Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And yet another new idea concerning Terra Preta!

I was replying to a post over at Patricks Bifurcated Carrots blog about his response to my Terra Preta blogs and decided I should probably post part of the relevant text here for others with an interest in this ancient technology to see:

Basically my new idea is; why bring the worms to the charcoal when you can bring the charcoal to the worms. In other words I will create my charcoal, soak it in a nutrient solution and then apply it to my worm bins in the new and improved worm house I recently blogged about. In this way the charcoal (which will be buried in the 36″ deep bins) will be able to absorb nutrients from the worm castings/compost and will also be inoculated by the beneficial soil microbes. Of course this will be applied in a two layer hill system as described in my original blog and will still entice the local endemic earthworm populations as well as the local endemic soil micro-organisms to come check things out but then there will be less waiting as the majority of the nutrients will be laying in wait for use by plants, as the nutrients escape the worm castings they will be caught up by the charcoal (which is slowly releasing the nutrient it was soaked in as well as the worm casting/raw compost nutrients), In such a way I will have created a time released version of worm castings/compost and implemented a very simplified form of Terra Preta on my farm.

I genuinely think I might be onto something with this. After all the heating of "the Wyrm" house will produce the needed bi-product of charcoal to place in the bins making it a one stop process in the digestive section of the new worm house!


Patrick said...

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the comment. It really seems like you're onto something interesting, and it would be great if you can figure this all out and other people could make use of it too.

I like the idea of combining it with your wormery.

If fires weren't prohibited at my garden and I had more than a few thousand sq ft of gardening space, I would be doing it with you!

Bishops Homegrown said...

Thanks for all the support Patrick, I really appreciate it buddy! I will most definitely keep experimenting with this method and see where it gets us, I will try to keep everything well documented and updated here on the blog!