Interestingly, the many recent attempts to recreate terra preta have not been successful. Most soils are made fertile with the addition of human waste (cf China). However, terra preta contains many other ingredients which, unlike other man made or naturally occurring soils, does not lose its fertility with years of use, nor does its depth deplete.
If someone finds a way to duplicate terra preta, they will pretty much become instant billionaires, as any soil anywhere could be made to grow anything indefinitely.
And add a perpetual motion machine and we will all live forever!
Step by step instructions for the DIY with lots of cool pics.
US Aid dough going into the soil or your tax dollars at work in yet another furrin country
Lots of cool sites and DIY for upgrading the old garden. We are going to try this next year for the old patatoe patch.
Charcoal is the key ingredient of terra preta soil. But simply adding charcoal doesn’t quite do it.
One interesting thing about Terra Preta soil is that it apparently grows. Some think that’s due to worms eating good soil, and pooping out their castings in the clay.
The people who make the chemical NPK fertilizers would be not happy to see their business disappear.
Many people today do enrich their soil with charcoal. Any biomass, including grass clippings and newspapers, can be turned into charcoal, quickly, easily and safely. 2 metal cans, one fitting into the other, is all it really takes.
The creation of charcoal from biomass and using it to enrich soil also is apparently good for the environment, as it sequesters carbon.
Some people would rather implement a complicated tax scheme to “solve” the carbon “problem”.
Burning newspapers, turning them into charcoal, and burying the charcoal in your backyard is too easy and doesn’t help the government destroy the economy and enrich Goldman Sachs.
If someone is looking for a way to make money, a $20 “charcoal maker”, a $40 device that injects charcoal deep into clay soil, things like that could sell.