The bioenergy research team at Appalachian State University has built pilot systems at two local cooperative farms: Against the Grain (ATG) farm and Springhouse farm. The pilot system includes a biochar kiln, solar thermal collector, food dehydrator and water tank. The heat from the biochar kiln and solar collector is collected in the water tank and radiated to the soil (root zone heating) through tubing installed under the germination/growing tables at their greenhouses during the cold season. Root zone heating is more energy efficient way to deliver heat to crops compared to conventional space heating. During the warm season when heating is not needed, the collected heat is used to dry food in the food dehydrator. Dried food such as dried apples and sun-dried tomatoes is a good way of food preservation, and can be another source of income for farmers. Biochar produced from the kiln is known as useful soil amendment due to its unique ability to increase water and nutrient retention.
Join the tour starting at Springhouse Farm and followed by Against the Grain Farm to explore this unique system and biochar!When: April 29th 3:00pm- 5:00pmWhere: Springhouse Farm: 433 Silverstone Rd, Vilas NC 28692