[permaculture] Soil Carbon Challenge
loren at sborganics.com
Sun Jan 2 22:00:50 EST 2011
In 1938, University of Missouri soils professor William
Albrecht noted that soil organic matter is perhaps the most important
national resource, and that it should rank at the top of conservation
It has taken a long time, but increasing numbers of people are now in agreement with
Albrecht, as we realize the following:
1. Atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to rise, indicating a serious change in the earth's carbon cycle.
The ratio of inputs, such as fossil-fuel-dependent nitrogen fertilizer,
to crop yields has gone way down, as has the ability of soils to
moderate flooding and drought or sustain biodiversity.
3. Nutritional density of mass-produced food has declined precipitously.
organic matter, which is mostly carbon, is the hub or axis of the
terrestrial carbon cycle, and it is where these three trends intersect.
us, the year 2010 saw the beginning of the Soil Carbon Challenge with
Tony and Andrea Malmberg from Union, Oregon becoming the first entrants:
January 2011 will see the start of the California Grassland Carbon
Challenge. As the Challenge branches out, we look forward to more local
partnerships, and more capacity to perform, correlate, and sustain
accurate monitoring of changes in soil carbon, as well as recognize
those who are turning atmospheric carbon into water-holding,
fertility-enhancing soil organic matter. Our ability to implement the
Challenge, in the United States and in other countries, depends on local
champions and local partnerships -- people who want to increase soil
carbon, and show what is possible with good monitoring that is shared.
Monday, January 24th 2011 we will be cosponsoring a meeting at Joe and
Morris's ranch in San Juan Bautista, California. You are invited to
participate. Learn from some of the successes already, such as the Marin
Carbon Project, and help devise ways forward. This is a participatory
meeting, facilitated by Jeff Goebel, and will concentrate on the whys
and hows of increasing soil organic matter in grasslands.
You may register online at
or RSVP to me by replying to this email or calling me at 541-263-1888.
much to our donors in 2010, whose contributions gave leverage and
momentum to our volunteer work. (It's not too late to become a 2010
donor to the Soil Carbon
Challenge: www.soilcarboncoalition.org on the lower right, and offline contributions can be pledged as well.)
Both soilcarboncoalition.org and managingwholes.com
are full of articles, links, resources, and videos about the carbon
cycle and biosphere processes, conflict and consensus, low-stress
livestock handling, and examples of holistic management.
best wishes for 2011
Soil Carbon Coalition
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