Your funding helps Biochar in California "scale to meet the moment"

The project has data back from their latest trial—the results are even better than expected.

Your funding helps Biochar in California "scale to meet the moment"
Photo by Wander Fleur / Unsplash

Just the gist

Short on time? Here's what you need to know this month:

  • 🌱 We just got the data back from the project's second field trial, previously covered here. The project's compost + biochar mix produced over 40% more crop yield than the control soil mix. Biochar helps farmers grow more crops, and sequester CO2!
  • 📣 Biochar in California project lead, Josiah Hunt, was recently interviewed by the BBC. He shares details about how they became the first registered biochar project in North America, and exciting plans to scale up. Read on for more!

This is a project update from Wren's project Biochar in California. For more updates like this one, follow Wren on Twitter and Instagram.

More evidence biochar can make money for farmers—while permanently drawing down CO2

The data from the latest biochar field trial we covered in the previous update is in!

A soil mix of biochar plus biologically active compost gives 40% higher crop yields relative to the control soil. The field trial was conducted at a vineyard in Monterrey, California.

The biochar and compost mix grew bigger vines, bigger grapes, higher quality grapes. It's way better.

—Doug Beck, soil scientist at Pacific Biochar's second field trial

Biochar isn't just a climate solution—it means better wine, and long-term healthier soil too.

For the curious, Josiah's presentation on the results from this field trial is live on youtube. You can watch all 50 minutes, here.

"Carbon credits allow us to scale to meet the moment"—a BBC interview with project lead Josiah Hunt

Pacific Biochar's project lead, Josiah Hunt, recently gave an interview with the BBC. In it, he talks about how he first came across biochar, and the project's wilderness years—barely scraping by with funding from local farmers—before becoming the first registered biochar project selling carbon credits in North America.

At only 10 minutes, the interview is worth a listen.

I found this quote especially inspiring:

In this last year, we've registered the first carbon credits for biochar in North America. It's revolutionary. Now we can finally get financial reward for the climate change mitigation we've been doing all along. Allowing us to scale, to meet the moment, rather than being a pathetically small little industry trying to meet the moment.
Before we registered these credits, the business survived solely from the value being provided to a farmer alone—the crop yield we could provide, alone, basically. Although the core mission is climate change mitigation and putting carbon back in the ground, before we registered credits, it was like we were subversively saving the planet. Now we're at this inflection point where we can scale up, help these farmers improve their crops, and sequester many thousands of tons of CO2.

— Josiah Hunt, Pacific Biochar project lead

Pacific Biochar are aiming to grow from one pilot plant to three plants in 2022. It's through funding from supporters like you that they can scale up to "meet the moment". Thank you for your support.

That's it for this update. Looking forward to seeing you in the next one.

— the Wren team