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Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 17
Here's a link to a nice article on green garlic, I should probably post a separate thread outside biochar...oh well.­

The author mentions not using the darker portion, but I always use the leaves unless they're too old and tough, especially in soups.
David W.
user 2670503
Cape Elizabeth, ME
Post #: 30
Interesting! I can't imagine pulling the crop early but I bet anyone with garlic to spare will do a brisk business at their stall with spring garlic front and center...
user 4058763
Hollis Center, ME
Post #: 192

Well....spring greens is what I am told the bulbils are good for. You just plant them densely and thin them out for chive-like greens. A very few are left to develope into proper garlic. I can't wait to try it.
Jesse S.
user 29709632
Harrison, ME
Post #: 11
Hello, this is an interesting article about a Maine farm getting grant monies for starting a biochar operation:­

In an email exchange with David I learned that his char production will be based on a medium sized retort(85 gallon drum); a good size for a small diversified farm.
I've been harvesting unburnt char from the ol' Jotul every morning and have so far accumulated around 20 gallons of the stuff-probably about the amount David will produce from a single run of his unit.

I'd like to hear if anyone has been using char in their garden plots... and how the vegetation responded.

Anecdotally speaking, around my outdoor earth oven where I've been sweeping out ashes and char over the past six years the plants are very lush and green, although this could be due to the ashes' inputs and alkalinity as well.

Being the pyromaniac that I am, of course I want to build my own char kiln. And thanks to being a bit of a hoarder, I've got some of the necessary materials to build an efficient unit: 50 gallon drum, stovepipe, an old electric pottery kiln shell with insulating refractory for an outer shell, firebrick, ect. Oh yeah, and I live in the middle of the woods, so there's a plenty of feedstock ready for charring. The real challenge will be plumbing the exhaust heat to a maple syrup evaporator....I'll keep you posted.
Tyler O.
Greenbush, ME
Post #: 57
I was passing by one of our book shelves this morning and The Biochar Solution caught my eye and I picked it up and was reminded how nice it is to reread books, how brilliant Nathaniel Mulcahy's Worldstove design is (both the design of the stove and the design of the company)(, how much I love venturis and Fibonacci Spiral Geometry, and how I have a deep love of stories about how loyal dogs saved their owner's lives.
"Worldstove's Lucia model, their most popular home-kitchen stove, was named for Nathaniel Mulcahy's Dog, who came to her master's side after a fall down a flight of stairs knocked him unconscious and shattered three vertebrae. If his head had flopped towards his shoulder, he would have died.
Sensing her master's condition, Lucia placed her head under his head, her spine lined up along his spine, her legs extended, pushing him flat against the wall - and maintained that position, immobile, for five to six hours until neighbors discovered her and called paramedics. After 18 months and many surgeries, Mulcahy could walk again.
He quit his job [working for large companies to develop home appliances] and has been doing humanitarian engineering ever since. The LuciaStove is his dog's memorial, designed to help millions of people and the environment."
" The key to the Worldstove designs is their top and bottom plates, which Mulcahy [an award-winning industrial designer with a Ph.D. in fluid thermodynamics] builds to exacting specifications. The metal plates extract the gases from the fuel part of the chamber and generate Benoulli-principle-driven venturis to create a negative pressure, while a flame cap based on Fibonacci spiral geometry prevents oxygen from entering the pyrolysis chamber. The design forces a clean, complete burn, with maximum carbon retention, and also produces a nitrogen-gas-charged biochar (the stove excludes oxygen but not nitrogen) that has a nearly neutral pH (7-7.5), making it ideal for agricultural uses."
" A family that uses one of these stoves for cooking produces 300 grams of biochar per day, on average. That's 109.5 kilograms, or a tenth of a ton, per stove per year. Since about 80% of that char will be retained in the soil more or less permanently after being charged with compost, a quarter-ton of CO2 is measurably sequestered per stove per year. For every million stoves, villagers can sequester 250,536 tons of CO2 annually. Moreover, if anyone adds in the wood not being burned in open fires, since gasifying stoves are at least twice as efficient, WorldStove's million stoves are projected to supplant tree-to-CO2 conversion by 38 million tons per year by 2020.
Mulcahy says:
'Each time a biochar stove is used to produce a meal for a family of five, it can produce sufficient charcoal to filter 10 liters of water. This dramatically reduces the fuel needed to provide safe drinking water. Burying biochar, even after it has been used to filter water, helps restore soil nutrients and carbon, and it works especially well in Africa, which has the greatest capacity for carbon uptake. Furthermore, because the pyrolytic zone in a LuciaStove is the open air-fuel container, the stove uses the char it produces as a filter during the combustion of the gases produced, providing a cleaner indoor air.'
Converting manufacturing costs for the LuciaStove (about $12 per unit in Africa) into cabon-dollar terms, it costs $2.59 per ton to sequester carbon from biochar producing cooking stoves.
Manufactured in this way, wood-burning stoves, now an environmental problem, may become one of the world's greatest environmental hopes. Ramped up to full scale, just the reduction of inhaled soot would be the equivalent of eradicating malaria from the world"
"By attaching a Sterling, Rankin, or Minto-cycle engine, electricity can be generated from the heat of a pyrolyzing stove."
The stove has two modes: pyrolytic mode produces char and gasifying mode produces ash. The pH is adjustable!

Check out WorldStove's Five step hub Plan
--I think both the central manufacturing and the "hub" would fit perfectly into Maine's economy as well as provide many jobs to unemployed mill workers, machinists, and many others--
Now that I think of it Heather's cousin works for TurboCam in NH and they have the capabilties to produce the precision plates (CNC milling machines, etc). I am sure their are businesses in Maine that have these capabilities as well.
This appropriate technology (pyrolyzing cooking stoves) belongs in every household, not just the "third world" countries.
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 656
Tyler, thank you! I've been intending to post a recommendation for this book and somehow that got away on me. Good reminder!
This book should be required reading for us all. Albert Bates did a very nice job flushing out some of the key biochar stories many of us have heard and presents the data on climate change cleanly. Reading this book would be a great starting point for anyone interested in how to tackle climate change and how biochar is needed as part of an "all of the above" solution. I just recently read this book and I'm planning to reread it again just to make sure it all sunk in....lots of good info.
Jesse S.
user 29709632
Harrison, ME
Post #: 123
Youtube presentation by Worldstove's founder on the Lucia stove:­

This is a great design and seems to offer several advantages over typical TLUD based char production.
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