There is charcoal, and then there is Activated Biochar.
Simply speaking, throwing a few lumps of charcoal onto the ground will not produce the famously fertile Terra Preta, but properly made activated biochar offers much more.
This product is made from reclaimed local woody materials, processed in small batches, then drenched with liquid kelp and sea minerals, compost tea, and EM, and finally mixed with high-quality compost.
The result is a stable crystalline form of carbon that resists decay in the soil and is packed with life and nutrition. With its large, highly porous surface area, biochar serves as habitat for microorganisms, and stores and supplies large amounts of nutrients, as well as air and water. This is the power of biologically active biochar.
Its variable particle size accommodates a broad diversity of microbes and soil organisms, with small pieces easily sinking into the soil, and larger chunks persisting until natural weathering processes reduce their size over time.
Made locally in Powell River, BC, by urban farmer Ron Berezan, under the brand name The Good Earth. While the large scale biochar industry is not without controversy over deforestation or monocultures for feedstock, Ron’s small scale operation is something I can get behind.
How much do you need? Use this Biochar in seeding mixes and potting soils at a rate of 10% to maximum 20% of the total soil volume.
In the garden, sprinkle a layer 1/4” to 1/2” thick and work gently into the topsoil surface. One 4L bag covers approximately 20 square feet.
Biochar also makes an excellent addition to planting holes. Use one 4L bag per tree, half a bag per shrub, and a handful per perennial. Mix evenly with backfill.
No need to repeat — one single application is enough.
How long does it keep? Store Biochar like you would store compost: In a cool dark place with sufficient humidity. Protect from heat and sun. Properly stored, Biochar’s shelf life is at least one year.
Bag and lining are 100% paper and fully compostable.