Listing Information

Check all experience and education that apply to you and your farming partners

Agriculture-related college degree, Farm/Crop management (3 years or less)

Briefly describe your current occupation(s) and responsibilities and list previous agricultural employment and experiences. If you are currently farming or ranching, please state the size, type(s), and location of the operation.

I am not currently farming. I grew up in Missoula and have worked on organic farms in Northern California for two summers where I helped cultivate and harvest a variety of summer crops (cabbage, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, melons, potatoes, squash, lettuce, and berries). I have a Master's degree in Agronomy from New Mexico State University, so I am familiar with soil characteristics, irrigation practices, and crop growth requirements.

Counties

Lake, Missoula, Ravalli, Sanders

Acreage

1-5, 6-10

Type of Operation

Vegetable, Fruit/Orchard, Other

Farming Practices

Organic, Other

Please elaborate on the type(s) of agricultural operation you plan on running.

Initially, I am interested in growing vegetable crops and possibly fruit trees or hemp. However, my main interest is in using waste plant materials (e.g., crop residues, woody invasives, and tree prunings) to make biochar. Biochar is charcoal made from dried biomass. It can be made in simple outdoor kilns that are designed to carbonize plant matter by excluding oxygen. The process, called pyrolysis, is capable of converting half of the carbon content in the biomass (feedstock) into a stable form of carbon. This carbon, or biochar, can be processed into small-diameter particles and used as a soil amendment that is effective at retaining nutrients and promoting the growth of beneficial microorganisms. I would like to establish demonstration plots to compare yields between 1) plots with biochar and 2) plots without biochar.

I am looking for a landowner who has extra biomass (crop residues or wood waste) that he/she would normally burn or otherwise transport for disposal. Biochar can also be combined with animal and green manures to generate rich composts. The physical properties of biochar are effective at trapping odors and accelerating the composting process.

Transition Arrangements

Buy/Sell, Cropshare, Lease, Partnership, Open to other arrangements

If you are interested in another type of business arrangement, please explain

I would be willing to manage on-farm waste biomass resources, make biochar (and biochar compost), and offer consultation on how to apply biochar in exchange for a reduced leasing arrangement.

Please elaborate on the kind of additional training/information that would help you:

Learning how to use different types of machinery and equipment for tilling soil and sowing seeds.

Please attach any photos that support your application.

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Elaborate on the farming practices you plan on using.

I will be making biochar (carbonized biomass) from different types of plant waste that aren't necessarily produced organically, so I'm not sure whether biochar could be considered as an organic soil amendment. I would like start by planting four test plots (4 with biochar and 4 without biochar). In four of these plots (2 with biochar and 2 without biochar) I will plant rows of squash, melons, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. In the other four plots (2 with biochar and 2 without biochar) I would like to try planting hemp, or use the space for a tree nursery.

Location