My attention was first drawn to David’s work during Geoff Moxham’s final Workshop at Djanbung Gardens in 2009. In reviewing the course I noticed in photographs that Geoff was trying to draw our attention to the importance of innoculating the biochar before using it in the garden. In his words if we were going to save the world from catastrophic climate change one of the keys to success was getting the innoculant right.- Janelle Schafer
Below also is an excert from a letter from David Yarrow.
“thanks for your kind words of recognition and support. they are sadly hard to come by in this infant field of biochar, sustainable soil fertility and carbon sequestration. you are most welcome to make whatever use you need to spread this awareness of how to foster soil regeneration. i have an abbreviated 5-page except from my longer 20-page that focuses just on the procedures to prepare biochar for use in soil:
“there is too much fixation on biochar as carbon, as in sequestration, but not enough attention yet to the minerals and microbes that are needed to make biochar effective as a soil fertility enhancement. in my writing and teaching, i emphasize “the 4 M’s” that biochar must be properly prepared for optimum use in soil: Moisten, Micronize, Mineralize, and Microbial inoculation. if we teach farmers right from the start these as proper procedure to use biochar, we will save the growers lots of time and money, and minimize frustration or failure.
in my “Geotherapy” book chapter, i only just began to explore and have journalistic fun with the “Freedom Ring” metaphor about carbon & microbes. as a journalist, i always search for ways to twist, torture and mangle words for hidden meaning and added metaphor. this “Ring” metaphor only popped up near the end of drafting my chapter, and i wanted to revisit parts of my writing to highlight and emphasize this link between carbon structure and energy. one huge area is the role of resonating carbon rings in both essential oil and hormones — how these molecules function as electronic elements in biological systems. but the publisher’s deadline was fast approaching, so i had to draw a line and wrap up the article before fully developing this idea of carbon’s ability to ring and sing — to hold and carry vibrational energy as frequency & information.
and, since “Geotherapy” is a book of scientific articles, i’m pretty certain the editor dropped the “Let Freedom Ring!” as the main title, and carved the metaphor out of the text. i understand why, and look forward to doing more writing this winter to further amplify the “ring & sing” aspect of carbon structures in biology. i was honored that i was especially selected and asked to write what is a “non-science” article in a book of science research. as a journalist, my job is to translate and decode science and its jargon into language and image ordinary folks can understand.
today i finished installing the last of 8 biochar test plots on farms in lawrence KS. it has been quite a long ordeal to get sufficient cooperation and support from the skeptical growers, but i think we have turned a corner, and narrow minds are now opening. we have started gathering data on the test plots, and consistently, biochar supports better growth of crops, and inoculated, mineralized char grows plants that are obviously larger, stronger, healthier, more pest & disease resistant, and soils that are more workable, with lower pH (kansas has generally slightly alkaline soils).
you can see an example of a test plot at:
more recently, we’ve further refined our biochar application strategy to more precisely target the root zone of plants, and are testing a fungal inoculant to enhance to bacterial inoculant we started with. in any healthy, living soil, bacteria and fungi are the primary partners and engines of the soil food web. i am also interested to find and use free-living, nitrogen-fixing bacteria that can take up residence in biochar.
enough for now. thanks for your response, and your enthusiasm. i know that the paradigm shift from chemical farming to a fully biological agriculture is well underway, but we have a lot to learn about how to respect microbes as allies and no enemies.”- David Yarrow 2013
For those with an in depth scientific interest please take the time to look at the link below.