Great Plains Biochar Initiative Grant Award

“Waste” to Value Added Product

We are passionate about our natural resources. From soil to all things that depned on it to grow.  When a farmer can improve the soil, they can decrease inputs and improve their bottom line. When a percieved waste product can become biochar and that soil amendment to improve water retention, increase microbial populations,  reduce leaching and many other uses.


People kept telling me less than 30% of urban trees make lumber. I contend that 30% means hardwood lumber standards. Some of the large slabs I’ve seen companies in Omaha, Kansas City and Detroit make beautiful items out of are by no stretch meeting standards. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

But I do know that not all of what we could ‘rescue’ is of a size that makes milling feasible or efficient. So when I started hearing Nebraska Forest Service talk about biochar, I was interested in learning more.

Best use

Lumber, slabs, furniture, chips, mulch, or biochar. Guess it depends on your need and your location. Small towns gain a plethora of chips whenever the power company does trimming, and leaves a pile. I’d love to build a database and virtural community of users of wood for heat. Best use based on size and condition, not going to make biochar from 4-8″ material if it’s needed to heat someones home. The kaveat is we’ll process rescued wood into value added products that have a local market or are easily sold on line.

Great Plains Biochar Initiative (GPBI)

We were awarded a grant to build a biochar retort and start processing biochar, with some corresponding utilization trials.  A soil amendment of manure mixed with biochar for increased microbial trial, and a dryland water retention trial on Witts End Homestead east of Western and depending on biochar production timing integrating with planting medium in their  native plant green house,  Prairie Legacy, Inc producing for prairie restoration.

Are you voting?

The timing of the FedEx Small Business Grant could have been first so the efficient

Click to Vote

Click to Vote

collection of the waste material would be known not still a dream.  If you can vote once a day until April 4, it might get us closer to getting going faster. Otherwise I’ll continue to gather with woman power, the receiver crane, pitch fork and the farm truck when I can snag it. Thanks for your support.

And if you want to talk about utilizing any of your downed trees in a woodlot, trees in your yard that may need to come donw, or us just taking them off your hands, please, let’s talk.


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