Raw Biochar

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Join the carbon-farming revolution. Biochar is the product of heating organic matter in a low-oxygen environment: instead of releasing the carbon into the atmosphere, this converts it to a highly stable form that can be held in the soil for hundreds or thousands of years. Think of biochar as a kind of super-compost!

Biochar helps your soil sequester more carbon and emit less nitrous oxide (a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide). It provides a dream home for beneficial bacteria and fungi and prevents essential plant nutrients from leaching out of the root zone.

Unlike the “RICHMix” biochar we carried previously (which was pre-inoculated and blended with basalt powder) this new product is 100% pure horticultural grade raw char, with 70 to 85% fixed carbon. Apply raw char at up to 20#/1000 sq ft or 700#/acre on ground that you are resting or preparing to put into production for the first time. Do not apply this product as-is to ground that is currently in production! Raw char may inhibit plant growth for a year or two after application: the native soil microbes consume available nitrogen while slowly colonizing the micropore matrix. Then the magic happens and plant growth explodes in year three or four. If you can't wait that long, blend raw char with your compost feedstock, using up to 50% char. The compost will finish faster and the compost/biochar blend may be applied to growing plants with immediate benefits. And if you’re REALLY in a hurry, soak the biochar in compost tea for 24 hours (this is only practical for small operations, since the mucky wet biochar would not handle well in a mechanical spreader). But Mother Nature counsels patience.



8348 Raw Biochar
Item Discounted
Price
A: (5#) $10.75
  MOFGA Approved
B: (25#) $39.25
  MOFGA Approved
C: pallet 80 bags (2000#) $2000.00
  MOFGA Approved
($1600.00)
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Additional Information

Soil Amendments and Fertilizers

Thriving sustainable agriculture is built on the ground of a healthy soil. In fact, organic certification requires a soil management plan. Do a soil test to determine your soil’s needs before embarking on a program of soil improvement. Check with your local Cooperative Extension for testing in your area, or consider our testing and recommendation service.

Soil amendments used with a program of crop rotation, composting and cover cropping can enhance fertility, improve soil tilth, promote disease resistance, support beneficial soil microorganisms, and even help restore balance to the garden and the world around it. Application rates vary depending on soil type and results of soil tests.

Fertilizers provide nitrogen and other nutrients in a form that is readily available to plants. Organic fertilizers can provide both an immediate boost and additional long-term fertility, feeding both the plants and the organisms that maintain soil health. We also offer soil amendments that have limited available plant nutrients but help to remineralize the soil, improve soil structure, or provide a long-term slow-release source of plant nutrients. Foliar sprays get nutrients directly to the leaves and can increase resistance to disease and to insect infestation.

Analyses provided here are those provided by the manufacturers, or, if none are available, from a Maine state lab test performed on our most recent lot: there is some variability in the nutritional analysis of natural fertilizers, so view these numbers as guides, not gospel. Fertilizers should be used as a supplement to, not a replacement for, the nutrients provided by healthy soil. Sustainability requires developing a long-term plan of cover-cropping, green manuring and composting.

Organic Certification

Inoculants, soil amendments, fertilizers, livestock supplies and pesticides are labeled as:
OMRI: Organic Materials Review Institute. Most state certifying agencies, including MOFGA, accept OMRI approval.
MOFGA: Reviewed and approved by the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association Certification Services. Allowed for use on MOFGA-certified farms. Check with your certifier.
WSDA: Listed by the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Organic Certification division for use in organic agriculture in Washington State. MOFGA has indicated that they will accept products on this list for their certification program. Check with your certifier.
Nat’l List: One-ingredient products on the NOP* List of Allowed Substances (subpart G of the Organic Foods Production Act, sections 205.601-606). Check with your certifier.
AYC: Ask your certifier. Has not been reviewed by a certifier, but the active ingredient is allowed. Ask your certifier.
Not Allowed: A few of the products we list are not allowed for organic production but we think they have a place in sensible agriculture and can be used when certification is not an issue.

Click here for our list of soil amendments, fertilizers, and disease and insect controls along with their certification status and manufacturers.