The Single Solution to Climate Change

“They say there is no such thing as discovery – only rediscovery.”

Biochar, as it is commonly referred to these days, is simply charcoal, added to the soil as a way of improving soil conditions, and sequestering carbon, captured by plant growth.

Across the world, the ancient knowledge of adding the charcoal remains of fire to the soil to improve the retention of water and nutrients seems to have been lost in the development of modern agriculture. Until that is, the discovery of Terra Preta soils in the Amazon, the properties of which are still baffling scientists today.

Biochar Tree

Evolve is focused on researching and developing the feasibility of biochar as a substrate for hydroponics potentially. Current results are indicating the potential of:

• Significant reductions in water use per kg yield

• Significant reduction in nutrient system requirement per kg yield

• A growing media that plants ‘recognise’ and have interactions with which we are only just realising

• Potential development of positive microbial activity in the substrate, which may prove significant in increasing plant health and vigour

• The ability to manufacture substrates in proximity to production – no more global reliance on transported Rockwool or coir

• Easily compliant as a soil amendment, ensuring the blocks can be treated as a product, not costly waste to get rid of

The advantage of focusing on its use in greenhouses is the fact that in many ways greenhouses are more akin to laboratories than open field agriculture. Modern computer controlled irrigation systems enable us to monitor all aspects of crop response to the differing substrates and assess accurately how well it performs, and start to unpick why. There is still much research to be done, but a great deal of focus is being brought to this area across the world, and it is our aim to ensure horticulture benefits from its development as much as agriculture will.

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