Sonoma Ecology Center

Conservation burn demo and biochar workshop

Learn a new simple method to manage burn piles and make biochar, a useful soil amendment.

By replacing conventional open burn methods with the top-­down conservation burn you can significantly reduce emissions (visible smoke and invisible chemicals and particles) while conserving resources, especially carbon, at the same time. This technique also produces biochar, a valuable soil amendment, in the process.

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative, a project of the Sonoma Ecology Center, announces a DIY workshop (two sessions) about biochar and the conservation burn method, featuring instructor Peter Hirst, on Friday February 6th at Circle Bar Ranch, Sonoma, CA. This event is co-­‐sponsored by the Sonoma Resource Conservation District.

The morning Conservation Burn/Biochar 101 session (8:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M.) covers information about biochar, including how it works to improve soil, its many benefits, how to properly condition it prior to use, and how to apply it. Also covered will be the “hows and whys” behind the conservation burn process, including safety and permitting considerations, pile construction, burn management, and tips on maximizing production of biochar.

The Full Day workshop (8:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.) features a hands-on, in-­the-­field training in addition to the Conservation Burn/Biochar 101 session. An informal networking social hour, featuring local wines, will follow from 3:30 to 4:30 P.M.

Workshop fees are $45 for the morning classroom session only, or $75 for the full day workshop. Limited to 50 participants, early registration is recommended.

Raymond Baltar, Director of the Sonoma Biochar Initiative, said “Most of our previous trainings have sold out, so there is a lot of interest in biochar and this burn technique. Any land managers with woody materials such as vines, brush, orchard prunings, downed trees, etc., who currently burn this material should check this easy, DIY technique to reduce air emissions while also making biochar.”

Learn about the benefits of biochar and how to use it to build soil health, sequester carbon, and conserve water.