SeaChar

Hi friends,

I have reported to many of you how fun and successful my cooking demonstration with Dr. Paul
Olivier's rusk husk burning TLUD was on my 1st day back in San Jose. My thanks again to friend and frequent SeaChar volunteer Birgit Lendernick for hosting and organizing that. So fun, great food, great conversations and the stove's clean blue flame impressed everyone there
It has been an absolutely exhilarating ten days, since my MEPE bus rolled into Puerto Viejo. Yesterday E.F. promoter, Thierry Mangel and I conducted a biochar buy-back day in the Bribri communities of Amubri, Suiri and Sueretka. We worked closely with the organizers in each community and although it involved lifting and transferring approx. 1200 lbs of biochar from homes to truck, to boat, back to truck and then off-loading. It went great, everyone coordinated well. After stopping at APPTA to pick up the last 10 sacks of biochar that we had inventoried there. We off-loaded and dry stored 565 kilograms in 54 sacks. This gives us enough to meet the order which we have received from a researcher at CORBANA. http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.corbana.c...

CORBANA is the research and farmer education arm of the Costa Rican Banana industry. They have one of the most sophisticated soil testing laboratories in the country. They will be initiating a three year long controlled study program evaluating the use of biochar on banana cultivation and field practices. This will be the 1st of several orders as this program gets underway. We will enjoy full access to the data from the project as this very important relationship develops. As I have said recently I am not so impressed with how much more biochar we have been selling this year as I am by how influential some of the parties buying it are.

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From Art's Preface:
Buenas,
Just a quick note from Costa Rica. Our Estufa Finca (a large TLUD) team is two weeks into preparing for a 10 week pilot project. Working with SALTRA and a program at the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, we will be installing 50 , locally produced stoves with migrant coffee bean pickers.

I want to side with Paal on this very important point. Our stoves can have the best looking numbers in the lab. But if people won't use them it doesn't make much difference does it. The stove design we are using has been jointly developed by myself, my Central American partners (esp. the women who are building them APORTES), but most esp. by listening very carefully to the people who we hope to benefit. Much of the feed back has been in regard to the fuels issue. These people do not have access to chips or pellets, we are not going to get them to make briquttes, etc... so instead we have given them a fuel chamber easy to load with sticks, sugar cane bagasse, etc. and powerful enough to cook for the typically large extended families. This process stared in August 2009, there are currently 20 of our stoves being used in CR and Nicaragua, the feedback has been very positive. The pilot project is simply a continuation of that process. We are going to be using the KPT version 3.0 protocol, with some customization to monitor 30 stoves. All of us on the team are looking forward to adding more TLUD based stoves to our line. But this approach is showing us what will get used in the real world.

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Art Donnelly, SeaChar.Org June, 2010

It was not quite 9 months ago, when I sent out an email to a small group of collaborators, with a Subject line that asked the question: "How do we get biochar stoves to Central America?" Of course, like the punch line to the old vaudeville joke, the answer is "lots of hard work". I could not have imagined 9 months ago was how rewarding all that work would feel. I want to share that feeling with all of you.

I recently returned to Seattle from Costa Rica's famed coffee producing area the Santos Zone. This was my second trip since mid- January. I have been continuing my work as a technical consultant to a clean stove/biochar project. Proyecto Estufa Finca (Farm Stove) was initiated by organic coffee farmer Arturo Segura http://www.solcolibri.com/ and the members of the local citizens group APORTES.

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