On May 14, 2010, the Dome School students and faculty and members of the Spiral Living Center held an Art Walk plant sale in front of the Josephine County building in down-town Cave Junction, Oregon. The students have been engaged in an intensive biochar course taught in conjunction and organized by the Spiral Living Center since January. A major component of the class has been the cultivation, transplantation and care of seedling plants. Students learned about seed germination and the proper methods by which to transplant seedlings. In addition the course has been focused on the chemistry and biology of biochar, carbon, and the ecosystem processes that are integral to growing plants successfully.

At the plant sale, Dome School students helped to set up the space and worked at the tables selling seedlings, energy bars, art cards, and biochar. There were many different kinds of seedlings available including squashes, brassicas like kale and cabbage, cucumbers, celery and strawberries. The energy bars were labeled to identify the carbon content of the glucose in them. Yes, sugar is a part of the carbon cycle! The cards featured the drawn artwork and photography of the Dome School students. Biochar was available for gardeners to purchase and amend their soil with. And the student's TLUD stoves were demonstrated. We even sold one stove for $15.

The Dome School students had helpful advice for gardeners who want to add biochar to their soil. Having performed two experiments on biochar already, they knew that earth worms tend to prefer soil with biochar in it. However, they also knew that plants grown in a soil mix of 1 part biochar and 2 part potting soil did not do as well as plants grown in pure potting soil. They concluded that this was because the mixture was too rich in biochar and overwhelmed the plants. The students suggested that gardeners who use biochar should try a lighter mixture of biochar and potting soil.

The highlight of the plant sale was the performance by the Dome School students and the Dome School music teacher of the biochar rap. The students have been composing and practicing this full-length piece of music for some time. Several other pieces of music were performed as well.




The first of several videos of the biochar rap and Dome School music.
This will be replaced by a video from the Art Walk soon.

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Zuchini start in biochar-potting-soil mix.

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Art Walk attendees browse biochar starts.

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Dome School music teacher leads drum circle.

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Informative posters explain all about biochar.

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Starts planted in biochar-potting-soil mix.

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Dome School students setting up for the biochar rap.

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Dome School students work the biochar plant sale table.

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Drum circle in full swing.

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Biochar carbon-neutral cookies where on sale as well.

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Dome School students work the plant sale table.

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Post cards for sale reproduced Dome School student's artwork, including many biochar oriented charcoal drawings.

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Patrons browse starts for sale at the Dome School biochar plant sale.

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Dome School students work the table at the biochar Art Walk sale.

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Kelpie, of the Spiral Living Center, explains biochar and the gasifiers that the students constructed.

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Dome School student-made gasifiers.

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Purchasing carbon-neutral cookies at the plant sale.

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Dome School students make ready to sing the biochar rap.

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Patrons browse the Dome School biochar plant sale.