On the 12 February we were visited by five members of Echoing Green to examine our state of development here in Bungoma. (Echoing Green is an organization that sponsors a select number of social enterprises each year with funding, social networks and expertise.) To our luck, they brought the first rain drops in months with them – a welcome change for us from the hot days when the sun beat down on our heads. As Echoing Green arrived, Henrik and Eric were preparing the Rutuba kiln to do some demonstrations for local farmers form the neighborhood. They arrived just at the right time to get a great introduction to the pyrolysis process and biochar production.
Highly desired by the present farmers was our produced charcoal press. They used the device every minute and did their best to squeeze as many briquettes as possible to take back home. Within minutes, 15 hand-crafted charcoal briquettes were made. Now two-days of sunshine later, the briquettes are ready to use.
Jason and the rest of the team fielded questions from the visitors and had fun showing and explaining the tangible concept of biochar. After the demonstration, the guests also got a tour around our 6 acre tract of land, including our 3 test plots where we are growing cowpeas. There the visitors saw the difference between the different soil mixtures of biochar and biocharless soil. Also part of the tour was our recently-added tilapia fish pond.
After a few hours of on-site presentation about the current state of development of the project and our future goals, the Echoing Green Team was pleased. We concluded the day by joining our great agricultural-outreach neighbors One Acre Fund at a local restaurant for dinner.
It was a very successful day and we feel honored and pleased to receive support from Echoing Green. We look forward to our continued relationship and welcoming them back to Bungoma in the future!