In Eco Innovation, Sustainable Agriculture, Understanding Biochar
organic tomato farming

Organic Tomatoes

As the organic farming movement grows, farmers are finding innovative farming methods to stay ahead of the game.  Considering the tight margins that farmers face, finding and implementing these innovative organic farming techniques are incredibly important to growing a bountiful harvest and making your farm successful.

To find out more about his organic, no-till farming operation, we interviewed, Dan Pratt, Farm Manager, at Astarte Farms in Hadley, MA. Dan Pratt is an organic farming expert who focuses on long-term soil fertility to produce healthy crops.

Dan explains how he uses our biochar for purposes such as:

  • to reduce compost applications,
  • increase water retention,
  • improve the soil microbiology,
  • direct seed
  • reduce labor requirements for watering
  • to help his no-till, organic farming operation to work like a charm and more!

Check out the interview, below, to find out how Dan Pratt uses biochar among other innovative organic farming techniques and strategies to stay ahead of the curve.

Dan Pratt on Biochar and Organic Farming Techniques

:22-:55 -No till / water Retention / nutrient retention

:56-1:23 -Long term fertility and compost reduction from biochar

1:23-2:05 – Compost savings, fungal activity and a home for healthy soil microbes

2:08-2:44 – Biochar mixed with compost (20% biochar, 80% compost) and proper use

2:45-3:01 – Drought protection by Dan Pratt

3:10-3:50 -Student on biochar and drought protection

3:56-4:14 -Reduced labor because of the water retention ability of biochar

4:14-4:25 -Direct seeding in biochar and compost


Interesting Quotes

“Biochar has been integral to the process of transferring this farm to a no-till operation, it has the ability to soak up excess nutrients in the soil and release them. It has the ability to soak up excess nutrients in the soil and release them when plant roots come in contact with it”

“it’s like having millions of tiny black sponges in the soil that not only hold water but holding nutrients and actual microscopic biota that will help transfer nutrients to the plant roots”

“When you look at some of the fields around here with the dust blowing off them, every time we have a dry spell. I certainly think that the moisture holding capacity of biochar will certainly help with that”

“reduced the amount of labor that it took to keep plants moist on a hot sunny day”

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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