Our most extreme experiment was to grow rice on 100% horticultural carbon in plastic basins. The basins, about 20 cm deep, were three-quarters filled with carbon particles and topped up with water. Rice seeds were sown direct on the surface. Our Indonesian workers, rice-growers in their former lives, all had a good laugh because “everybody knows that rice only grows on tanah liat (sticky clay soil)”. Well, our rice grew and produced a heavy crop of grains. We have now grown three successive crops. The roots form very dense mats. After each crop, the roots have to be dried out before the carbon particles can be shaken out and recovered..
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