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The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing…

de Kristin Ohlson

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1157205,123 (4.31)13
Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices-and, especially, modern industrial agriculture-have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world's soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for "our great green hope"-a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon-and potentially reverse global warming. As the granddaughter of farmers and the daughter of avid gardeners, Ohlson has long had an appreciation for the soil. A chance conversation with a local chef led her to the crossroads of science, farming, food, and environmentalism and the discovery of the only significant way to remove carbon dioxide from the air-an ecological approach that tends not only to plants and animals but also to the vast population of underground microorganisms that fix carbon in the soil. Ohlson introduces the visionaries-scientists, farmers, ranchers, and landscapers-who are figuring out in the lab and on the ground how to build healthy soil, which solves myriad problems- drought, erosion, air and water pollution, and food quality, as well as climate change. Her discoveries and vivid storytelling will revolutionize the way we think about our food, our landscapes, our plants, and our relationship to Earth.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 7 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This book is published by Rodale Press and so I suspect that there is a little bias. Having said that I have worked with some of these people and worked with some of the people mentioned in this book.

I highly recommend this book for anybody interested in Agriculture and soil science. I can give a long critique of this book; however, it work become another book. The point that needs to be made over and over again is that big agri business runs the ARS research. There were scientist that were bucking the trend. I spent many years studying soils; however, in the end I was left hi and dry by the ARS - my employee for over 20 + years. ( )
  BobVTReader | May 24, 2021 |
I learned a lot about soil in this book. There are many interesting characters with their stories of how they learned to bring back good soil--soil with the ability to hold water and carbon so that crops can be produced more abundantly and at less cost. Fewer or no pesticides and fertilizers are needed, meaning less pollution. The raising of animals is covered and how grazing on the grasses in the correct way also builds good soil. This means better land, better life for the animals, and better meat at the end. The history of animals and their predators led to this insight of this method. Good soil requires an interaction of of diverse life, especially what goes on underground. Fascinating book. ( )
  ajlewis2 | Jul 11, 2018 |
The book does not address terra preta (biochar) but it's not the only method to build carbon in soil. This book explains how we can sequester tremendous amounts of carbon while making our food supplies more resilient and resistant to extremes. We don't have to grow vast forests or even seed the oceans with iron.

Well worth reading. ( )
  clmerle | Jul 22, 2017 |
I learned a lot about soil in this book. There are many interesting characters with their stories of how they learned to bring back good soil--soil with the ability to hold water and carbon so that crops can be produced more abundantly and at less cost. Fewer or no pesticides and fertilizers are needed, meaning less pollution. The raising of animals is covered and how grazing on the grasses in the correct way also builds good soil. This means better land, better life for the animals, and better meat at the end. The history of animals and their predators led to this insight of this method. Good soil requires an interaction of of diverse life, especially what goes on underground. Fascinating book. ( )
  ajlewis2 | Feb 24, 2016 |
This is a vital book to have read, and just what I had been looking for since my days as an Agronomy student. It took me quite a while to get through it as it referenced other works that diverted me.

The most valuable section is the second chapter, reviewing recent soil science. I have recently been learning about mychorrhizal fungi, but I had never before encountered the word ‘humin,’ which is the very stable carbon rich part of healthy soil.

The idea that a particular type of hard grazing is good for the land and plants is remarkably clever. The review of best practices in a variety of ecologies makes so much common sense and they all promote rich collections of wildlife habitat as well. Let us get back in synch with our Mother, shall we?

The back side of the book outlines some of the new alliances being formed among farmers, environmental activists and scientists. It is a very hopeful book and should be read widely.

examples:
Matt Liebmann, Iowa State University ecologist. If fields are left untilled until spring, two species of field mice will consume up to 70% of weed seeds, dramatically reducing the need for herbicides.

Winter flooding of California rice fields is an alternative method to dispose of crop debris (instead of burning it!) and also creates perfect seasonal habitat for migratory birds, which add rich organic manures to the fields. Duh!

David C. Johnson New Mexico State University soil biologist found that the biological balance of bacteria and fungi in composts is much more important than the chemical components in their effectiveness. This aspect is completely missed in traditional soils testing. ( )
1 vota 2wonderY | Aug 22, 2015 |
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Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices-and, especially, modern industrial agriculture-have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world's soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for "our great green hope"-a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon-and potentially reverse global warming. As the granddaughter of farmers and the daughter of avid gardeners, Ohlson has long had an appreciation for the soil. A chance conversation with a local chef led her to the crossroads of science, farming, food, and environmentalism and the discovery of the only significant way to remove carbon dioxide from the air-an ecological approach that tends not only to plants and animals but also to the vast population of underground microorganisms that fix carbon in the soil. Ohlson introduces the visionaries-scientists, farmers, ranchers, and landscapers-who are figuring out in the lab and on the ground how to build healthy soil, which solves myriad problems- drought, erosion, air and water pollution, and food quality, as well as climate change. Her discoveries and vivid storytelling will revolutionize the way we think about our food, our landscapes, our plants, and our relationship to Earth.

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