Swansea BioChar Permaculture C21 Agricultural Revolution

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Wed Jan 8 22:11:15 GMT 2014

Swansea BioChar Permaculture Agricultural Revolution with Ed Revill 
(Royal Society)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Yh-qadP6bg (22mins)

Located in South Gower, a few miles from Swansea, Swansea Biochar is 
where we implement the theories of soil carbon regeneration.
The vegetables produced are sold locally through a box scheme 
delivery service. We use a horse drawn cart to deliver the vegetables 
and so have a catchment area of around 2 miles radius.
The inputs of our system come from a local tree, garden and green 
waste collection service. Other inputs come from atmospheric carbon 
which is stabilised in the soil as glomalin.

We occasionally run workshops, open days, carbon negative meal days 
and other events.
We need to move away from fossil fuels, yet the world population has 
risen to 7bn on the back of burning fossil fuels. We need to use 
different systems to produce our food and energy.
If we are not thoughtful and careful, gardening can be more 
environmentally harmful than farming (per acre). There are techniques 
of stabilising carbon in soil of interest to anybody wanting to live 
and grow their own food whilst benefiting the Earth.
Here at Swansea Biochar we produce crops in ways which replenish 
soils and reverse climate change whilst breaking dependence on fossil 
fuels and other outside inputs. Our system combines two central principles;

1, We try to optimise the amount of carbon drawn down from the 
atmosphere by plants.
2, We try to stabilise this carbon in soil to prevent it from being 
released back into the atmosphere and to build soil.

Putting high carbon material such as wood or straw into your garden 
is not the same thing as stabilising it. Stabilise it and you stop it 
from decomposing, it will remain for hundreds or thousands of years 
instead of just a few years.
We have developed stove systems which burn the volatile component of 
wood and leave much of the carbon unburnt as biochar. These enable 
people to produce crops and energy in ways which build soil by 
stabilising carbon in soil. This is the reverse of most other ways of 
producing food and energy, which release carbon into the atmosphere.
Stabilising carbon in soil reverses climate change.
Stabilised carbon in soil can maintain long term fertility of that 
soil reducing the need for other inputs.
As well as producing and using biochar, we aim to encourage the 
production of glomalin  through providing optimal conditions for 
Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF).
These forms of stabilised soil carbon can be used to promote soil 
aggregation; soil structures which bind other soil components 
together in the soil.
If we get our food and energy in ways which build soil through 
stabilising carbon in soil then we reverse our ecological footprint 
and live in ways which enhance life on Earth.

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