Terra Preta

Our biochar can achieve more than just saving the rainforest! That’s what we want to show with our new project Terra Preta. Within the cooperation with the initiative Humisson we want to improve African soil.

But what exactly is Terra Preta ?

Terra Preta is a method used by the indigenous people of the American continent to make infertile soils fertile. This requires organic waste microogranisms (EM), nutrients and charcoal.

With our new associate, we now aim to implement a Terra Preta technique in Malawi to restore fertility to drought-stricken soils. As a result, the people on site will once again be able to enjoy greater food security.

For a quick overview, just watch our video. 

The History of Terra Preta

Terra Preta was discovered by researchers in the 1960s in the Amazon region and initially raised a lot of questions. Instead of being very poor in nutrients, as considered, the soil was very rank.

The scientists found out that it was not natural but created by enriching the soil with composted, fermented mixtures consisting of plant remains, dung and human faeces with the addition of coal from the hearths. In this way, the scientists rediscovered the method of producing Terra Preta, which was practiced by the indigenous people between 600 and 2000 years ago.

Today Terra Preta is also used to build up humus and increase the fertility of the soil.

The coal, which has a porous structure, offers a large surface on which microorganisms can settle and water and nutrients can be stored.

There are some variations for the application of Terra Preta:

  • Fertilization with pure biochar
  • Fertilization with a mixture of compost, biochar and microorganisms

With biochar compost, effective microorganisms are added to speed up the fermentation process. The biochar is then added in the form of a moist powder.

We recommend the approach with the compost, as it produces far better results. Therefore we will continue to explain how to produce Terra Preta as a mixture of compost, biochar and microorganisms

Advantages of Terra Preta