Local. Sustainable. Artisanal: Biochar & Biochar BBQ Briquettes from New Earth Farm / CDi
Dear members of 1% For The Planet:
Today we would like to share with you some news and background to an exciting project currently in the works at our education working farm project “New Earth Farm” in Virginia Beach.
Since the summer of 2013, and with the kind financial and in-kind support of a local foundation and various contractors, we have built an outdoor clean cook stove & pizza oven, a 500lb capacity retort / kiln, and a 215 capacity briquette press. The retort will produce biochar from untreated scrap-wood, which we use on the farm to make trellis stakes. Biochar can be used as soil enhancer, and it can be crushed, mixed with a binding agent, and pressed into briquettes for BBQ’ing and for cooking on our stove (think outdoor “Farm Table” Cooking Classes!)
Our objectives with this project, inspired by work our partners do in Haiti, are to:
- Utilize the infrastructure we have built to advocate for cooking fuel alternatives in Haiti (made of coconut husks and mango pits) which will reduce deforestation and improve both human and environmental health
- To demonstrate the process of pyrolysis and to showcase but one example of low-tech innovations with significant potential for social, economic and environmental impact in Haiti and other countries suffering from lack of cooking fuel alternatives
- To produce biochar and briquettes made of biochar for direct use on New Earth Farm
- To produce additional quantities to sell, to generate mission0related earned income for our non-profit, and to financially support expansion of this program in Haiti
The project is currently entered into an online grant competition, and we encourage you to make use of your daily vote to support our endeavor. Funding would be used to add a crushing / mixing station, to construct a storage and packaging shed, and to hire a full-time staff to work the production (we seek to hire a military veteran to aid with reintegration).