Biochar and Rock Dust


Biochar and Rock Dust

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Latest Activity: Nov 18, 2018

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Research on rock dust and biochar at New Harmony Farm in Newbury, Massachusetts

Started by Joanna Campe May 31, 2012. 0 Replies

We are starting a research project at New Harmony Farm in West Newbury, Massachusetts that will be testing rock dust and biochar together as well as separately, testing many different types of rock…Continue

Tags: carbon, sequestration, greenhouse, emissions, dense

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Comment by Joanna Campe on May 31, 2012 at 12:48pm

We are starting a research project at New Harmony Farm in West Newberry, Massachusetts that will be testing rock dust and biochar together as well as separately, testing many different types of rock dust and measuring greenhouse emissions for all.

Comment by Drew Doering on November 14, 2012 at 2:10pm

What a Journey, 6 months ago my beautiful and most tastily fruited 2 yr old habanera got sick and died.

I was not a Gardner, I did not know why my Hab died, and I was P***ed. That began my education. I Jumped into VermiCompost and where that Leeds me.  Now, I am up to expanding into Appropriate Soil Re/mineralization and Biodiversity.  And found all of you.

Cool, I am moving as fast as my eyeballs and experimenting carries me. I found a counter top company that saws a variety of product from around the world.

There product is very fine and does not kill my worms so I am adding it to my Florida Sugar Sand for gp and our yard plantings. The Plantings only got chemicals till I dumped my first bin a month ago. They are happy with the changes – already...

Bin wondering about those sea salts, and also, Pond weed, on the average, is it of high pass through nutrient value for my  worms , enhance offspring  and the product they produce?  I can get it free.

Do you know of one or anything or projects going on in the Florida/Tampa vicinity?


Comment by Joanna Campe on November 14, 2012 at 3:31pm

Worms love and thrive with rock dust and we have an article on that on the website:

Earthworms and Bacteria Enjoy a Symbiotic Relationship with Rockdust

As far as seawater, you can add occasionally using a dilution of 17 to 1.

Winston Kao is a major remineralizer in Florida and I believe his website is


Comment by Niels van Heeren on February 14, 2014 at 1:37pm

Hi there, new to this group. Interesting to see this combination. We have been working out a mixture here in Colombia (the country). Trace-elements and biochar but we add over 20 different beneficial micro-organisms that help making the minerals available for the plant. That makes a whole lot of difference. You can add fulvi/humic acid and some enzymes to boast the plant while the microbes start to produce those things bit by bit. Any studies on this combination in the US?

Comment by Joanna Campe on February 15, 2014 at 1:58pm

Hi Niels,

I would love to hear more about your work with trace elements, biochar, and microorganisms. We have a book coming out soon with CRC press that will have about 20 studies on biochar, and 20 studies on remineralization. RTE is currently doing research on the combination and a presentation given by Dr. Tom Goreau can be found here:

I would also be interested in an article for the website on the work that you are doing.

Do you have any studies on the work that you are doing written up that you could share with us as well?

All the best,


Comment by Niels van Heeren on February 16, 2014 at 1:53pm

Hi Joanna,

Great to hear there is interest in the combination. Well, the main theory behind the microbes and Rockdust and Biochar is that although the beneficial microbes will eventually enter a soil where both have been applied, it takes a while. And often farmers have pressing problems or need to see short-term results. In that case inoculating the soil with beneficial microbes like Micoriza, Trichoderma and others speeds up the process of root development and making the macro and micro-nutrients available to plants. In the end the microbes do most of the work!

There is an interesting product with a lot of science behind it (Univ Michigan) called SumaGrow. 30+ microbes for soil improvement. Combine that with the RockDust and Biochar and you have the best of all worlds! You can ask the people from SumaGrow to send you some research.

About the 20 researches on RockDust and Biochar, is there a link you can share?



Comment by Joanna Campe on February 16, 2014 at 3:42pm


Thank you for letting us know about this. That sounds really interesting. Maybe we should try to get you on a listserv of biochar scientists  that our researcher Tom is on and I rarely comment myself, but it's a very good one.

is there any possibility that you will be able to do trials on these 3 together?

As far as the research studies I mentioned,  they are not really available until we publish the book.



Comment by Niels van Heeren on February 16, 2014 at 6:05pm

Yes, that sounds interesting. The only thing is we can't get good Biochar here; just the plain charcoal for bbq. Only a few people in Colombia know about carbon in soil. Part of the trial would then be to produce our own Biochar with an oilbarrel or so!

I would love to connect to a Biochar expert, so we can really get this setup well in Colombia. I just know it will make a world of difference for coffee farmers here that have depleted their soil with conventional chemical inputs and no erosion control on their step slopes. 

Count me in! 

Comment by Joanna Campe on February 16, 2014 at 8:38pm

I am just taking this address from an email:

Subject: [soil-age] Fwd: USDA Announces new CIG Grant Opportunities
Date: February 7, 2014 at 1:08:33 AM EST
To: "" a href="" target="_blank">>
Perhaps you can sign yourself into this group?
Comment by Joanna Campe on March 7, 2014 at 9:39am"

Hi Niels,

Let me know if you join this group! Or if you need to find another listserv. I think you will be able to make biochar without any problem as there are many simple technologies and I know there is a company called world cook stove or something like that…



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