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Kelpie Wilson
Oregon, USA
I am a mechanical engineer by training, a writer and analyst by profession and a lover of nature, gardens, beauty and art.
Recent Activity
Dear Backyard Biochar enthusiasts, My posting here has been slow because all the latest, greatest stuff is going up at the Umpqua Biochar Education Team site: www.ubetbiochar.blogspot.com Please visit the UBET site to see my most recent reports on biochar activities. I am working on a two-year grant from USDA-NRCS... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2017 at Backyard Biochar
WBA is taking orders for our Oregon Kiln designs. We have two models: the Oregon Forestry Kiln and the Oregon Backyard Kiln. The only difference is the size. Current Prices (will go up when steel prices go up): Forestry Kiln – 40 cf capacity - $950 ($475 deposit – non-refundable)... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2017 at Wilson Biochar Associates
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Download Smoke-Into-Biochar-flyer Please Distribute Widely! Safe Burn Practices for Recovering Biochar for Use in Soil and Compost Biochar Have you heard about the benefits of Biochar? Biochar is charcoal that you can add to soil or compost. It helps retain moisture and nutrients and it promotes beneficial microbes in soil.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2017 at Backyard Biochar
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Kudos to the Warm Heart team for developing a series of trough-shaped Flame Carbonizers designed to work with a diverse array of feedstocks available to small farmers in Thailand and elsewhere. These kilns are similar to the pyramid shaped kilns except they are elongated into troughs in order to accommodate... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
http://www.capitalpress.com/Research/20160902/western-innovator-farmers-test-biochars-benefits Check it out - very nice article highlighting the work I am doing with farmers through a Conservation Innovation Grant from NRCS. Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2016 at Wilson Biochar Associates
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CALENDAR – see below for event details October 15 – Biochar Expo, Umpqua Community College, Roseburg POSTPONED to OCT 29 October 20 – Biochar presentation at the Josephine County Soil & Water Conservation District Annual Meeting, Grants Pass October 22 – Bokashi and Biochar Class at the Fall Fermentation Festival,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
Here's a presentation I gave at the Char Production Gathering at Aprovecho in August. Tried to compile everything I have learned about Flame Cap Kilns and other simple carbonizers for making biochar. Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
We fired up two of the Oregon Kilns in a suburban setting in Cave Junction last Saturday - real Backyard Biochar! Had lots of help so it was a smooth run. We ran out of feedstock, or we could have made a lot more biochar. Here's a video: Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
Here's a checklist of things you need to consider when planning a biochar burn: You need a water source, first of all, both for safety and for quenching the char. Several shovels and rakes for spreading and cooling the char when it's done. Old steel roofing material is helpful for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
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Daisy Hill Farm owner Meadow Martell was happy that we made a big dent in a multi-year accumulation of old grape vines, blackberries and other woody waste. Meadow covered the piles back in the fall with used truck tarps from Sharp's Tarps in Grants Pass (a great resource, people!). As... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
Check out this report from the Biochar Journal on a global effort to crank out some char using Kon Tiki and other Flame Cap Kilns: https://www.biochar-journal.org/en/ct/64-CHARday-Report-2015 Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
Brown Paper Tickets Ticket Widget Loading...Click Here to visit the Brown Paper Tickets event page. Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
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Flame Cap Kilns come in many different shapes and sizes. They all seem to work quite well, but there are some fine points of design that will help users determine the most appropriate configuration. Parameters to consider include feedstock type, available materials and cost. Keep in mind that large round... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
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I am working with a group of innovators in Oregon called the Umpqua Biochar Education Team. They have come up with some super simple, very productive biochar kilns. The first one is called the "Ring of Fire" - it is a Flame Cap Kiln made with old roofing steel. As... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
Here is another very simple approach to backyard biochar from Edible Acres. Great job on this and you'll learn a lot of fine points about kiln operation from Sean's commentary. Pay attention to what he says about quenching! Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
I really like this kind of approach using low cost materials. No need to spend a lot of money for backyard biochar! Very innovative! Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
I have not written much commentary on politics or sustainability for years now. Instead, I spend most of my time doing practical work and research in the field of biochar. So, if you are interested in biochar, please check out... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at Green Your Head
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Making biochar in the snow. This Flame Cap Kiln is 14 ga (1.9mm) steel and it weighs less than 200 lbs. It's an inverted, truncated pyramid with a bottom base of 122 cm (4 ft), a top base of 152 cm (6 ft) and sides 66 cm (26") high. Capacity... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2016 at Backyard Biochar
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Well I finally did it. Got some kilns out in the woods to burn slash piles that are normally incinerated to ash. Thanks to Grayback Forestry and Sean Hendrix for inviting us to bring the kilns to see what they could do. Each kiln consumed about 6-8 burn piles and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2015 at Backyard Biochar
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Here's an album of pictures from the first firing of the Oregon Kiln that took place at Willow Witt Ranch on Nov 27, 2015. Thanks to Suzanne and Lanita of Willow Witt Ranch and helper Micah. Thanks also to Vicklund & Son for fabricating the kilns and mounting the jib... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2015 at Backyard Biochar
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If you are interested in designing biochar kilns, I highly recommend this report. You can download it here. Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2015 at Backyard Biochar
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Earlier on this blog, I posted several ideas about terminology for the cone kiln pyrolysis method. I proposed the acronym TFOD - for Top-Fed Open Draft. While this is descriptive of the process of feeding and operating the kiln, it does not really explain the pyrolysis principle utilized. And it... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2015 at Backyard Biochar
South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership and Wilson Biochar Associates Announce New Biochar Grant and White Paper on Biochar and Forests Tiller, Oregon – October 6, 2015. South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership (SURCP) has received a grant award from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of $75,000 through the NRCS... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2015 at Wilson Biochar Associates