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Biochar Burning & Learning Day

Biochar Burning & Learning Day

The Northern Mendocino Ecosystem Recovery Alliance (NM-ERA) invites you to a day of Learning and Burning at Tan Oak Park on Thursday, February 22, 2024. We’ll start at 10:00 am, assembling our Ring of Fire Kiln, then loading it with forest thinning wood. We’ll light it up and keep adding fuel as we discuss biochar and all the ways to make it and use it.

We’ll be led by world-renowned biochar kiln designer and teacher, Kelpie Wilson from Cave Junction, Oregon.

Joining Kelpie will be Wihan Bekker from South Africa who has developed a phone app for tracking biochar production and gathering data in order to be paid with carbon credits for producing biochar and sequestering carbon. Imagine being paid for thinning your forests and making biochar. Those days are coming.

Also joining us is Karen Youngblood from Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI aka Usal Forest) who will be speaking about RFFI’s experiences making biochar at a large scale and collaborating with scientists to study biochar emissions and production.

We’ll leave plenty of time for questions and discussion. When all the wood is burned down to coals, we’ll quench the fire and open the kiln , and spread the char out to cool. Bring a feed sack or bucket and take some of the char home with you. We should be done with the burn between 3:00 and 4:00 pm. During the afternoon, we’ll fire up the cobb pizza oven and after class we’ll cook some pizzas and wrap up the day around the campfire.

Wear natural-fiber clothes with long sleeves, bring gloves and work boots, goggles if you have them, a notebook, and water. We’ll provide sandwich makings for lunch and pizza after class.  We’ll do it rain or shine, it will be warm near the fire, could be cold and wet farther out but we’re not made of sugar so we won’t melt. Extreme rain or snow may limit our burning and force us under cover but we’ll adapt. We’ll have to cancel if the highway closes or becomes unsafe. The class is free and is supported by a grant from the Mendocino Community Foundation.