Author Archive | eric

Black Earth Kicks Off in Rwanda

The Café de Maraba washing station in Rwanda’s Huye province served as a mock-amphitheater this past week, host to the launching of the Black Earth Project. Funded by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and through partnership with Radio Lifeline, re:char trained twelve Rwandan coffee farmers and agronomists to be biochar ambassadors to 12,000+ growers across six represented cooperatives. […]

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The Results Are In… Again!

This past week we harvested our second round of biochar test plots. We planted sorghum using the same techniques and nutrient inputs as we did with finger millet during the long rains season. The primary difference this round was that we did not add any new biochar. That means the biochar + human urine solution […]

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Biochar and ISFM

Hosted by CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture) and the University of Nairobi, hundreds of the foremost soil scientists in the world gathered in Nairobi this past week to discuss the interlinked issues of tropical soil degradation, poor yields, and environmental sustainability. At the center of a number of the discussions was how biochar fits in […]

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Test Plots Round 2

The short rains planting season is well under way in Bungoma and many of our customers are reaping the benefits of biochar for their second season – in most cases benefiting from biochar they applied the prior season. This is one of the qualities of biochar we are evaluating in our second round of test […]

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Oil Drum Karma

At re:char we give oil drums a second chance to do something helpful for the environment. Below is how this happens. Kibuye Market – Kisumu, Kenya. Kibuye is a jua kali haven; a place where local metalworkers thrive. It’s also the place where our good friend Fred works. Fred ships emptied oil drums from the […]

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This stuff works

… is about as concise a way as possible to sum up our most recent round of customer testimonials. A few profiles below. Patrick Walela Farming Experience: 10 years Family: Patrick has a wife and nine children, eight of whom are in school. Farm: Patrick and his family farm one acre of land. They grow […]

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Cows!

We are big fans of developing business strategies from empirical data. This can be a bit challenging when working in rural Kenya with what are typically painfully inconsistent data sources. Nevertheless we’ve managed to have some success. Each time we make a sale we collect information from our new customer – simple things like crops […]

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The Results Are In!

Last week we harvested our 19 finger millet test plots, each grown using varying amounts of biochar combined with different nutrient inputs: a 15% human urine solution, compost, and inorganic fertilizer (di-ammonium phosphate – DAP) in both half and full applications. After a week of drying and processing, the results are in. As we expected, […]

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Providing Organic, Sustainable Alternatives

When stepping in to the shops of western Kenyan agricultural input retailers (referred to as Agrovets) you can rarely find truly organic, sustainable options. That is in the process of changing. While our ultimate goal is to enable farmers to be self-sustaining (ie owning their own Rutuba biochar kiln) we have introduced a lower priced […]

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re:char Hits the Road

In honor of the great traveling road shows of the early 20th century, we at re:char decided to take our message, products, and a bit of live entertainment to the streets of northern Bungoma County. Armed with a neighboring restaurant’s flatbed truck, we and our sales reps were able to reach hundreds, if not thousands […]

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