Biochar Making and Correcting Compost (on-farm workshop)

$57.00 incl. GST

Sunday, October 22, 10 am – 12.30 pm

In stock


Biochar is an ancient soil technique first discovered in the amazingly fertile Terra Preta soils in the Amazon. It is a stable form of biologically active carbon that’s made by heating wood and other organic materials without burning them.

Just one cubic centimetre of biochar has hundreds of square metres of surface area. It forms a kind of scaffold to house billions of beneficial soil microbes like bacteria and fungi.

Adding biochar to your soil has six amazing benefits.

  1. Mitigates climate change. The more carbon we can bury in the soil as inert carbon, the less is available to cycle through the atmosphere as greenhouse gases. Biochar will stay in the soil for hundreds (or thousands) of years.
  2. Provides an enhanced habitat for billions of beneficial microbes.
  3. Stores nutrients in the soil, preventing leaching and making them available for your plants.
  4. Moderates soil moisture by massively increasing the water storage potential of your soil.
  5. Improves soil structure and drainage by helping to break up tightly packed soil particles.
  6. Acts like an enhancer of compost and other organic matter in the soil.

By the end of this workshop, you will have first-hand experience in making biochar in a bathtub and have the confidence to use the system in your own garden.

Who is this workshop for?
  • People growing their own food
  • Market gardeners and vegetable growers
  • People who want to learn a simple system to create their own biochar at home
  • People who are concerned about climate change and want to take action

What does this workshop cover?

  • The difference between biochar and ordinary charcoal
  • The benefits of biochar
  • Step-by-step bathtub method of producing biochar
  • Knowing when the biochar is ‘cooked’
  • Choosing the right materials
  • Material preparation
  • How to ‘activate’ finished biochar
  • How to use biochar in your garden
What’s provided?
  • All materials to make biochar
  • Workshop notes will be emailed to participants after the workshop
  • Morning tea
What you need to bring:
  • A pen and paper for note-taking (workshop notes will be emailed to you after the workshop)
  • Appropriate warm clothing
Workshop presenter:

Jim Sansom is passionate about biochar for the huge benefits it brings to the environment and to garden soils. He’s been researching and making biochar for many years using different systems and was one of the early adopters of the bathtub method. Jim demystifies this ancient technique and provides a simple, step-by-step system that makes it achievable for every gardener.


    1. Grow Great Fruit members receive a 50% discount on all on-farm workshops. The discount will be automatically applied at checkout.
    2. If you’re coming to both workshops on June 11 please bring something to share for lunch. We’ll provide soup and bread.
    3. Please do a COVID test before coming to the workshop, and if you have a positive result or are feeling unwell, stay home (refunds will be available for non-attendance due to illness).
    4. A reminder email will be sent out in the week before the workshop, which will also give location details.


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