[permaculture] Soil Carbon Challenge

loren luyendyk 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

Peter Donovan
Soil Carbon Coalition

Loren Luyendyk
(805) 452-8249


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