Super Star Soil
Soil is actually the key ingredient to plants' carbon sequestration power. Plants store CO2 in the soil’s pool of organic carbon. Soil organic carbon levels are directly related to the amount of organic matter contained in soil.
These organic aspects result from the interactions of several ecosystem processes, of which photosynthesis, respiration, and decomposition are key. Photosynthesis is the fixation of atmospheric CO2 into plant biomass. The organic carbon input rates are primarily determined by the root biomass of a plant, but also include litter deposited from plant shoots. The carbon content directly results from growth and death of plant roots, as well as indirectly from the transfer of carbon-enriched compounds from roots to soil microbes.
How Super Soil Can Impact Climate Change
The US is covered in nearly 900 millions acres of farmland. This is miles and miles of land that is constantly being ripped up and replanted. Farmers and scientists alike such as Gabe Brown and Dr. Allen Williams have made efforts to educate and instill regenerative farming practices meant to make the soils stronger, and therefore, help sequester more carbon from the atmosphere. Many farmers practicing these methods have made small strategic changes that have made the world of difference for their soil as well as improved their bottom line:
- Stop Tilling: Regenerative farmers have stopped tilling their fields, this is a practice where farmers use plows to by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning. This method rips up the soil and degrades it, while doing so. Instead many farmers use “no till drills” that stake a whole and plant the seed directly in the whole.
- Planting across hills: Rather than planting vertically, planting horizontally will better catch water and organic materials in the soil.
- Cover Crops: Planting trees and ensuring soils are always vegetated with a cover crop such as clover between cropping seasons to conserve the soil.
These processes help return the land into a symbiotic ecosystem.
Super Soil for you!
Many of you have heard of Super Soil recipes or Super Soil mixtures you can buy in store, but that’s now exactly what we’re talking about here. Those sort of super soils are mixtures of different elements and enzymes to create a very nutrient dense soil composition for the growth of healthy happy plants. Which is Super, although a lot of companies and recipes prompt you to place the super soil at the bottom, while in nature the nutrients are at the top of the soil. This increase of bioavailability makes for more organic material in the soil and makes the plant and soil healthier as well as better CO2 sequesterers!
Listen to How to Save a Planet’s Soil: the Dirty Climate Solution for more information on regenerative farming.