After an extreme hot summer with so much bad news, it made me really happy to see an update from Christer Söderberg at Circle Carbon, the only biochar plant producer on the island. It was a short message saying “We will no longer open the weekly market to offer our vegetable products to the public, but instead we will concentrate all our effort on carbon oxygen, removal and food security through soil regeneration and the production of our Terrallum soil.”

I wondered about the term “food security” and had to google it. I read - “According to the United Nations' Committee on World Food Security, food security is defined as meaning that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.“ We all have noticed the food shortage in the local supermarket in Mallorca this summer. Now that was “only” a summer season with more visitors than expected.

Imagin a bad storm for a couple of days and the provider boats from the mainland can't get here. I would love to see Mallorca self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables and that all green products we buy would be KM0. There is definitely space for improvement here on the island. And Christer and his team in Bunyola are working on a solution.

I interviewed Christer in 2021 for the first time. He told me about the pioneer project Circle Carbon where they produced and sold small amounts of special organic biochar-based soil substrate called Terra Llum to anyone interested. The substrate is magic, it makes everything in your garden grow like crazy. Studies show that their Terra Llum soil can promote growth by up to 800 per cent. This might sound a lot and it certainly is. The percentage depends on the degree of depletion of the soil.

At Circle Carbon Labs the test areas can show increases in plant growth of between 50% and 200%. The result of growing food in the special Substrate adds more nutritious food to the plate of the person who eats it, while at the same time the soil reduces air pollution. I knew that Circle Carbon had run into hard times during the pandemic and that they were struggling with challenges, normal with a small-scale production line. In 2020 the greenhouse got hit by a very bad hailstorm that broke most of the glass and the disaster was immense. The intention of the Circle Carbon team was to build everything up and open the weekly market to offer fresh KM0 products again. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

Christer explains “It was impossible to sell enough of our fruit and vegetable products to keep the team and the opening hours we had. We had to downsize the part of the business, but thanks to a private investment last year we were able to upgrade our whole production line, now we can produce 10 times as much Terra Llum substrate than we could same time last year. Next step is to seek finance to upgrade the technological part of the business.

“It has been impossible to keep up with the technology so far and to succeed we must invest more. We continue to provide fruit and vegetables to our restaurants and clients, but we have had to change some of our products to more cost effective ones that do not take so many man-hours to maintain. The demand for good quality fruit and vegetables is huge on the island, we can't meet the demand and there is a huge hole in the market. Imagen that everyone could grow some in their homes, others in their backyard in pots. With the soil that we are producing there are no limits."

All areas of Mallorca need to improve their soil and reduce the CO2 – Producing this soil is one way of taking care of the island. It’s a win win project! On the island we produce tons of garden waste every year. To reduce some of it, instead of burning it and polluting the air and of course disturbing the neighbours we can use it to produce Biochart.

Circle Carbon is trying to change the future and I am writing this article about them in hope that more people on the island find them and know about them. Hopefully it will make more people interested and involved to help out and make this island a better place to live, eat, grow and a good start to this aim is to support their work. Get growing and use their Terra Llum soil.