A Brief History
October 1, 2015 was the beginning of the Stop the Smoke Campaign. Funded through a US State Department “Breath of Fresh Air” grant Warm Heart initiated the first biochar trainings to local farmers.
In an effort to reduce the amount of smoke from crop waste burnings every season Warm Heart provided information on how crop waste could be utilized to increase farmer’s income.
Farmers learned about the many benefits of biochar, how it could improve their fields by building up micro organisms and bring life back to their damaged soils.
They learned how biochar helps to retain water in the soil, and how it was able to soak up harmful chemicals from the soil. They were told that adding biochar to their soil would give them healthier, stronger plants with a higher crop yields.
In the afternoon they were shown how biochar was made. Utilizing a TLUD barrel oven, crop waste was loaded and burned. The pyrolysis method of burning crop waste eliminates the smoke. What remains is biochar, a usable, sellable product.
The next day they each built their own TLUD barrel oven to take home.
Along with the live trainings Warm Heart made DIY videos demonstrating how to build a TLUD barrel oven. A series of videos and PDF’s were created covering How to Make Biochar Fertilizer, Making EM Solution, and How to Make Biochar Enhanced Compost.
A year later, after farmers had been able to test and use the biochar, we interviewed several of our original workshop attendees. This is what they had to share with us.
Stop the Smoke 2016
In August of 2016 Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives funded a program to provide biochar education and training to local farmers. Mae Chaem was chosen as it is the largest producer of corn in Northern Thailand. Corn produces more waste than product. Our goal was to demonstrate how farmers could turn their mountains of crop waste into profit.
Stop the Smoke 2017
2017 we continued to work with building and growing the relationship with the corn farmers in Mae Chaem. We also did more training workshops, one in Phrao for an International group, and one at Hod High School.
Stop the Smoke 2018
With your support Warm Heart Stop the Smoke campaign continued to buy all the biochar farmers could make. What to do with all the biochar?? We experimented with making biochar briquettes and launched our local market products for sale on Rak Din.
Stop the Smoke 2019
In addition to our efforts to reach local farmers, we saw a huge growth in Africa as our partners kicked-off the Malawi biochar project. Our goal is to spread the education everywhere, until making biochar instead of open field burning is recognized and used world wide!
Stop the Smoke 2020
Shangri-La Hotel in Chiang Mai supported our Stop the Smoke in a big way! They funded a group to manage a biochar project in Mae Chaem. The biochar produced was donated to several non-profit farming groups and the Forest Recovery Project.