The NWPCC Biochar Conversation

Australian, Paul Taylor, author of The Biochar Revolution is in the area and will give a workshop and have a “booth for biochar-making stoves, my book, a drum TLUD display, a small KT, display or reference to the large ones which we are having made for permaculture kind of applications. The Kon-Tiki kiln I developed in Switzerland last year with the Ithaka Institute for Carbon Intelligence is now in 57 countries, based on our open source plan, and is producing great results around the world for food crop yield increases.”
Francesco Tortorici of Port Townsend and Olympic BioChar wil give a workshop and small micro-gasifier stoves will be demonstrated.  These stoves can be use for emergency preparedness, backyard cooking and to produce biochar.
Francesco is an engineer and appropriate technology advocate.  He was the co-founder and Director of the Norwegian Center for Appropriate Technology in the 1970s.  His interest in appropriate technologies led him to attend the ETHOS (Engineers in Technical and Humani­tarian Opportunities of Service) Conference in 2011 and through that experience he has been associated with several NGOs in the northwest that focus on promoting clean cook stoves which produce biochar. 

He collaborated with a mushroom farmer in Sequim to develop a commercial gasifer stove used to pasteurize straw and make biochar.  For the past three years he has been involved with the Port of Port Townsend designing and building biochar filters to remove heavy metals form stormwater runoff.  Most recently Francesco has teamed with several local farms (Jefferson County) in the production and incorporation of biochar.  This includes trials conducted at WSU’s Twin View Ranch on Marrowstone Island.
Peter Hirst of  Carpenter Mountain Ranch, Pinecliffe, Colorado, is a Holistic Management Educator at the Savory Institute and is combining HM, permaculture and biochar in his work. “I can do a presentation on biochar as a permaculture tool. Biochar, and the consideration of carbon in any system, requires us to look into patterns that are unseen, to consider, for example, the carbon cycle in terms of pattern literacy, much in the same ay that we look at dendritic, or spiral or circular patterns that we can see.  The Carbon cycle can be represented in any number of other pattern forms, but in reality and in nature, its dendritic, circular and spiral forms are entirely unseen and perhaps only metaphors for what is really happening.  I would love to contribute to the skillshare village.”  Peter Hirst will also cover producing biochar in conservation burns. Peter is a co-author of The Biochar Revolution (Two Chapters), of which Paul is Editor and Co-author.
Mike Maki of Agroforestry Associates in Raymond Washington is a long-time permaculturist and biochar researcher. He is currently working with the Pacific Gro company in Raymond to incorporate biochar into their liquid organic oceanic fish fertilizer.
Undoubtedly there will be other biochar enthusiasts attending and contributing to the biochar conversation.

Wow!Check out the great biochar track that the biochar people have put together.Lots of speakers including visiting world expert Paul Taylor, from Australia.They will be doing lots of biochar burns throughout the conference in six different kinds of kilns from small to large size.

Session Schedule

Revised 9-26-16


Session A (10:45 – 12:15) -

Paul Taylor - Introduction, making, use, etc of biochar

Session B-1 (2:00 – 2:45)

Ken Miller– What to do with biochar in your garden

Session B-2 (2:45 – 3:30)

Mike Maki – Charging biochar and carbon cycling

Session C-1 (3:45 – 4:30)

Norm Baker – Biochar in Permaculture Garden

Session C-2 (4:30 – 5:15)

Norm Baker – Ring of Fire Biochar Maker


Session D-1 (10:30 – 11:15)

Francesco Tortorici– Intro to biochar; presentation of local producers and users on the North Olympic Peninsula

Session D-2 (11:15 – 12:00)

Bryan Bakker – Production and use of biochar at Finn River Farm, Chimacum

Session E 1:30 – 2:30

Panel Discussion -

In addition to the presentations we will have about 6 TLUD stoves ranging in size from 1 quart to 55 gallons that we intend to demonstrate (burn) during the day.