What is biochar? How can you use it? Should you make it yourself? How can it build community? Find out in my interview with Charmaster, Tony C. Saladino.
Listen here or wherever you listen to podcasts - Stitcher, Apple, Google, Spotify
Tony C. Saladino is a Charmaster, Biochar Educator, Founder and Guide for ECO-Tours of Wisconsin, Inc. As a participant in the 2020 International Climate Challenge, he met his goal of creating his weight in char and turning that into over half a ton of biochar, enough to enrich a dozen 4X10 foot beds to a depth of six inches, forever! He also taught a dozen more biochar classes so that more people would be able to do the same, cheaply and efficiently.
In 1987, Saladino rode his bicycle around all five Great Lakes, teaching people in person, through TV, radio and print publications how to live lightly on the planet and experience a higher quality of life at the same time. Over ten million residents of the Great Lakes Basin heard him speak or read about his trip.
Tony committed his life to "helping heal the rift between humankind and nature" as a child and has helped plant over 60,000 native trees and hundreds of thousands of native perennial food and medicinal plants across Northeast Wisconsin as an adult. He leads plant-ins, seed collection and dispersal tours, biochar classes, permaculture garden tours, canoe and bicycle trips across the region. He also advocates for the Earth Charter, www.earthcharter.org, which encourages people to utilize information from Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org especially their Skin-Deep database of personal care products and their zip code specific water quality database.
The focus on the six steps required to make biochar will help people understand how-to double crop production, sequester carbon, protect water quality, reduce the need for irrigation and fertilization by half, all while providing a host of environmental benefits. He will help people decide if they are better served by making their own biochar or purchasing it and for those who decide to buy, how to tell if the char you are buying is worth the investment.
Six steps required to transform dry woody material into biochar:
- Make it by getting it to glow, without air
- Micronize it to bits 2mm or less.
- Moisten that material to as wet as a wrung-out sponge.
- Add Minerals
- Add Microbes
- Let it mature, stirring several times a day and keeping the moisture steady.
Saladino and his group, are currently working to secure funding for an 80-acre parcel that will not only serve as a home base for ECO-Tours but allow guests to come and learn the principles of sustainability by doing. In a living laboratory, that builds community through diversity. The property will only be available for Leave No Trace Camping and classes in and about nature which helps guests understand and create more sustainable lifestyles.
Support the new center via the GoFundMe page at https://gofund.me/52fa3b77