Thanks to UC Gill Tract Farm we have the practical demonstration of the benefits on plant growth when biochar is used for composting.
When we started distributing free biochar to the local community gardens we didn’t know we were soon to meet some of the States most formidable masters of regenerative agriculture. We, of course, were aware that biochar was in the shortlist for “effective climate change solutions” but it is only thanks to UC Gill tract Farm that we were able to understand the full extent of the plant benefits using biochar enhanced compost.
They were curious enough about the material to test and refine the composting process specific to our high-temperature biochar and the results are astounding! The image on the left shows pumpkin plants that did not receive biochar enhanced compost and the image on the right shows ones that received it. They were planted on the same day! You will find the scientific explanation for this on our Biochar page.
Planting Justice is a very successful program for the holistic re-entry of the formerly incarcerated, Ashby Community Garden specialises in member-run Urban Farming, and the Green Waste Recycle Yard ensures our waste biomass is sustainable.
The Berkeley Local Carbon Network provides free biochar to Planting Justice who deserve our deepest respect for their accomplishment. The State of California has an ex-prisoner recidivism rate of 44.6%. They have developed a self-sufficient model for prisoner re-entry that has a recidivism rate of… 0%
Ashby Community Garden instead is specialized in urban farming and has a completely volunteer-run facility. Just to prove what can be accomplished when communities come together.
Biomass is supplied sustainably by the local Green Waste Recycle Yard that recovers and recycles urban logs from the Greater San Francisco Bay Area that are destined mainly to the West Contra Costa Sanitary Landfill.
To recap, the waste wood (biomass) undergoes a process called pyrolysis that turns it into char while also producing electricity (bioenergy). Greenhouse gases are offset as no fossil fuel is not used for electricity and heat. The biochar can then be co-composted and used for organic farming where it continues to actively sequester CO2 from around the roots of the plants (rhizosphere). By our activity of fundraising and donating biochar to community gardens we perform carbon sequestration, within a circular economy while increasing the yield of our partners.
The conversion hub is also the headquarters of ALL Power Labs
All the biochar for the Berkeley LCN is produced at ALL Power Labs, who is also the creator of the Local Carbon Network Model. The company was founded in 2008 and is the industry leader in small scale gasification technologies. Its focus was originally on rural electrification for developing countries (see this video) but since the discovery of the biological multipliers of the biochar when used in composting, the company has founded the Local Carbon Network Project to disseminate community composting and gardening as a scalable drawdown practice.
ALL Power Labs converts green waste to biochar on its own premises while the equipment is running for research and development.
The Climate Products the Berkeley LCN has to offer are bags of biochar to add to your home compost bin and (coming soon) full home composting kits including an insulated, tumbling compost bin plus monthly deliveries of biochar, biominerals and wood shavings, all you have to do is add your garden and kitchen waste.
By purchasing our climate products you can help fund the project
Biochar distributed from our Berkeley LCN:
Kilograms of carbon sequestered
When Melanie is not in the garden, she is occupied as an herbalist, a painter, a nanny, and the mother of 8-month-old Kali Sage
Local Carbon Networks lead environmental engineer
Currently APL and Local Carbon Network's liaison to Green Waste Recycling Yard in Richmond, California.
Community Farmer and Leader