wood ash + biochar

the wood stove is a gardener’s companion, highly valued for its production of wood ash for sweetening acidic soils, charcoal to inoculate in deep litter for biochar, and even bone meal for minerals. 

this is stacking functions at its best. the many concurrent uses for the wood stove multipy the benefits of heat we’re already producing, while simultaneously providing amendments that reduce our material use of mined lime and imported fertilisers, holding water in our sweetened, enriched soils much longer, giving structure to soil and homes to healthy microbial life. and it’s simple and waste-free to produce.  

today i am thrilled to be out in the garden filming the long-form film on making biohar at a large-garden-farm scale, putting all those fallen and pruned branches to good use. this is biochar made in a dedicated kiln, in collaboration with a lovely fellow-islander and kiln-maker. i so look forward to sharing the whole process, step-by-step, with you.

thank you for your support in making this possible! this is one of those small works* with very real impacts, where not only can we empower ourselves to produce what we need, simply, but these films might reach out and alter a culture of burning carbon to gases into one of sinking carbon to soils. nothing short of miraculous.

this short is a remix from the journal of small work* film, ‘wood stove‘. i hope you enjoy the variation. i’m glad the minute films have emerged into the gardens – next, building soil, planning kitchen gardens and sorting out seeds, i should think.


winter morning chores

if lending a hand with farm chores after a snowstorm appeals, here’s a wintry morning’s worth squeezed into a single minute, with a goat walk tucked in at the end (to bring another round of wood-stove-melted snow, when the pipes froze.)

by request, a chore-time farm-tour. this is the twice-daily tour i take, with a goat-walk in between for good measure. in this minute-film it’s the deep snow and solid ice version of our daily farm rituals. 

now january has thawed december, but february on this island is bound to be snowed under again. all the warming we’ve so recklessly allowed has flooded the atmospheric rivers and this is the winter variety, beautiful, but in places, deadly. we must learn and adapt together.

how we stay resilient when extreme weather tests our fragile old systems and finds them wanting, vulnerable and solitary, how we can create back-ups for our back-ups in essentials like water, food, heat and energy, well. we must consider that the impact of these storms on our built and transportation systems are only the beginning, and now simplify, multiply, adapt, distribute and collectivise our supports. when all the services are out on a collective emergency, this time as plumbers face a whole island of frozen pipes, good relationships with good neighbours are true security. they make the future we want to live in. these are the resilient systems we must build.

this little peek into chore-time in winter on appleturnover farm exists both for and thanks to you, good patrons. huge gratitude, dear friends!

also, the stars of this minute-film would like me to remind you that they have their own long-form films, like ‘goosehouse’, ‘running ducks’, ‘deep litter’ and ‘broody hen‘.