Tag Archives: biochar


big biochar bash

big biochar bash.

big biochar bash Biology of biochar how to make it charmaster dolph's way

Well folks its on again the BiG Biochar Bash. You might notice the punctuation of Big this year as our special guest is going to be Dr James Joyce PhD and his company BiG (Black is Green).

We are going to do a marathon 2 day burn with up to 5 Moxham’s to produce 4 tonnes of char and grind it grade it and bag it.

Are you up for it ?
Can your Brain handle a 2 day charring fest of information etc ?
Camping available, Bring enough food to share and keep your self fed.

Wet weather wear a good idea so too is a good sleeping bag as it gets cold.

If raining track access is by 4×4 only so make sure you tee up a lift with me.


We will be gathering scientific data and experimenting with new biochar ideas. This is the BiG Biochar Bash and will be a great weekend out.

To RSVP email Charmaster Dolph.

Biology of Biochar with Dolph Cooke

biology of biochar event by Venus + Feedback

Biology of biochar event 2013

It is not often I get to do such an easy post. This time I could be seen as being bias since I stared in the show so I decided to ask one of the audience to write me a review and sticking with integrity here it is verbatim.


Biochar workshop article By Leslie

Lexi Venus Gugger 😉



Two weekends ago, we saw over 60 people driving up a long winding forestry road, all heading to the place where “The Biology of Biochar Event” workshop would be held. When the guests arrived, Charmaster Dolph and his partner Jillian humbly greeted them to their home.

Biology of biochar Event by Biochar project

In the first session Charmaster Dolph thoroughly explained and walked through the anatomy of what is and how biochar works. He explained all of the benefits of integrating biochar into the new ecological way of farming.


The second session saw a more hands on approach, the showing of how to properly create and charge Biochar. The fire was formed and bio char was created right before the guests eyes. Everyone was thoroughly intrigued.

Hugh Lovel, multidisciplinary scientist and the “god father of quantum agriculture” graced us with his deep insightful session on the interaction between all elements and minerals, building soil, and the importance of carbon. Hugh answered the guests questions with ease, helping them comprehend the new way of farming.

Next up to the plate was “Fermenting guru” Sharbari Bird Lovel, with her hands on approach, she explained how weeds aren’t bad, they are actually indicators and creators of elements that are missing in the soil. Sharbari also taught how to ferment weeds into a brew, to give the soil the elements it is deficient in, thus getting rid of the weeds.

NTS founder Gramae Sait shared with us his views on humus and it plays a vital in sustainable farming. He stressed that loss of humus is critical, and drastic measures need to be taken to grantee food supplies in the coming years.

Throughout the day the guests were treated to amazing food, a scrumptious morning tea with various fruits and wide selection homemade cakes. Lunch time saw all 64 guests happily tucking into self-created wraps, salads and a hot cup of pumpkin soup.

Biology of Biochar Event with Dolph Cooke

A great turn out to complement a great day, one full of learning, fun and amazing people. With everyone walking away with so much more knowledge than before, “The Biology of Biochar Event” workshop was an undeniable success.

and here is some of the feedback I received on the email again verbatim.

Feed Back

What did you like ?

Hearing Hugh and Shabari talk, wow!

what did you dislike ?

Pumpkin soup ran out to quickly!

Did you get your free bag of biochar?

No, but I intend to make some. I don’t have the big steel rings so i’m going to dig a hole in the ground with my little excavator and make it in that.

Did you see the Mature Death Adder Snake ?

Yep, I can’t believe it didn’t bite the dude who ran up and stood next to it!!!

How was the food ?


What was the standout thing you learnt on the day ?

Biochar locks up nutrients but leaves them available, perfect for use in a high rainfall area like ours… BUT you have to ensure it absorbs the right minerals/fungi otherwise it exacerbate existing problems.


I want to know more about plant gestures, that knowledge is gold!!!!!!!!! I want to learn how to read the signs on my farm that indicate nutrient/mineral deficiencies. I don’t like that I have to rely on a lab (and spending money) to constantly find out what is happening in the soil.

Thanks again Dolph for hosting the day and sharing your knowledge on biochar.


Mick Brooks

yeah mate wasnt it a great day in view of hugh wanting to start farmers classes have you thought about making him an integral part of your grant? iam sure you have. good on you and gilly for what you have achieved i am so proud of you both and will not let anyone slow you down peter

Hi Dolph,

A quick response, it was great. I learnt a lot, and now feel confident I could explain simply to anyone how biochar works.

Now I just have to try it out for myself – although I have always added any charcoal I have to my compost, which made it to my garden eventually. Unfortunately missed out on my free sample, as I had to go before the wrap up, but I’ll make some anyhow, and try that.

The catering was great, the people were friendly, the snake was …. Deadly.

Thank you for organising,


Biology of biochar event.

Good morning Dolph, and thank you for a wonderfully inspiring day yesterday. I only took a few photos, and I’m sure you will have many more capturing the full essence of the day.

To answer your set of questions:

First of all I loved the fact that your communication was efficient from the start- the instructions on how to find your place were clear and easy to follow. The yellow biochar signs confirmed I’d taken the right turns. This start to any workshop is very important as you arrive feeling relaxed and ready for what’s ahead!

Dolph, you have an energy force that radiates happiness and enthusiasm. You have the ability to communicate concepts and share information through your drawings, diagrams and obvious knowledge. There should be more teachers like you! You made the links through simple explanations that can only be done if the knowledge is already well and truly developed in your own brain. You held my interest throughout- even with the wind and techno interruptions!

Hugh also shared the passion of his interests, and with a biochemical background, has the knowledge to apply to his farming methods. I was able to visualise what he was saying about the different minerals and will certainly do more reading on that now. As you said Dolph, listen, ask questions, and then do your own research.

What I didn’t like was the fact that I had to leave at 2:30 so missed the presentation by Graeme Salt. I will certainly watch the TED talk.

No, because I left early I didn’t get the biochar

I was there when the death adder was spotted but didn’t really check it out. I’m happy with pythons up close!

The food was fantastic, as was the location to enjoy it in the shade of the trees. Loved the homemade biscuits at morning tea and the freshness of the food at lunch.

I enjoy it when people who already have a likemindedness about a topic can get together and share interests and ideas. Yesterday provided this opportunity. Listening to the speakers but also chatting to the guy from The Men’s Shed, the guy from SoilLife , etc etc is comforting knowing that we are heading in a more sustainable direction and that this can only grow as more and more people become aware and share their passion.

Thanks again for your enthusiasm, communication and links to further reading.


Biology of biochar event.

Hi Dolph,

Thanks for fabulous workshop yesterday, remarkable combination of speakers including yourself. Please thank those in the kitchen the food was amazing.

Ray will make contact regarding a local workshop if that is possible.

Jennifer (from the Drake Group).

Hi Dolph

Photo attached…I was really chuffed to see Geoff’s young kids there

> What did you like ? I liked Graeme and Hugh’s talks – and the food!

> and the opportunity to walk around and see the interesting stuff you

> are doing there and how you make the biochar

> what did you dislike ? not much – it was pretty good

> Did you get your free bag of biochar? – sure did!

> Did you see the Mature Death Adder Snake ? – only from a distance,

> thank you

> How was the food ? The food was fantastic

> What was the standout thing you learnt on the day ? New thinking,

> partic from Graeme – and Hugh’s stuff about weeds pulling out

> different minerals from the soil as well as Shabari’s demo about

> fermenting them


Biology of biochar event

What did you like ?

It was a great day with plenty of information (perhaps too much – see below)

what did you dislike ?

Late start – an issue with ALL events not just this one. Starting time should be starting time – having made the effort to be there on time don’t like hanging around for people who ‘might’ still be on their way. If we are late to an event – our problem – we miss what we miss, we don’t expect everyone to wait nor expect a ‘re-cap’ of what we’ve missed.

Would have preferred two sessions only with more in-depth plus more time for questions, thought 4 sessions with such diverse topics was too much (for us) for one day.

Did you get your free bag of biochar?

Yes we did and thanks very much, it was ‘activated’ overnight and out in the vegie garden this morning.

Did you see the Mature Death Adder Snake ?


How was the food ?

Excellent – compliments to all involved.

What was the standout thing you learnt on the day ?

Still lots to learn!

Thanks again for a great day and the opportunity to be involved.

Lindy, Phil and Zak

hi Dolph, we loved Saturday, all together you are such a great team, and what practical, applicable knowledge you all conveyed…..real synergy at work !

Please send me the Digital download of Biochar book you mentioned.

Also, where is Seamineral available….I think I heard $1 a litre ?

all bright and beautiful blessings,

Neena de Rofe*

Biology of biochar event.

Hi Dolph,

Thanks so much for hosting the event on Saturday – I wish I could’ve stuck around for longer, I was loving it!!

Hamish should have collected all the feedback forms and will be emailing them through to me today. From that I’ll have everyone’s contact details so will send them on to you.

Cool? How did the rest of the day pan out?


Dear Dolph, Charmaster Extra-ordinary,

It always takes me a bit of time to join the dots but I feel it has happened.

I have a son-in-law in a national management role with Woolworths. I expressed my concerns to him last year regarding the issue of Coal Seam Gas Exploration and production, and he obviously listened. After the ink was dry on the contracts, he told me that one of his tasks had been to sign up a source for Woolies own brands (Home and Select) of spring water. He had done his homework and accepted supplies from a farmer whose farm was not situated near an existing exploration area. The terms of the contract included that the farmer would never allow CSG on his property.

Over to Biochar:-

I would like to present my son-in-law with the following:

What if Woolies could change its brand thrust from “the fresh food people” to “sustainable food for the future”. They may take some convincing, but my SOL has heaps of integrity and may be the right person to help move them into a new direction. Of course, this would require the help of Graeme and his TED speech. If he can convince Dole or perhaps Doll? Corp. in America then why not Woolies in Australia. It would also be a carrot for them if they felt they would be first in Australia to move in this direction and may, therefore, capture more of the customer base (I feel this would be their bottom line thinking – tied into profit and share value, but we may need to work with what we have, and that will surely have to change over time). If I could give my SOL a copy on audio tape/s or CD’s, he could listen in the car (he travels 1.5 hours both to work and from work every day so this would be a time effective way of helping to get him onto the bus). He would not have time to read screeds of printed material, there are not enough hours in his day for that. Perhaps Graeme could follow up with a presentation if it went in that direction.

Also, Woolies is in the process of rolling out its Hardware chain (I think it is being called Masters but not absolutely sure) as competition for Bunnings, so it is a big project for them. My SOL is not involved in this project but, as he works in the areas of both finance and commerce, would know those who are. What if Biochar could be sold at Masters? What if the Mens’ Shed at Labrador could link with other Mens’ Sheds with a view to higher production of the rocket stove? What if Masters could give links to customers of where to buy a bio-char digester? Alternatively, what if Masters could market them also at the right price? What if Masters could be the first of its kind to sell liquid bio-char boosters for home gardeners? Bunnings already sell worm farms, so moves are already being made in composting/soil remediation directions. If Masters was willing to set up a sustainable food production section, they may be willing to sell Shabari’s book on ferments. You can probably see the number of possibilities here. You may be able to think of other streams of possibilities. For me it is all about joining the dots and coming out with a strong web of links to take forward.

I attended the workshop yesterday with the group from Drake and have many of the plants growing which would be suitable for ferments e.g. Tobacco bush, comfrey, dandelion, nettle, mullein, spurges, etc. These are common in our area. We are situated in Tenterfield Shire, the Shire acknowledged as having the greatest on the ground fuel load in NSW by the Rural Fire Service, so we have the resources here for a lot of Biochar production. I am going to research today for plants/weeds containing selenium and molybdenum, the missing links so far. I realise only trace quantities of many elements are required (including the Boron from Spurges). Thank you and the other speakers for lighting the fire.

Happy charring, Jennifer Elliott

Hey Dolph and Gilly,

Hope your both feeling happy and healthy.

Thanks again for a great couple of days.

Sign me up for the HFHCCP. That is the one with Hugh right?

I liked seeing some of the younger people and the presentation was overall really good.

Maybe Hugh doesn’t have to talk about all his so much???

Already have Biochar which I am continuing to show to nurseries. I do take little bits for our pot garden! LOL

Saw the snake from a far.

The food as always was FABULOUS OPTIMUS

That Hugh knows a bus load of stuff about farming that needs to get out to as many in the area as possible!

Talk soon.


Biology of biochar event.

Gidday Dolph and Hamish!

Thanks very much for the proceedings of Saturday and a bit of a bummer I couldn’t hang around for the whole programme! Needless to say I was really inspired and the next day went and set my own experiments up as a result. You can have a butcher’s at them on this thread from the Woodenboat Forum:


I look forward to mucho moro contact, discussion and perhaps a bend of the elbow or two in the very near future!


Duncan Gibbs

Thank you, thank you, thank you Dolph and all those who put this beautifully integrated day together; it was totally exhilarating.

I don’t remember ever seeing my mother so enthralled and so deeply enlivened by the palpable love sensed from everyone on that glorious day.

What did we love?:

· Every individual there, including every one of the speakers who humbly shared their extensive expertise, knowledge and lifelong passion for nurturing our planet Gaia, and so humanity.

· The food – so delicious and wholesome.

· Seeing Dolph neatly bag the big Death Adder – phew.


· Not knowing how long the dirt track would be before we reached the Biochar Project site. It was our first time there. And then it didn’t matter anyway once we got there. Now I know it’s about 3.5kms, right?

Free bag of Biochar?

· No, we probably didn’t wait around long enough after the chairs and tents were dismantled.

The stand-out thing we learnt?:

· Graeme Sait said it more eloquently; YES, we are indeed effectively moving the goalposts for the new Earth as was palpably evident by the selfless energy of all present on this blessed day.

I curtsy deeply before ALL of that most memorable day,

Suzanne Giraud



SO wow this show rocked and I would like to thank in no paticular order.

Paul Tait of Gaia Films for the Awesome recording of the event.
Hamish Brace of the Tweed Shire Council for all his work
Claire McGarry of  Regional Development Australia awesome promotion work
Hugh Lovel of Quantum Agriculture for his brilliant talk “We are all carbon based lifeforms”
Gillian Tubbs and Paul Scott for the Fabulous food.
Shabari Bird of Quantum Agriculture for her insights to fermenting weeds.
Graeme Sait of Nutri-Tech solutions NTS for his Ted Talk and P.A system
Southern Cross credit Union for the loan of their 2 marquees
To the 70+ farmers gardeners and planet repair folk that turned up Thank you deeply


Biology of Biochar 4.5.13 (15)-800

Biology of Biochar – hands on workshop at biochar industries Kunghur

Biology of Biochar

is a workshop with a difference hosted by Charmaster Dolph Cooke at Biochar Industries Kunghur on May the 4th 2013. Latest flyer can be found here

Graeme Sait will present his new TeD Talk Humus saves the world.

We now have 52 Rsvped. So don’t you miss out!!!  hurry and RSVP. 


Do you know what Biochar is ?

Do you know how to make it ?

If not Join us on Saturday the 4th of May 2013 for “The Biology of Biochar”

A free and highly entertaining day of Practical and technical learning for the whole family.

Biocharproject.org will be hosting a day of discovery at the Biochar Industries site in Kunghur.

You will learn about how Biochar can reduce the cost of running your farm.

You will discover the secret of Terra Pretta and learn something most scientist don’t even understand.

Get your hands dirty and understand why Biochar is the “peoples tool”  as we create biochar live on the day. See how its many different talents can be used by anyone.

See just how important biochar can be for you.

Also we have industry experts teaching you about Biological Farming techniques the next big thing in Agriculture.

Find out what the Tweed Shire Council is doing to help farmers create food security in our region.

Morning Tea and Lunch will be catered for and everyone who gets hands on with making biochar gets to take home a Free 10kg Bag of fine grade Biochar. So don’t just think about it become part of the solution.

Bring work clothes , Gloves, Notepad and pen, Write down all your questions and ask Charmaster Dolph Cooke on the day to explain to you in plain English what you really want to know.

9.30am till 2.30pm or later Interstate guests are welcome to come up anytime prior and camp on the hill of abundance.


Biology of Biochar program

Title: biology of biochar
Starts 9.30 finished 2.30

Biochar Industries Kyogle Road Kunghur
Follow Big Yellow signs from opposite the Mebbin Springs Estate.

9.30 Meet and Greet sign in etc

9.45 Introduction and Housekeeping

9.50 Biochar Basics a informal structured talk by!
Charmaster Dolph Cooke

10.20 Q & A

10.30 Practical demonstration of the TLUD Biochar unit and the Moxham farm scale unit designed by Dolph Cooke for third world, campers, gardeners and Farmers.

10.45 Walk to the top of the Hill of abundance for Morning Tea.

11.15 Walk down through the Community Sustainable weeds out carbon in project.

11.30 A talk by Hugh Lovel from Quantum Agriculture entitled “We are all carbon based life forms”

12.30 Biochar Industries processing area A demo of what we do to get your Biochar Ready.

12.45 pm Lunch

1.30 pm A talk By Shabari Bird entitled “Ferment your weeds for fertiliser, herbicides and pesticides”.

2.30 on wards Questions from the Presenters and folks can go home.

Please RSVP for this Free Event so we can have sufficient wholesome food for everyone.


Email dolph@biocharproject.org with the subject RSVP Biology of Biochar.


Biology of biochar with charmaster Dolph Cooke and the moxham

How to find Biochar Industries.

Click here : )

Graeme Sait will present his new TeD Talk Humus saves the world.



Organic grower chooses Biochar to run in his greenhouses

Organic grower chooses Biochar for his production Greenhouses.

Organic grower chooses Biochar for his production Greenhouses.

Organic grower chooses Biochar to run in his greenhouses

Organic growers everywhere are waking up to the fact that you need more than just luck in agriculture to break even these days.  One successful local organic grower, who uses high tech green houses to control just about every aspect of his produce has recently switched on to Biochar.

His needs were simple. “I just want to provide the best quality organic food to my customers”.

He was put onto Biocharproject.org by a good friend and local farming expert. Since we live in the same area it did not take me long to produce the 2 tonnes of needed biochar for this fabulous new project.

organic grower chooses biochar trials as part of production.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke with Organic grower

This is more than a trial this is a full blown make or break showdown for biochar.  Not only has the farmer decided to trial biochar he has decided to grow his next seasons crops with it in both of his greenhouses.

So I have spent considerable time making sure that everything is going to yield far in excess of anything he has done before.

The number one thing I call for whenever I start a new project is a Total soils analysis and a soluble nutrients test both of which I get from AEL Labs in Lismore . Until this is completed you really have no idea what to do or where to start.

Biochar Girl Organic Grower

Biochar is the medium upon which all my agricultural alchemy relies. Without a home for the beneficial bacteria and fungi to live safely in you can not achieve the perfection of nutrient uptake that mother nature so exactingly needs.

Once I believe I am on the right track I send my recommendations  further up the chain to have them expertly analyzed and on every occasion I learn something new without fail.

Hugh Lovel from Quantum Agriculture is by far the most holistic farmer the world has ever known and his knowledge of  organic chemistry and biodynamics is legendary. So when creating the best really counts I take no chances.

Here are some photos of our biochar being hand tended inside one of the greenhouses.

Organic grower chooses Biochar

This awesome do or die trial for biochar has just begun. Of course there will be tests and measures and once I get an update from yields for the season I will divulge exactly how I went about making it happen.

As always I get inspiration to write my projects up just as I finish quenching my biochar that I make from the Moxham Biochar unit. So for now its off to sleep.

Good Morning here is an update from last night’s post titled organic grower chooses biochar.

The size of the char was chosen as the organic grower wanted to cultivate with mechanical machines over several times a season. Also once he applies compost he will cultivate it again. So the char will be ground down over time and this simple selection saved a lot of dollars as apposed to the fine version being offered.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke

Keywords – organic grower chooses biochar




The split wood pile before

Farm scale biochar. Taking on farm biochar making to a new level.

Farm scale biochar ? How about low tech farm scale biochar ? Better still low cost low tech easy to use farm scale biochar ?

The Moxham farm scale biochar maker

Well folks you read it here first. Biochar Industries charmaster Dolph Cooke has created yet another low cost low tech farm scaled setup and here is a pictorial to ease you into your own biochar adventure.

Loading the Moxham biochar maker

Biochar Industries was initially setup to create benchmarks of sustainability in this new and exciting industry that is emerging. However I have come to realise something that my mentor used to preach.  Biochar for everyone for free now that’s a tall order.

Showing the Menshed Men Biochar

Biochar has been referred to as a mitigating factor in climate change, It has also been hailed as a miracle soil amendment now that its becoming a household word greedy folks want to get rich off of it and this is just driving the price out of the reach for most farmers. Here is where we step in –

Telling the Menshed men Biochar secrets for farm scale biochar

Farm scale biochar low cost low tech.

I have called this simple method “The Moxham” after my late mentor Geoff Moxham who set my soul ablaze with Biochar in 2009 at the castle on the hill UKI Australia.

Half Full and blazing- the moxham by Biochar Industries

Lets look at the pictures and match a commentary to the captions. Right at the top of the page we have photo 1. Simple low tech and relatively affordable the “Moxham” a carbon steel pipe.
20mm thick a diameter of 190 centermeters and standing on its end a height of 165cm.

Price $800.00 delivered from Brisbane.

Picture 2 Many friends make light work. The men of the menshed rally around to help me fill the “Moxham” Farm scale biochar unit. Its fun as well as beneficial to those with a heavy heart.

The gap between the earth and the Moxham

Picture Number 3
Break time a technique we use to allow the fire to fully engulf the loaded wood and rise-up and burn all escaping volatiles. We also use it to eat drink and be merry.

Picture 4
Charmaster Dolph imparting trade secrets to wise old school men of the menshed.

SMoke declares the Moxham is choking so we stopped adding wood

Picture 5.
Half full and blazing with some extra long wood on top to be burnt in half and put in shows the versatility of the farm scale biochar unit.

Picture 6.
A shot of the “Moxham” meeting the earth this has to be smothered with sand during the close down stage.

Smokeless opperation of the Moxham-

Picture 7.
Show what happens when you overload the unit with wood. Smoke everyone soon notices they have over done it. Charmaster Dolph then used advanced fire techniques to quickly remove excess smoke and make the fire roar clean again within minutes.

Picture 8.
This is how we roll Smokeless High temp big flames the awesomeness of nature.

Night time bonfire pleasure with the moxham-

Picture 9.
Above the Moxham biochar farm scale unit was lit at 11am and extinguished at 11pm.
During the night it was so pleasant to be able to watch the flames and ponder our existence.

Picture 10.
This is how we know exactly how much wood to put into the “Moxham”  easy effective and low cost. Simplicity at its best.


The split wood pile before

Another awesome day in Biochar paradise.


I wish you all the best over the holiday period. Drop in I will be working my little cake off.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke


Kids working biochar lifecycles

Biochar education Bush Mechanics Style. Aka Passion learning

Biochar education is a great way to show our children that they can effect long lasting changes by doing simple tasks to help care for the environment.

.biochar education kids

Lots of children I have had the pleasure of presenting biochar to have expressed. “What can I do about preserving our earth” I hear hoplessness in thier voices. However once I probe them further the universal message is they feel they can do nothing as the problem is to vast.

I use humor to let them know that anything they do will effect the environment in the long term. So once I have broken the ice with humor, I find the kids become super responsive to my ideas. I then use that responsiveness to unlock thier hidden potential. Usually with spectacular sucess.

Biochar education bush mechanics

This is where bush mechanics really excells. You try and lecture any topic to any child or anyone for that matter. All you get is at best 10% of your lectures into thier consciousness . If you use passion based learning you blow that statistic out of the ball park.

Biochar education Bush Mechanics

Traditionally the schooling system we have in Australia is learning with head or learning with hands. Bush mechanics however is a complete system that joins the head to the hands through the heart. This is why it is sometimes known as passion based learning.

So let me take you into my world of biochar education and let you decide for yourself.
(After all we did win the U.N Millenium Project Award for 2011/2012 with our work in Bush Mechanics.)

Biochar education Nightcap forest

The story starts in Nightcap forest a private 3000+ Acre production forest in Kunghur Northern NSW Australia. This is the home of Biochar Industries and of Bush Mechanics. Home of many and varied scietific research trials. Including the worlds first living sustainable community project.

Every year thousands of children pass through this forest on thier yearly outdoor educational school camps. They learn how to camp, cook, work as a team, survive and most importantly they learn how to serve and protect nature.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke Biochar project

Well during thier stay in the forest some of the luckier children come across Charmaster Dolph and offer service in return for knowledge. This ordinarily might not work out so well except Charmaster Dolph is an adept in Bush Mechanics and really knows how to engage children to exceed all known expectations.

“This week I took 75 Children in 5 different groups through a complete life cycle of Biochar, through Biological scientific concepts and results that the community sustainable weeds out carbon in project have found without loosing the concerntration of any of the kids.”
Charmaster Dolph 5th – 9th November 2012.

Kids working biochar lifecycles

Wow I hear you say 3 whole hours of Information and hard work at the same time without loosing one child.

That my friends is the way of the future. However your child could live life without ever experiencing passion based learning. Don’t despair “You”  can fix that buy suggesting your childs school look into biochar education by Biochar Industries.

Biochar education life cycle

Also join our mailing list at www.biocharproject.org/biomail

Keep an eye out for Biochar the Movie and the new Biochar Buddies interative website.


Rest well heros of the earth for you have done more than you can imagine.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke

Level 7 of Biochar Industries Australia earthship drying facility

Biochar Industries Australia goes full carbon negative

Biochar industries Australia goes full carbon negative with another world first.

Earthship biochar biomass drying facility being constructed within a stone’s throw from the biochar pyrolysis equipment down at biochar launchpad number one at Kunghur NSW Australia.

Biochar Industries Australia earthship drying facility

After weeks of planning executives from Biochar Association of Australia, Biochar Project, Biochar Industries Australia, Tweed shire community exchange, Rainbow region Lets and The bush mechanics guild gave the go ahead for the worlds first Earthship drying facility.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke spokesmen for the newly formed alliance said ” Another key piece in our strategy is to lead by example. By showing the world we can reuse waste materials, fashion them into energy free tools, and live softly on our planet is awesome however we make it look good and we give away our ideas royalty free for the good of the world. You can’t buy this level of imagination with money.”

The concept behind the earthships are simple they are based on thermal masses to attract the heat by day and a system of tubes to allow drafts though the materials. During nightfall the heat moves to the coldest areas and keeps that warm effectively allowing 24 hour free solar heating.

No hard science is collated yet as the Earhtship biochar biomass drying facility is not complete. We are taking bets to see how fast we can dry wood. The winner will have the earthship named after themselves.

So far over four big monthly events, at biochar Industries Australia the general public have been invited in to help make and to learn how to create earthship structures. An earthship academy expert has moved up from Melbourne to oversee the construction and to establish Australia’s first earthship academy.

Earthships use old tyres to form the centre of the structure. These tyres are filled with soil and hammered hard turning a 10kg tyre into 130kg structural brick. These bricks are laid like regular bricks butting up to each other and finally having more stacked on top as the wall grows.

Our design is to have 8 tyres high, so even the very tallest worker here does not have to stoop down whilst working. This seems to be an optimal level to maintain the heat and to hold sufficient loads for for biochar sessions at a time.

The biochar Industries Australia earthship

walls are built up as layers and they have earth moved in behind them on the outside to serve as a massive thermal sink and a solid wall so the tyres can not move. Once the tyres are laid then the rendering can begin this is useful to create a further level of insulation by utilising used glass bottles and aluminum cans. The layout is simple and very functional we have always thought of growing the capacity so we design in a very modular way.

Stay tuned for more progress pictures as the big days draw closer to completion.

If you want to be notified of any field days of events we hold here at biochar industries Kunghur NSW Australia please click here and sign up for our news letter.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke
Biochar Industries Australia

Climate change action dog wombat being framed for doing action

Climate change. What can you do? Ask Biochar project Australia’s charmaster Dolph

Climate change is a concern for everyone living on Earth today. However the most common question I hear whenever I do presentations for Biochar is.

“I am only one person what can I do about it?”


Our Message about climate change

This question is usually a plea and it comes from many folks who simply believe that this is to big a subject to tackle and they resign to leave it to the experts.

I hear hoplessness in thier voices I also hear the concern. However the authorities on such topics are all blasting out conflicting evidence based on peer review. Which make it nearly impossible for the layperson to decipher. So they are forced to live in fear and become disabled by it.

Climate change action dog wombat being framed for doing action

Climate change action dog wombat being framed for doing action

What I say to folks from every walk of life when thay ask me “that” question is simple.

Every little bit counts so do something if you wait till you research what to do then like all the scientists out there you will have lived your life without doing any action to help.

The small example I give is
Biochar per kilogram is worth 2.5 kilograms of Greenhouse Gases Equivalents.
if you make 1 kilogram of biochar and then condition it and put it in your garden you will be doing the following benefits to Earth.

Picture of charcoal biochar project.org

Charcoal or soon to be Biochar

1. Capturing 2.5kgs of air pollution
2. Creating about 600 grams of carbon in the soil
3. Clearing about 5 kilograms of potential fire threat away from your home
4. Making approximately 1 billion trillion new homes for Biota to live in
5. Setting an example to all your peers that you do Climate change Action

Have a look what Biochar Industries are doing to help you understand climate change.

Most importantly you will have broken the fear based chains of Climate Change.

Action speaks louder than words

I go on to say weather or not Climate change is a global swindle do not fall victum to the hoardes of zombies that are at the bottom of that pit fighting to be heard.

Instead think of all the possitives of the actions you do.
All religions say
Service to man is service to god.
Service to Nature is service to god.
then they say you are made in the likeness of the creator (God)

So I say whatever you do to help clean up the environment is service to yourself. So forget about the people who do nothing but talk go fourth and help yourself.

Huglekulture bed viewing window

Peter wanted to see what happens inside the carbonculture

Most folks then ask me for simple things that they can do. I oblidge.

Here is one small project you can do that will help the climate change, Help you get into the doing groove, help you cleanup your garden and provide delicious home grown organic food for your family.

Climate Change Action Project Number 1 Carbon Culture raised garden beds.
Here are the photos and below will be a description. Peter takes great pride in being the Inventor / creator and namesake of this awesome concept Carbon Culture. I went along to help Interview and offer tips.

Biochar Project's Huglekulture raised bed.

simple materials

What you will need.
4 x star pickets
4 x old galvanised roofing
1 x extra galvanised roofing sheet Optional if you want to put a windown in
1 x old peice of glass optional.
Hammer / Pliers and wire
Some where to put it. Carbon Culture will be the name of your game.

Firstly select the place you want it. Lay the roofing out in a square. Bang in the star pickets. Wire the roofing to the star pickets. Then fill with all manner of wood until nearly at the top.

Then fill the top with soil / compost / carbon / biochar / worm castings / potting mix whatever you can get to make a good foundation for your new garden.

Once you have filled it up and are happy with the results you may then plant whatever seeds you would like to eat in the comming 6 weeks or so.

Perhaps you might want to be funky and create a permaculture landscape in your new carbon culture bed. Or artistic make it a japanese Bonsai garden or a zen garden or ????

one thing is for sure if you folks grab a small child and get them to help you you will be planting seeds of a very different kind.

The seeds of survival.
Love to you all

Charmaster Dolph

What you gonna do about climate change?

P.s with the window in the carbon culture bed Peter will be able to watch the wood break down and see how the fungi work to make the dead matter into live matter once again this is really recycleing.

Picture of charcoal

Charcoal making with the Adam retort Biochar Kiln

Charcoal and biochar are interchangeable words down here at biochar project Kunghur NSW Australia. Yeah we know the difference but do we care ?

Picture of charcoal

Charcoal or soon to be Biochar

Biochar is charcoal made specifically to put in the soil.

Charcoal could be used for many things some one once said to me it was use for over 8000 things. I wonder if anyone has catalogued them all.


Biochar or Char probably have many more diverse things it can do however we at biocharproject.org really like to pursue it’s unique climate properties and its unique agricultural benefits and flow on effects.

The way charcoal absorbs and adsorbs in a rather greedily like fashion makes it perfect for cleaning up toxins in the environment.

The way charcoal holds onto anything it has devoured is very useful in high rainfall areas. Or even to stop chemical leaching down to the water table.

Charcoal has so many uses its unbelievable.

Anyway back to the story we have been working with an Adam retort biochar kiln actually the first one ever built in Australia. I have been documenting it and we have been learning how to use it.

Here is another short clip of last Thursdays trial and tribulations.

Opps no clip. If you want to see my private videos send a few bucks to cover postage and I will send you everything we do. Biocharproject.org Po Box 6146 Tweed Heads South NSW 2486.

Here is my recap

Some comments regarding what we were doing wrong were left on our website under last weeks update. We tried them and they worked.

It took us all day to dry the wood

We were able to shut the charcoal retort off for the very first time.

Our wood is fairly dry and awaiting this Thursday for the community to get together and finish the job we are looking forward to a big batch of charcoal this week.

I am happy to be getting this far along now however I am sad that it took me to verbalising my frustrations before the help came.

Looking forward

Charmaster Dolph Cooke



picture ontop of the fire box with the words biochar industries written in cement

Adam retort biochar kiln community firing at biochar project

Adam Retort community kiln firing 29th of Feb 2012 report.

Captured partly on video and temperatures were recorded so folks can see what was going on. I will try and be as neutral as possible in my critique of the days event. : )

An Introduction to the Adam retort.

The Adam retort community biochar kiln project idea was created from the wishes of the late Geoff Moxham (Australia’s Grand Daddy of Biochar). He once won a Grant to create such a project and you can view his grant here.

This is the second time this Adam retort biochar retort has been fired properly. See the first report here.

The Adam retort Biochar kiln is a technology better suited for the third world as it takes a lot of man hours to fill / Unload / maintain the fire / Build.

However it is a great tool to learn about retorts on.

Our goal at biochar project is to create biochar as friendly to the environment as we can get it. This includes using waste biomass instead of living trees and making sure it is atmosphere friendly in relation to emissions, and of course that we make sure the charcoal produced is destined for the earth and soils rather that as fuel.

Apparently the Adam retort biochar kiln we have is not created exactly to the plans that Adam released it has been modified somewhat by Paul Taylor a man who has edited a book on biochar who lives local to us. I have never seen the plans that Paul worked off in their entirety however I was shown glimpses of it during the construction period.

The kiln works by separating the wood to be charred from the wood that is burnt as fuel. The charbox sat on top of a maze like chamber who’s job is to distribute the heat evenly.
Sort of like having a pot of water sitting on top of a fire. However once the box of char starts releasing gas you can easily direct the gas into the fire to create a perpetual fire until the gas is all removed.

This is supposed to reduce emissions and lessen the amount of wood used as fuel.

Lets see how we went.

The day started at 9 am we erected a deflection device above the chimney.

The fire was lit and the paper work was readied.

We checked the temperatures at intervals to get an idea of what is going on.

We did not weigh the amount of wood inside the box nor did we weigh the amount of wood we burnt as fuel. Much to Uncle bucks Horror :(

Here are the Times and Temps from the Community Adam retort firing.

Looking inside the Adam retort firebox

Fire Box

Time /Temp

9.42 am 488
10.00 am 648
10.20 am 597
11.00 am 704
11.20 am 714
11.40 am 717
12.00 pm 709
12.20 pm 783
12.40 pm 748
1.00 pm 644
1.20 pm 773

picture ontop of the fire box with the words biochar industries written in cement

On top of the fire box

1.40 pm 822
2.00 pm 665
2.20 pm 637
3.00 pm 708
3.50 pm 681
4.49 pm 638.5
5.40 pm 656
9.00 pm 649
10.30 pm 828
2.00 am 736


Top of Box Time/ Temp .c

The face of biochar


9.42 am 76
10.00 am 75
10.20 am 73

showing the steel lid on the adam retort

Adam retort lid

11.00 am 95
11.20 am 98
11.40 am 127
12.00 pm 155
12.20 pm 166
12.40 pm 180
1.00 pm 187
1.20 pm 188
1.40 pm 207
2.00 pm 232
2.20 pm 231
3.00 pm 225
3.50 pm 190
4.49 pm 222
5.40 pm 220
9.00 pm 212
10.30 pm 204
2.00 am 200

LID Time / Temp .c

9.42 am 72
10.00 am 58
10.20 am 52
11.00 am 47
11.20 am 51

11.40 am 57
12.00 pm 62

the inspection hole of the community adam retort

Inspection hole looks inside the retort

12.20 pm 59

a pic of a brick chimney at biocharproject in kunghur

The 1st Chimney

12.40 pm 58
1.00 pm 62
1.20 pm 62
1.40 pm 65
2.00 pm 67
2.20 pm 70
3.00 pm 74
3.50 pm 64.5
4.49 pm 81.6
5.40 pm 65
9.00 pm 63
10.30 pm 74.9
2.00 am 84.7

1st Chimney
Time / Temp.c

9.42 am 34
10.00 am 34
10.20 am 33
11.00 am 36
11.20 am 38
11.40 am 42
12.00 pm 45
12.20 pm 39
12.40 pm 40
1.00 pm 45

a flue on the adam retort vent box

second chimney

1.20 pm 45
1.40 pm 44
2.00 pm 45
2.20 pm 51
3.00 pm 50
3.50 pm 49
4.49 pm 61.3
5.40 pm 43
9.00 pm 43.9

10.30 pm 53.2

2.00 am 56.9

Inside the box

Time Temp
9.42 am 45
10.00 am 48

Inside the box afterwards

10.20 am 50
11.00 am 65
11.20 am 70
11.40 am 87
12.00 pm 78
12.20 pm 101
12.40 pm 101
1.00 pm 110
1.20 pm 110
1.40 pm 111
2.00 pm 118
2.20 pm 122
3.00 pm 151
3.50 pm 151
4.49 pm 171
5.40 pm 169
7.00 pm 165
8.00 pm 212
9.00 pm 220
10.30 pm 230
2.00 am 239
4.00 am 253

2nd Chimney Time / Temp .c

9.42 am 35
10.00 am 37
10.20 am 36
11.00 am 37

the end wall on the retort

Stone Wall

11.20 am 39
11.40 am 41
12.00 pm 55
12.20 pm 53
12.40 pm 57
1.00 pm 61
1.20 pm 56
1.40 pm 56
2.00 pm 60
2.20 pm 68
3.00 pm 66.1
3.50 pm 61
4.49 pm 3.3
5.40 pm 61
9.00 pm 63.3
10.30 pm 75.3
2.00 am 66.5


Time  / Temp .c

9.42 am 28
10.00 am 30
10.20 am 29
11.00 am 31
11.20 am 33
11.40 am 36
12.00 pm 36
12.20 pm 30
12.40 pm 36
1.00 pm 36
1.20 pm 35
1.40 pm 37
2.00 pm 40
2.20 pm 42.7
3.00 pm 42
3.50 pm 35
4.49 pm 49.8
5.40 pm 52
9.00 pm 39.2
10.30 pm 53.3
2.00 am 49.7

Sorry for the crazy formatting you get that :)


It took over 19 hours to reach the hottest temp 253c which is far to cold for good biochar and far to long to be manning a kiln for any country.

The kiln did not enter exothermic condition and consumed a lot of heating wood.
The kiln did not cool down overnight as suggested and took 4 days until we finally put it out with water.

In my honest opinion I feel that this kiln in its current state is not suited to making biochar.

On the upside it was a great learning exercise and it brings the community together for like minded fun. Feel free to ask questions.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke

P.s A few good comment recieved have shown us some problem area with our version of the kiln Mainly sealing the retort from sucking air
we will try again on Thursday (Community Kiln Day) keeping this advice in mind. Thankyou Charfolks : )