ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. has developed a class that teaches the history, benefits, making and use of char.

ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. has developed a class that teaches the history, benefits, making and use of char. We are committed to sharing this critical information with as many people as possible. Three hour classes cover the many ways used to make char, how to process it and how to test it to make sure that it is a healthy addition to your garden.  We also teach and model the knowledge, skills and attitudes that inform the process by which individuals and organizations can begin the process of soil building, soil remediation, carbon sequestration and experience a doubling of the output of biochar enriched soils.

  We offer these classes because they are essential to spreading the word about healing the soil, averting the climate crisis and enhancing human health.

Our costs for providing the classes are roughly equivalent to a dollar per day for a year, plus travel. Although we do have certain items on our rider that are necessary to hold a class, everything on the list is easily found and easily obtained. Our rider is on the back of this flyer.

Bamboo char



Onsite, you will need to have a fire safe area, fire pit or open area where safe burning is possible and permitted. We only burn in areas where we are at least twenty feet from burnable materials. Having running water available is a plus. We have never had a fire get away from us, but with fire, being vigilant is preferred to causing problems. We travel our own fire pit, but we need a place where the students can gather around a bushel basket sized fire for the duration of class. Our burn barrel can be set atop yours or set on several large rocks.

Seating for all students.

The most effective way for classes to be held is with a potluck after three hours and an opportunity to sit around the fire after the class into the evening. This allows participants to practice some of the techniques and ask questions.

A buffet table or two for potluck fixin’s.

We also need enough dry wood onsite to burn a bushel basket sized fire for at least three hours.

To hydrate the char, we need a couple gallons of rainwater.

We also need at least a quart of local compost and both restroom options and a washing up station.


Biochar 101

Natural, nearly pure, carbon, made by roasting dry organic material in the absence of oxygen. This process, pyrolysis, is like firing clay. It creates microscopic structure that adds fourteen acres of surface area, to soil, per handful. The char itself holds six times its own weight in water, acting like a sponge to stabilize soil moisture. Once moistened, enriched with high nitrogen organic fertilizer, minerals and microbes, it begins healing soils and leads to healthy plant growth. Biochar lasts for thousands of years in soils providing habitat for soil microbes. These tiny organisms, which are the base of the food chain, use the microscopic pores and fissures in the char as shelter. In contrast, carbon introduced by using compost eventually leaves the soil as waste gasses of organisms, through seepage down through the soil, and by being broken down and integrated into plant and animal tissues which leave the site. 90% of carbon in compost leaves the soil within four years.


Benefits of char have been known for centuries. Tribal cultures are using char today. Char is relatively easy to make, ecologically benign, “costs”, in terms of negative environmental impact and resources needed to create it. It has a great deal of embedded energy, but the long term investment in soils, potentially lasting for nearly infinite periods of time, far outweigh energy used to make it.

This diagram details benefits that are obvious and relationships that are established in biochar. Nature designs on the fractal, humans must learn to honor and respect that and design for abundance.

This “map” ignores depth and breadth of each community and/or resource. Relationships within and among each subset exist in at least three dimensions and because of that, the diagram is a hollow web, or sketch of realities/relationships that are alive and well in healthy soil. Char is the structural framework represented by the hexagons,

Sweet gum char


Some of the players are both interactive inside the voids and on the surfaces of char.

All of these discrete elements are necessary for the development of humus.

Impacts to any of the subsets will degrade the whole biome.

Fostering long-term soil health requires that each of these resources and their relationships within community is considered and that they are available for the essential parts they play in the symbiosis we know as healthy soil.




ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. offers educational tours that rehabilitate soil, plant trees and native plants appropriate for restorative agriculture, permaculture and forestry.  As we are fond of saying, we offer fun, with a purpose.

Our group was begun with a dozen friends who all worked for Citizens for a Better Environment back in the 1980s. We converted our founder’s tax returns into tree seedlings and the first few years we managed to plant a thousand trees each Spring, caring for them through Fall.

 We continue to learn and grow, developing more and more efficient methods for reforesting areas denuded by the heavy hand of man. We have been planting many more tree seeds recently and have routinely spread thousands of seeds each year.

We currently focus on char because without healthy soils, the plants growing on those soils cannot be healthy.

Our work spreads information about healing soils, creating food systems that work for people, profit and the planet.

Arrange your Biochar class by contacting us through Facebook or at: ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. 1445 Porlier street                                 Green Bay, WI 54301-3334 (920)884-2224 or by our blog is:

Olivewood char

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