochar production program, and an educational center.
- Cornell University – Cornell University has been one of the leading research centers for biochar. Its website includes an extensive list of references to scientific papers related to biochar.
- Biochar Revolution – The Biochar Revolution website is a global hub for the biochar industry.
- Ithaka Institute – The Ithaka Institute is conducting research into the foundations of positive climate agriculture with high biodiversity and a focus on biochar.
- Dr TLUD – The Dr TLUD website is a comprehensive online reference for TLUD biochar technology.
Reports, papers, and articles
Some wonderful resources on biochar:
- The 2014 report by the International Biochar Initiative (IBI) on the state of the biochar industry.
- A 2008 Iowa State University study of slow pyrolysis vs. fast pyrolysis vs. gasification (paper and poster).
- A 2008 paper by David Laird of Iowa State University on biochar’s potential to produce bioenergy and permanently sequester carbon, while improving soil and water quality.
- Journal of Environmental Quality 2012 article on the Environmental Benefits of Biochar by James Ippolito, David Laird (Iowa State University), and Warren Busscher.