Sustainable BBQing and putting the carbon back into soil – by Harriet’s of Hove and Spanglewood.
At Harriet’s of Hove we proudly stock a sustainable BBQ ‘Charcoal with Soul’, from the simply wonderful Spanglewood who are based in an ancient woodland in the heart of Sussex.
Spanglewood maintain and promote the sustainable management of British woodland and are a small family run business, who really have sustainability at the forefront of what they do.
The team use a coppicing technique to make their BBQ charcoal, a sustainable form of woodland management going back to Neolithic times. The coppice cycle begins in winter when trees are felled for fuel, or charcoal in this case! This allows sunlight to reach the woodland floor to encourage plants and young trees to grow which, in turn, attract insects and other animals. As the trees grow and the leaves provide shade other plants, such as bluebells thrive and encourage birds into the wood. By charcoaling the wood and using biochar in soil the cycle is complete as you are placing the base carbon back into the soil to provide nutrients for plants, vegetables or new trees to grow.
So…we know about the charcoal and how to enjoy our BBQ! But how about Biochar?? This is when I hand over to the expert – Paul from Spanglewood.
Biochar is a very special type of charcoal which has microscopic pores that provide homes for the beneficial micro-fauna and flora found in your soil. This special microstructure also adsorbs and releases moisture and helps to prevent your soil becoming either soggy in Winter or parched in Summer.
Amazingly, as well as being super for your garden, Biochar also has climate change superpowers! By using Biochar in your garden, you are sequestering atmospheric carbon from fossil fuels and putting it back in the ground where it belongs.
Biochar is simply the smaller, finer bits that are filtered to less than 10mm which allows it to integrate well into the soil. Indeed, now is a good time to add our raw biochar into your compost heap to give it that extra punch before adding it to your soil. Each 5kg bag of biochar put into your soil sequesters 15kg of CO2 from the atmosphere!
What this means for you, is that your soil or compost can absorb the nutrients and moisture it needs, that it will feed back to your plants and veg over time. So not only does it hold ‘climate change superpowers’, you will be creating happier vegetables and a healthier you.
At Spanglewood, we are also running some interesting trials with an organic roof company using biochar on local living ‘green roofs’!!
A living roof not only looks nice but it also provides a habitat and source of food for insects, bees, birds etc. However, these green roofs do suffer drought in summer (having little shade) and excess water in winter. Biochar can suck up water and hold onto it. This means weather variations are less dramatic for the growing roof and are more likely to survive.
Biochar is also much lighter than existing roofing substrate which means more roofs are able to be ‘greened’ without having to be reinforced structurally. The impact is lower energy bills, lower carbon use as green roofs insulate. Not to mention the carbon sequestration of the biochar itself. Our experiment intends to demonstrate this.
Biochar - Saving the planet one garden (or green roof) at a time!
Now available to buy from Harriet’s of Hove, in-store and online. Have your NEW BIOCHAR delivered by us.
(If you would like to see a great video about Biochar – please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get the link emailed to you).
Follow Spanglewood on Facebook and use Charcoal with Soul.
Thanks to Paul, Emma and family at Spanglewood for contributing to this blog post and making it available for us to continue the mission at Harriet’s of Hove.