Home > Bio-Char / Terra Preta, Chard, Growing Season, People, Things George has Broken > Swiss Chard, Bio-Char and Haste is Waste

Swiss Chard, Bio-Char and Haste is Waste


Swiss Chard Hoop

Swiss Chard Hoop

Even in the winter, I find my self walking around in the garden. I noticed the other day that my Swiss Chard is still alive,  so I started planning how I could help these plants grow even in the cold of winter. I had two extra polycarbonate panels left over from the greenhouse, and I figured they would make a nice little hoop house for the chard.

Looking into the end of the Hoop

Looking into the end of the Hoop

After much discussion about the easiest way to make the setup work, Davie and I constructed this small greenhouse by driving stakes into the ground a foot apart, and then curling the plastic into an arch. We then tied rope to one stake, and made a loop in the other end, which would be secured to a screw on the other stake. The loop will allow me to quickly open and close the plastic without retying the rope each time.

The hoop will keep the snow from burying the chard, and should keep it warm enough for these greens to grow. When the hoop was done, it was time to make some more Bio-Char.

Cooking Bio-Char

Cooking Bio-Char

The barrel above was packed full of Tomato, Okra, Corn and Pepper stalks. I was curious to see if this plant matter would convert into bio-char in the same way that wood is converted. I used a 2 x 4 to pack the barrel, hoping to maximize my results.

Terra Preta / Bio-Char

Terra Preta / Bio-Char

When I was cooking the bio-char, I used more fuel then normal, and it was a very hot fire, so I was surprised when I opened the lid and found that about a quarter of the bio-mas had not been converted into Terra Preta. It seems my fire may have been hot, but it didn’t last long enough to fully convert the material.  I’m happy to see the stalks worked just as well as cut wood, since I’ve just about run out of wood to convert.

Pony Cart - Broke by George

Pony Cart - Broken by George

We may not be Amish, but this pony cart used to be a lot of fun for the kids to ride on. Unfortunately, George, my older brother drove over the front part where it connects to the pony. It’s just one of the many things George has broken recently, and rather then get mad at him, I’m devoting a category just to things he breaks. To see photos in the future of all the things he breaks, simply click “Things George Broke” from the Categories on the right hand side bar. I wish this was the last item I would post, but I’ve been around long enough to know If I posted pictures of everything, I’d have a whole new blog.

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