Charmaster Dolph Cooke demonstrates making biochar.
Charmaster Dolph Cooke demonstrates making biochar.

Charmaster set to improve farming in the region

EXPERTS in the field of biochar will be offering a free workshop for people in the Northern Rivers in a bid to improve viability of farming in the region.

Biochar is the charcoal produced by heating organic material at a high temperature with limited oxygen. It is then used to enrich and increase the water holding capacity of soil, as well as improve crop production.

It has been hailed as an approach to carbon sequestration to produce negative carbon dioxide emissions.

Member of the Bio Association of Australia, Dolph 'Charmaster' Cooke said he would provide a simple explanation on the topic.

Mr Cooke said he wanted farmers and gardeners to recognise the simplicity of using biochar and the long list of benefits directly related.

"It saves money, increases productivity and reduces carbon emissions," he said.

Mr Cooke said having public access to practical knowledge from inside the biochar Industries could only strengthen the community's self-reliance.

"I think this is immeasurably important in these changing times," he said.

Mr Cooke said biochar became his passion after he saw first-hand, the 'mind-blowing' benefits on his own garden.

"I used biochar on a plot of sunflowers and watched as it produced five times the amount it usually would," he said.

The free workshop will outline how biochar can reduce the cost of running a farm with live demonstrations on the day and a simplified breakdown of the 'very technical' subject.

There will be presentations from industry experts Dolph Cooke, Hugh Lovel and Shabari Bird.

Development manager of sustain northern rivers Claire McGarry said the workshop was part of a month-long initiative called 'Think global, Eat local', with 32 events taking place from Tweed to Grafton.

Ms McGarry said the campaign aimed to increase the number of people in the Northern Rivers eating locally produced food as well as improving the viability of farming in the region.

"Investing in local produce would ensure the region's beautiful farmlands would stay that way and do not become susceptible to industrialisation," she said.

The workshop runs from 9:30am - 2:30pm on Saturday May 4 at Biochar Industries, Kunghur.

For further information visit http://www.biocharproject.org. Workshop bookings can be made through dolph@biocharproject.org.



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