More carbon is sequestered in the planet’s soils than in living plants and the atmosphere combined. Over the past century, however, soil carbon has been widely depleted, mostly due to unsustainable land management practices that disrupt natural processes that create carbon-rich organic matter.
Change is needed and it is appearing in the recognition that soil health is an essential component of slowing the pace of global climate change by offsetting annual increases in atmospheric carbon.
There is a revolutionary agricultural practice that recognizes the importance of building healthy soils by replacing the organic matter that has been lost. This new practice is called carbon farming.
- Fertilise the soil with compost. Compost enriches soil and adds essential nutrients which maintain soil health
- Cover bare soil, either with cover crops or mulch to keep moisture in the ground and minimize soil disturbance
- Plant trees and shrubs because they absorb more carbon dioxide with their trunks and branches than smaller plants.
- Plant perennials. – they require minimal to no soil disturbance and can stick around for many years
- Disturb the earth as little as possible – digging the soil releases stored carbon into the atmosphere.