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Feb 20, 2020

Growth and Adaptation of Biochar in Malawi

It is simply amazing how fast farmers are grasping the many benefits of making and using biochar in Africa.

Starting with a single Nun who watched our video on how to build a biochar oven, she has led a movement that has trained well over 2,500 farmers today, and is still growing.

One of the reasons it is so popular and spreading like wildfire is because it works. The farmers see the incredible results when they plant their crops with biochar. These people are hungry, and can see the immediate benefits.

They are also adapting biochar into their animal feed, which is having a positive impact on the health and growth of their chickens, pigs, cows and rabbits. 

It is very encouraging to see so many farmers excited about the results of making and using biochar. The environmental impact of less smoke from crop waste burning is a side benefit for everyone. 

Right now the rains have slowed down biochar production for awhile, but when the rains come to an end biochar production will once again be dominating the new agricultural standards in Africa, and more and more farmers will learn how to do it.

The more funds we can raise for this project the more teachers we can train to help spread biochar education to farmers. 

This project is a major step for food security for millions of people. 

Thanks for your continued support!

Evelind and Michael

Chicken egg production before biochar
Chicken egg production before biochar
Chicken egg production after biochar
Chicken egg production after biochar

Links:

Feb 3, 2020

Dry Season Is Here

The rainy season is over and the children and farm staff are preparing for several months of hot, dry weather.  They are covering the open beds to protect the soil and setting up kitchen gardens close to ponds and greywater from washing.

We had a good run of vegetables for the garden and the cooler has been put to good use.  We grew long green beans, lots of garlic and spring onions, eggplants in many varieties. The staff has been learning how to make tomato sauce from all our extra tomatoes. The children love spaghetti as a treat with the fresh tomatoes.

It has been a very rewarding experience watching the children learn how to grow their own food. This is a skill that will last them a lifetime. Sustainable farming practices help ensure food security for our children, and their future families as they grow.

The children are also learning about biochar, how important it is to make biochar with crop waste and return the biochar back to the soil. Keeping the soils healthy and alive leads to better crop production and higher quality foods.

"When we grow our own vegetables we know they have no chemicals and they taste good."

"I learned to make biofertilizer and a natural weed killer in school and now we use them in our gardens."

Nuey Age 15

Feb 3, 2020

Moving Forward!

Corn waste loaded into TLUD's to make biochar
Corn waste loaded into TLUD's to make biochar

The rains have stopped, and our teams are out making biochar from their corn waste – removing many tons of smoke from the air! Our first storage shed is ready to take in the output. Your donations have given us the momentum to attract additional groups to support our work and open markets for biochar products.

We started with one village and another village that we trained last year, has gone ahead to make biochar on their own. In Mae Wak, we have the corn waste of 130 families in huge piles ready to burn. The village set up a team of young men with 50 TLUD barrels from Warm Heart to make biochar instead of smoke. They make 500 kg, half a metric ton every day. The second village, Mae Na Chon is also making around half a ton of biochar a day.

[This daily ton equates to 5 tons of corn waste turned into biochar daily – at 6.26 kg of PM2.5 particles per ton of waste, that’s 31.3 kg of smoke that is not going into the air each day. Each of those kilograms of smoke is the equivalent of 71,429 cigarettes. In addition, greenhouse gases have been burned off before they go into the atmosphere.]

As the tourist industry is hit by the haze from the smoke – our once beautiful cities have grey skies and terrible air pollution – the local governments and hotel industry are partnering to address the issues. Warm Heart presented its program to have villages make biochar in exchange for advance commitments from business sponsors. This will help create markets for biochar and biochar products that have been a key component in the successful growth of biochar production.

Thanks to your support, we have an established program with feet on the ground and clear outcomes. Funding for additional villages to make biochar has been pledged and the specific plans are being completed.

Please tell your friends and keep the support coming in!

TLUD's set for making biochar
TLUD's set for making biochar
Biochar operation
Biochar operation
Bagging dry biochar
Bagging dry biochar
Lots of bagged biochar
Lots of bagged biochar
Biochar storage shed
Biochar storage shed
 
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