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Mendocino County Biochar Workshop and Conservation Burn Training
Ukiah Valley Conference Center
Ukiah, CA
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Mendocino County Biochar Workshop and Conservation Burn Training
NOTE: Please use the drop down menu above when registering if you only want to attend the afternoon Conservation Burn training at Ingel-Haven Ranch in Potter Valley.

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative, in cooperation with the Mendocino County Woody Biomass Working Group and the Redwood Forest Foundation, is pleased to announce a Biochar Workshop and Conservation Burn Training, featuring instructor Peter Hirst, to be held from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. on Friday April 11th in Mendocino County.

By replacing conventional open burn methods with the conservation burn you can significantly reduce emissions (visible smoke and invisible chemicals and particles) from agricultural burns in your community and conserve resources, especially carbon. You will also learn how to produce 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 7 years as a soil amendment.  Biochar has been shown to increase soil tilth, cation exchange capacity, and plant production, and its highly porous structure and adsorption characteristics act as microscopic holding cells for nutrients, moisture, and beneficial microorganisms.

These workshops take place at two separate locations and you may register for one or both. They are priced individually, but you may sign up for both sessions at a discount.

The morning session, to be held in the Chenin Blanc Room at the Ukiah Conference Center from 8 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. will focus on biochar, including why it works to improve soil, the benefits of using it in both animal and plant agriculture, how to properly condition it prior to use, and how to apply it.

The afternoon session will be held at the Ingel-Haven Ranch (also known as Magruder Ranch), 9000 Westside Potter Valley Rd. in Potter Valley. This event will focus on the conservation burn technique, including hands-on field training that will include information on scientific 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 bag lunch if you are staying for the whole day, or pick it up between the morning and afternoon sessions.

We highly encourage carpooling to the Ingel-Haven Ranch location since parking is limited. Carpooling will also allow for networking to and from the event.

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                          
Land managers              
Agriculture support specialists                            
Forestry and tree contractors              
Fire service personnel

And anyone interested in learning more about biochar, a remarkable soil amendment that helps to sequester carbon.  

Conservation burn training attendees who want to participate should bring work gloves, eye cover, and heavy leather boots to the event.                                                  

Instructor and biochar expert Peter Hirst has been an energy and natural resources professional for over 30 years, most recently as owner of New England Biochar, LLC at NEB partner Bob Wells' Redberry Farm on Cape Cod. Peter has consulted and presented in lecture form and hands-on demonstrations of biochar production, testing and application all over the country, and has trained growers, vintners and California State Parks forestry personnel in producing biochar from cleaner open burn methods.

He is a board member of the Sonoma Biochar Initiative, founding President and Director of the Northeast Biochar Association, Inc, a plenary presenter at fUS Biochar Initiative 2012 National Conference, and a principal presenter for the 2013 North American Biochar Symposium. Peter is a co-author of The Biochar Revolution, providing chapters on community development and farm-scale biochar production, and is working on a new book, Biochar from the Ground Up. A new resident of Valley Ford, he is opening the West Coast office of New England Biochar and managing operations at Swallow Valley Farm, location of the Sonoma County Biochar Project.


Ukiah Valley Conference Center (View)
200 S. School Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
United States


Education > Classes
Education > Workshops
Other > Fundraisers

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


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