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Farmer Conservation Burn Workshop and Training at Circle Bar Ranch
Circle Bar Ranch
Sonoma, CA
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Farmer Conservation Burn Workshop and Training at Circle Bar Ranch
NOTE: This Workshop has been postponed to Friday Feb. 16th as Feb. 2nd is a No Ag Burn day!

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative and Sonoma Ecology Center are pleased to announce a Farmer Focused Conservation Burn Workshop and Training to be held from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. on Friday February 16th at Circle Bar Ranch south of the town of Sonoma.

Replacing conventional open burn methods with the conservation burn can significantly reduce polluting emissions from agricultural burns in your community and conserve resources, especially carbon. This technique also produces biochar, a valuable soil amendment, in the process.

Biochar, made when biomass (such as vineyard or orchard clippings) is heated at high temperature in a low-oxygen environment, has been under serious, worldwide study over the last 10 years as a soil amendment.  Biochar has been shown to reduce water use, and to increase soil tilth, cation exchange capacity, and plant production. Its highly porous structure and adsorption characteristics act as microscopic holding cells for nutrients, moisture, and beneficial microorganisms.

The workshop includes information on biochar as well as the conservation burn technique and how they add to more sustainable on-farm practices. Classroom and hands-on field training will be will cover the theory behind the process, safety and permitting considerations, pile construction, burn management, and maximizing production of biochar.

A portion of the proceeds will support programs at both the Sonoma Biochar Initiative and the Sonoma Ecology Center. Please bring a snack if you feel you will need one as no food is included.

Who should attend:

Anyone with wood or brush surplus who normally does an open burn, or who is interested in biochar, such as:


Vineyard, orchard and row crop managers
Cannabis growers                          
Land managers              
Environmental Students                            
Forestry and tree contractors              
Fire Service Personnel

And anyone interested in learning more about biochar, a remarkable soil amendment that also sequester carbon where it will do the most good in soil.  

Attendees that want to participate should come ready to do some physical labor to help construct and manage burn piles. Please bring heavy work gloves, eye cover, heavy boots, and cotton clothing only to the workshop. A face shield is also recommended.                                                

Sonoma Biochar Initiative Director Raymond Baltar will lead the morning presentation, and  Cuauhtemoc Villa and Alana Fichman will be assisting with the field demonstration.


Circle Bar Ranch (View)
25700 Arnold Dr.
Sonoma, CA 95476
United States



Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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