Definition Climate FarmingClimate farming uses agricultural means to keep carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses from escaping into the atmosphere. Like organic farming, climate farming maintains biodiversity and ecological balance on productive, argicultural land. But climate farmers like Hans-Peter Schmidt go a step further and covert leftover organic mass into biochar, a solid carbon compound that can improve soil quality. Biochar production also creates a kind of gas that can then be burned to help generate power. A climate farm could grow food, generate power, and help keep carbon out of the air. . hear the story
But climatefarming is also a way forward to the sustainable agriculture of the future: producing food, energy and clean air while promoting biodiversity and protecting landscapes.
Through their leaves, plants collect carbon dioxide from the air. Using light, minerals, and water molecules plants convert that carbon dioxide into carbon. When the plant dies and decays, or if it is eaten and digested, the long molecules of carbon are split.
This process releases energy, and the carbon, which comprises more than 99% of the CO2, evaporates into the atmosphere.
Humus stores carbon, water and nutrients, is a habitat for microorganisms, and protects against erosion
Our climate depends less on what is in the atmosphere than on what happens below the earth's surface. Approximately four fifths of the global carbon reserves are stored in soils. Frequent plowing, heavy farm equipment, widespread use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, monoculture farming and the lack of erosion protection: all of this has dramatically lowered the humus content of agricultural land by an average of 70% since the 1950's. These agricultural methods damage the complex network of life in the soil. Soil microbes, needed for the health of plants, are practically wiped out. Compared to healthy soils, only about one in one thousand survives. Significant amounts of carbon are also stored in the cells of more complex soil organisms. Their destruction leads to additional carbon losses..
Mixed crops: potatoes between vines, flowers and bees
Increasing of humus content of our soil is critical, and not only because of global warming. We can guarantee food and energy security for an earth population of 9 billion with the help of healthy, humus-rich soils while protecting biodiversity. High humus content is an unmistakable sign of ecosystem balance and a healthy habitat. To achieve this, the overall concept of the ecological economic climatefarming was developed. Climatefarming:
Climatefarming is no longer a utopia, but is a fact of life in many places. This short film by Amy Wong gives and example (in English): http://bit.ly/cV8zYE
Climate farmer Hans-Peter Schmidt plot shows the difference in climate-farmed soil (left) from his vineyard and traditional vineyard soil (right) from his neighbor's. June 20, 2009.
Journal für Terroirwein und Biodiversität, 2008, ISSN 1663-0521
More about climatefarming:
Im Grünen vom Dienstag, 15.12.2009 | 18.15 Uhr | SWR Fernsehen in Rheinland-Pfalz
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