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A living laboratory for a sustainable human future.

Bio Char with Zev & Dimitri, at Earthaven Ecovillage

Dimitri: We’re at Earthaven Ecovillage with Zev Friedman in the Hut Hamlet neighborhood. We are now watering this char that’s made from bamboo in this Kon-tiki.

Zev: Teensy micro Kon-tiki kiln, otherwise known as hickory nut pounding charcoal pounding vessel. Oh yeah..look at that beautiful charcoal!  What are we gonna do with the charcoal, Dimitri?

Dimitri: Well this is an experiment to see what the likelihood is or the amount of charcoal we could make if we made this thing six times bigger than it is right now at least…

Zev: Maybe more!

Dimitri: Yeah, maybe more maybe more! One of the impetuses of doing this experiment was because I’m gonna build an extension for my hut and we were thinking about using the charcoal with clay slip and some other potential additions depending on how our experiment goes…

Zev: Like lime…

Dimitri: Like lime and borax and some maybe fibers like shredded paper to help bind it to be infill for my walls. But then we realized also all the other amazing things you can do with this, by making tons of biochar. This is probably about two-thirds of what I cut down. Is this, what do you think?

Zev: Yeah… maybe five bamboo poles?

Dimitri: It be like six or seven right? Okay, yeah so about six or seven bamboo poles. This is kind of supposed to make it more efficiently burn so that you have a lot more charcoal at the end. Or I guess it makes it more efficient the amount of charcoal you have at the end. So this is just six or seven poles of columns of bamboo. Yeah we were just imagining what would happen if we took a lot more than that? So, welcome to this bamboo making process… Well, you can you’ll see us again in a few moments with a completed house.

Zev: With a completed house!

Dimitri:…And in just a few moments we’ll be back finishing the walls of my house.

Zev: Oh, yeah, that is some beautiful charcoal! I gotta say, clean.

Dimitri: And so there’s so many uses of what you can use this charcoal for the obvious one is you can put it in gardens.

You know what I do is I have a I have a urine trench that Zev actually taught me about, where  I have this like little trench and I just fill it up with charcoal and because it’s like also in contact with the soil microbes and my urine it helps charge it and after maybe a month or two I take out the charcoal and I put it mix it in the soil and to help give the soils nitrogen and some microbes.

Also, we have this grate here that we put in there so for the air flow underneath.

Zev: And that seemed to work pretty well.

Dimitri: Yeah all right all right and this is the end for now.


bamboo, bio-char, Building, charcoal, dimitri, zev

Courtney Brooke

Courtney Brooke (she/her) is an ancestor who was a Social Ecologist, Regenerative Designer, and educator whose work aims to reconnect people with a sense of belonging to place. Her work in the world aims to address the root cause of today’s overwhelming ecological challenges – that humans are starved of a sense of belonging to the places they live. Courtney Brooke was raised on a small farm in North Georgia, and has been guided by a lifetime of living close to the land. Her greatest teachers have been the Appalachian Mountains, the land of Aotearoa, and Selu, the Corn Mother. She holds a degree in Ecology from the Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, and has 10 years of experience facilitating earth-based education, ecological landscape design, women’s rites of passage, and cultural healing. Courtney Brooke has taught and facilitated environmental education curriculum, Deep Ecology, Permaculture Design Courses, hands-on craft and farming workshops, and Holistic Management to a wide range of audiences in nine countries from toddlers to adults and everyone in between. Deeply committed to spreading the healing that comes from belonging to the places we live, Courtney Brooke is passionate about designing learning opportunities that celebrate life. She lives at Earthaven Ecovillage where she tends the land, raises food, participates in communal ritual agriculture, swims in wild water, enjoys the mysterious blessing of being alive, and tends her own wild Hearth. She loves cooking home-grown and wild foraged foods, playing her flute to the sunrise, running on mountain trails, making compost piles, crafting from natural materials, and bringing people together to create beauty that feeds the holy.

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