[NAFEX] carbon hide and seek

Justin West chuckjwest at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 29 10:48:51 EDT 2009


A point of clarification regarding biochar and Amazonian soils.  I have just come back from the Amazon and am wrapping up a fellowship studying tropical agroforestry designs and soil regeneration.  One of the things I was looking at was biochar and the famed 'Terra Preta' or Amazonian Dark Earths 'ADE's.  This is really fascinating research going on down there, and I encourage you all to look more into this as far as potential soil improvement in temperate climes.  However, the reason that ADE is so interesting is that it is man made.  Soils in the Amazon are NOT rich.  They are typically very old, extremely poor, acidic, and high in Aluminium.  The ADE patches, formed as much as 4000 years ago by indigenous tribes, intentionally or not, are however extremely fertile.  
As regards the climate change debate.  I am happy that this debate is happening on NAFEX, I do not find it off topic at all as this is an issue which effects all of us.  I do think the science is becoming more and more overwhelmingly conclusive, but even more than that I find that on a gut level people I have met in South America as well as North America FEEL the change.  What it all means is anybody's guess.  For me the most important lesson to be learned is not whether or not it is happening, or whether or not it will mean I can grow guavas here in New Jersey when I am 80, but really the simple and beautiful truth that everything we do has repurcussions for everywhere and everyone else.  All is conected in an extremely dynamic and typically unpredictable way.  So lets tread lightly and stay attentive to our actions.

Justin West
NJ zone 6b (for now)

> From: nafex-request at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: nafex Digest, Vol 74, Issue 95
> To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
> Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 22:03:22 -0400
> 
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> Today's Topics:
> 
>    1. Spidra has it right... (fuwa fuwa usagi)
>    2. Re: Spidra has it right... (Matthew Oller)
>    3. Climate change continues.... (S & E Hills)
>    4. carbon hide and seek (S & E Hills)
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Message: 1
> Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 17:08:05 -0700
> From: "fuwa fuwa usagi" <fuwafuwausagi at muchomail.com>
> Subject: [NAFEX] Spidra has it right...
> To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <20090328170805.1C3CC4A4 at resin18.mta.everyone.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
> 
> Spidra writes:
> 
> I don't know if this list has a moderator but most lists that I'm on  
> would long ago have moderated the discussion on this topic as it  
> isn't about fruit and it is such a polarized issue that it's more  
> likely to drive listmembers apart than bring them together.
> 
> My reply:
> 
> You are correct.  Little diminishes my respect for people more than to find out they are a bunch of climate bigots who thinks they know what the proper temperature of the earth should be.
> 
> tfb  
> 
> 
> _____________________________________________________________
> The Free Email with so much more!
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> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 17:13:41 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Matthew Oller <matthewoller at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Spidra has it right...
> To: fuwafuwausagi at muchomail.com,	North American Fruit Explorers
> 	<nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <87843.58675.qm at web65510.mail.ac4.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> 
> Perhaps, this could be turned to an on-topic, by suggesting planting an expanding zonal group of plants, one way, or both;--or not...matt,peace
> 
> --- On Sat, 3/28/09, fuwa fuwa usagi <fuwafuwausagi at muchomail.com> wrote:
> 
> From: fuwa fuwa usagi <fuwafuwausagi at muchomail.com>
> Subject: [NAFEX] Spidra has it right...
> To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
> Date: Saturday, March 28, 2009, 7:08 PM
> 
> Spidra writes:
> 
> I don't know if this list has a moderator but most lists that I'm on? 
> would long ago have moderated the discussion on this topic as it? 
> isn't about fruit and it is such a polarized issue that it's more? 
> likely to drive listmembers apart than bring them together.
> 
> My reply:
> 
> You are correct.? Little diminishes my respect for people more than to find out they are a bunch of climate bigots who thinks they know what the proper temperature of the earth should be.
> 
> tfb? 
> 
> 
> _____________________________________________________________
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> Message: 3
> Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 21:51:26 -0400
> From: "S & E Hills" <ehills7408 at wowway.com>
> Subject: [NAFEX] Climate change continues....
> To: "'North American Fruit Explorers'" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <00e401c9b010$e01508d0$0300a8c0 at hills2003>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> 
> I was going to chime in (in fact I think I will) that IMHO climate
> change/global warming is not a problem without benefits.  I am growing a
> Kaki Persimmon (in Michigan) that has survived 3 winters now (or is it 4?).
> I don't think I'll soon be growing grapefruit in my yard (don't have the
> room or inclination to be honest) but being able to expand what I can
> overwinter is a plus to me.   
> 
>  
> 
> I have a copy of a graph sent out last year by Arrowhead Alpines in one of
> their mailings which proported to show the changes in mean temperatures over
> geological ages for the Earth.  On its curve we are currently located at a
> lower point than the average for the Earth over its history.  In fact the
> warmer periods (according to this US Department of something or another)
> outnumbered the colder periods in both duration and in frequency.  So who
> knows, I might have to take out all of my currants and gooseberries in time
> (as they don't like warmer temperatures or so I've been led to believe) and
> might have space for those grapefruit (or maybe I'll just exchange my
> poncirus trifoliate for a real mandarin orange).  Either way, I like my
> passionflowers and calla-lilies and the comments passer-by's make when they
> see them.  Heck I'd like to add some of the more colorful Alstroemeria and
> between climate change and improved cultivars I just might get them.
> 
>  
> 
> Scott Hills
> 
> Zone 6b Michigan  
> 
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> ------------------------------
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> Message: 4
> Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 22:04:48 -0400
> From: "S & E Hills" <ehills7408 at wowway.com>
> Subject: [NAFEX] carbon hide and seek
> To: "'North American Fruit Explorers'" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <00ef01c9b012$bd427980$0300a8c0 at hills2003>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> 
> Mother Earth News had an article within the last couple months on a way to
> improve soil by adding char (wood or vegitable matter that had been
> partially burned) Evidently research has been done showing that char is one
> of the reasons the soils of the amazon and other old growth areas are so
> rich and healthy.  The char breaks down slowly, holds carbon longer than
> compost and serves as a particle of large porous surface area for moisture
> retention and for microbial action.  
> 
>  
> 
> Food for thought.
> 
>  
> 
> Scott Hills
> 
> Zone 6b Michigan
> 
>  
> 
>   _____  
> 
> From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Matthew Oller
> Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2009 6:18 PM
> To: North American Fruit Explorers
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Weather (Off topic)
> 
>  
> 
> 
> tilling,too,matt,peace
> 
> --- On Sat, 3/28/09, Kieran &/or Donna <holycow at frontiernet.net> wrote:
> 
> 
> From: Kieran &/or Donna <holycow at frontiernet.net>
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Weather (Off topic)
> To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: Saturday, March 28, 2009, 5:06 PM
> 
> Well, I had some interesting thoughts the other day.  We had cut down a 50
> year old pine and I was thinking about how they'd used these
> impossible-to-split virginia pines for making log cabins.  Next day I was
> walking in the neighboring field and thinking about how it was all once
> virgin timber and that all the wimpy woodlands surrounding it were huge old
> trees before the white man came.  Then I wondered, "Where are those trees
> now?"  All the timber that was cut down not just the first time, but all the
> times since, where did they go?  Where are the houses, the barns, the fences
> that were built with them?  Most have rotted away or burnt down, and they
> are now existing as CO2 and water and some minerals in the soil or most
> likely in the ocean.  What does THAT do to global temps?  I am only too
> aware of what it does when you chop down all the trees and have exposed soil
> or pavement or house roofs.  But the difference between the amount of carbon
> that was in trees, not to mention what was in the rich organic matter
> content of the soil... all that must be in the atmosphere now.  Donna  
> 
> 
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