Image by Tim Kennelty

Episode 49: Agroforestry and Biochar

Episode 49: Agroforestry and Biochar

David Newman from Arthur’s Point Farm in Ghent, NY, joins the podcast, Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley to talk about ecological restoration and soil health using agroforestry and biochar.

Agroforestry is a land management approach that combines with agriculture and trees. Planting trees, shrubs and hedges on farms can give Hudson Valley farmers healthier soil and higher yields – not to mention creating vital homes for wildlife. As well as having a massive positive impact on the soil, the environment and wildlife, agroforestry also boosts productivity as diverse systems are more productive than monocultures. Integrating trees into the landscape also helps to enhance biodiversity and foster climate resilience.

Applying biochar may also increase the fertility and health of acidic soils and also increase agricultural productivity. Biochar is a lightweight black residue, made of carbon and ashes, remaining after the pyrolysis of biomass. Biochar carbon remains in the ground for centuries, slowing the growth in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels. Simultaneously, its presence in the earth can improve water quality, increase soil fertility, raise agricultural productivity, and reduce pressure on old-growth forests. Its porous nature is effective at retaining both water and water-soluble nutrients.

Learn how you these techniques can be applied to improve the health of your land.

Hosts: Tim Kennelty and Jean Thomas

Guest: David Newman

Photo by: Tim Kennelty

Production Support: Linda Aydlett, Teresa Golden, Annie Scibienski

Resources: About | Arthur's Point Farm ( ); Cornell Cooperative Extension | Agroforestry; Cornell Cooperative Extension | Biochar ( ; Cornell Cooperative Extension | Biochars and Their Uses in Agriculture

Last updated December 29, 2022