Making and using Biochar

Here at ProperEdges, we’ve now started producing Biochar, using brash left over from our hedge laying jobs. We are using this on our land at Velwell Orchard but we have plenty of surplus which we are now selling.

Biochar is basically a fine charcoal that has myriad uses including as a soil conditioner. To find out more about its properties, see our biochar page.


How is it made?

To make the biochar, we use an Oregon Kiln, which I like to call a glorified skip. The brash is loaded in bit by bit and the heat from the fire pyrolises the wood turning it into charcoal. At the end of the day we either quench it with water, or cover it with a lid to seal off all air. We then return the next day when the kiln is cool and we can bag up the resulting biochar. The advantages of the Oregon Kiln over the traditional ring kiln is that it is much less polluting, cheaper to manufacture, and more easily transportable.


How is it used?

Biochar can be used in manifold ways. We simply add it in layers to our composts, leaf piles, and manure heaps where it helps with aeration and absorbs nutrients which can then be accessed later by plants. It also works well in compost toilets. Biochar can be activated using compost teas, urine, or comfrey/nettle water, and then dug into the soil.


Find out more…

You can find out more at the International Biochar Inititive or keep up to date with our work by following us on Instagram @ProperEdges. See our biochar web page for prices or get in touch using the contact page. We can also bring the kiln to you and turn your brash into biochar.