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The Soil Carbon Solution

The continuous extreme weather events that keep occurring reflect a lot - the rising climate and our fragile systems. The industrial systems that have been put into place work against nature, creating fragile and linear systems that are hugely energy intensive - releasing vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and shaping a planet that is susceptible to disasters like fires and floods. One of the biggest contributors to this is our industrialized and centralized food systems that rely heavily on petroleum-based fertilizers, mass transportation, tillage and mono-crops. No where in nature do you see mono-cultures. When one crop is planted repeatedly, very fragile ecosystems are created - an all you can eat buffet for pests increasing the need for harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, soil that erodes, an inhospitable environment for birds and pollinators, loss of habitat for ground creatures and all the way up the food chain - creating a domino effect that wipes out whole ecosystems.

The most valuable tool we have is healthy soil. 

Do you know where carbon belongs? In the ground! Healthy, living soil stores vast amounts of carbon. Soil can contain 3-4 times as much carbon then the atmosphere or terrestrial vegetation. 80% of the earths carbon is stored in the soil. With our current farming practicing we are releasing an immense amount of carbon into the atmosphere through tillage, synthetic fertilizers, monocultures and bare soil, while also losing our precious topsoil to erosion (along with countless other environmental catastrophes). Research shows that if we globally implemented regenerative practices, we could sequester more than 100 percent of human-related carbon emissions.

There are fewer cost-effective ways to sequester carbon that will work across terrains and cultures as well as soil. When we build a model based on the principles of ecology, we work with nature, not against it. Both animals and plants - when properly managed have a great opportunity to build healthy soils, sequester carbon and reverse climate change! 

But we can’t have one without the other.

Regenerative agriculture focuses on life. It's not so much about killing weeds or pests but about bringing everything into balance and creating a dynamic environment that sets an equilibrium amongst the diverse species that populate it. It encourages not one thing to thrive or becomes dominant but everything working together in a complex and gentle way. The key components of regenerative agriculture are keeping roots in soil, rotating crops, introducing cover crops, bio-diversity, the use of perennials and incorporating livestock. It's a whole systems approach. The benefits are pest control/balance, thriving bird and pollinator populations, carbon sequestration, water retention, building and retaining topsoil, higher yields and resilient landscapes. In spite of the heat waves, heavy rains falls, droughts, pest infestations or fires and smoke - there is always a harvest because the balanced chaos of nature is present.

Bio diversity equals resilience. 

So, what does this all mean? It means that we can fight climate change when you go to the grocery store. It doesn't really matter what kind of food you buy but it matters how it is grown and raised. Adopting a seasonal diet as much as possible and as always, getting to the farmers in the area that are fighting for a cooler planet.

Farming certainly is humbling. Each and every year brings different challenges - we are always at the mercy of the elements. There is much that is out of our control and sometimes all we can do is surrender ourselves to what each season brings. We can't outsmart nature or overpower her and when we try it always comes back on us ten fold. She is a force that is best to form a comradery and companionship with. To work along side, endlessly learning her ways. 

A very good article! I encourage a read.

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