We own and operate a carbon negative biomass energy rig. Designed and fabricated in 2015 the purpose is demonstrate closed loop food production and nutrient cycling, inspired by the recent discovery of the Terra-preta in the Amazon rainforest.

Short for Terra-preta, we have named this creation Terrence.

Terrence is available to hire for out door events to provide carbon negative heat and light creation, bio-char fertiliser demonstations and event scale hot water supply.

Read on for more information about our Terra-preta project.

If you are inclined please donate to our Terra-Preta and edible hedge fund to increase our capacity with this project

Terrence produces biochar for soil enrichment and carbon drawn down, through the burn to charcoal process.

Its names comes from ‘Terra-preta’ – the ‘dark earth’, or ‘black soil’ discovered to be man made in the amazon basin; thousands of years ago.

The process of creating terra-preta today is rediscovering lost technology and history.

Due to its ability to retain water and its habitat rich structure – biochar invigorates soil with microbial life, minerals and slow release nutrients.

Burn to charcoal technologies offer the double benefit of energy (heat, light and power) supply and carbon draw down.

1 KG of carbon (charcoal), when used added to soil as a fertiliser, instead of burnt as fuel - is the equivalent of 3.7 KGs of carbon dioxide permanently removed from the atmosphere.

This is a biomass energy rig to showcase carbon capture and storage for everyone!

Composted organic material like this was left behind in vast quantities by the way ancient human cultures met their energy and food needs with very simple tools. The amazonian Terra-preta is unique to human history and evolution as it is a legacy of mankind that has increased, instead of depleted, the biological diversity of its land base.

Today, as a survival response to global warming and the many ecological crises that we face – re-creation of the Terra-preta could be a lifeline to humanity.

This is a material that works with the power of plants to draw down carbon from the atmosphere and convert solar energy into the most valuable and mineral rich soil aggregate, whilst offering us a huge amount of useful energy to capture in the form of smokeless fire as well.


From the conception of Old Tree Brewery in 2013 we have been  inspired by the potential for capturing the energy from the gasification of surplus or waste wood, that can be employed as part of the charcoal making process. to powe Terra-preta and the Bio-char heat and and power

Inspired by pioneering alternative farmers in the UK, we obtained funding in 2015 to build a contraption that we conceived to demonstrate this

The Terra-preta trailer, lovingly known as Terrence, is a brewery trailer & field Kitchen that we have designed and built to demonstrate the way that we can meet our needs for energy whilst creating a modern version of the Terra-preta to heal our planet.

Terrence is a hotplate, brewing and cooking platform designed to capture the as much of the heat as possible from the charcoal making process. 



We are losing the equivalent of 39 football pitches in surface area of soil, every minute, globally.

Industrial agriculture is using around 35% of our planets fossil-fuels to produce food that is far lower in nutrient and mineral content than food that is grown from living soils. Science is saying that we are heading for extinction this century if we do not find a way to reverse the global warming and pollution that we're causing now. This necessitates a transformation of our agri-culture from a chemical monoculture, based on mining, to a biological system that restores the Earth. Without Tree and Soil based cultures of production, we have no biological security and cannot be resilient to floods and drought. 

Trees can regulate the hydro-cycle and protect the land we need to live on from irreversible erosion. The worlds soil could store all of the post industrial carbon in our atmosphere many times over if it was fed instead of used up. We can create enough living soil to feed our population sustainably if we use the resources that are all around us more intelligently.  

If the ancient amazonian people could create 17 feet of dark topsoil with their living wastes, and this co-created the most fruitful and diverse rainforest habitats on the planet – imagine the eco-systems that could be made with ours!!

Cooking on wood gas and creating Terra-preta is one one of the answers to the problem of reducing our dependence on finite fossil-fuels to feed ourselves in the future...

The Terra-preta solution

  1.  Harnesses woody materials to meet some of our energy needs to increase fuel security

  2. Bio-char, enables soil creation by creating the best habitat for beneficial fungi and avoids chemical inputs

  3. Adds bio-char to soil to increase resilience to floods and drought

  4. Feeds Microbial populations our waste matter improves the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK) and mineral cycles to increase food flavour and nutrition

  5. A growing food culture means greater social cohesion and economic resilience

  6. Creating greener environments with water and soil creates more oxygen and a slower world with more peace of mind

We are only here because bacteria gifted this planet with a 6 inch layer of topsoil over millions of years of evolution, rain and shine... So we may as well make the most of it!!

Join our mailing list below to sign up for the Terra–Preta adventures!!

@oldtreebrewery 2017


Full story coming soon.