File Size: 1352 KB
Print Length: 258 pages
Publisher: Rodale (March 18, 2014)
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
The book is a good primer on the role of bacterias -- fungi and germs -- in maintaining soil health and sequestering organic carbon. But it neglects other equally important soil preservation and sequestration methods such as remineralization. The writer describes the hard clay in her back yard as an example of " soil with few microbial aggregates", but a soil test could possibly pinpoint the situation as excess magnesium requiring addition of calcium to ease the soil. Minerals are the stuff of which microbes are made, and soil fertility and herb health can be significantly improved by addition of basalt rock dust or sea minerals.
The book covers the role of livestock in soil remediation. This can be a controversial topic, in part because cattle are a major supply of atmospheric methane. But anaerobic digesters can perform the same function as cow's stomachs by using an commercial scale, without methane emissions, while providing useful energy co-generation:
The book also neglects biochar, one of the most effective mechanisms for completely sequestering carbon, enhancing soil fertility, and creating liquefied fuels:
The book is a good introduction to soil and climate, but the interested viewer should explore other information sources that better convey the full potential of land use for climate stabilization., I haven't achieved a soil scientist which i didn't like. They are always quirky, hopeful, and excited about what they research. It's probably that childlike connection to playing in the dirt... and the realization that is performs such a important role in life. Although Ohlson is not a soil scientist, she is not stranger to digging heavy into topics.
I understood that this would be a good book to read when I picked it up, and as I keep reading, my conviction was supported. It is a quick read that will reach a popular audience, beyond those familiar with Ruth Stout ( Gardening Without Work ) and William Bryant Logan ( Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth ).
If you are looking to learn about "new" carbon sequestering techniques, this book is a great introduction to composting, cover vegetation, no-till farming, and other very modern agro-ecological science. You'll certainly be fascinated to learn how Gabe Brown of North Dakota (who We saw present at the 2012 Quivira Conference! ) created 4-feet deep top soil over his land by going back to the basic principles!
This is a great book - read and move along!, Another good book about the value of the Soil and how harmful commercial farming really is. I am not really a International Warmer but am an organic farmer knowing out there health has been significantly effected by the over abundance of chemicals used both in the soil and our food and medications., This book implies we have been taking a look at the environmental crisis all wrong. While it is indeed necessary to reduce carbon emissions, we also have to fully appreciate that the earth is alive, a very complex ecosystem with many feedback loops. There are many implications that flow from this, but one of the most immediately important is that by changing farming and ranching practices, we can take huge amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and safely sequester it in the soil, where it will have many other positive results, like reducing soil erosion, enhancing crop yields, and enhancing the health of the ecosystem.
We could, indeed, save the earth by saving our soil., We could do it. I know we can. One field at a time, we can save this planet. And that we can start with one garden at a time. This is one of my favorite books because it made me realize that it's not all hopeless., This book becomes 5 stars because it is current, easy to read and relevant. That is simply a summary that will give you names and concepts to research further. Expense tell you what to do on your farm. I have already been a permaculture fan for 23 years and am have found some problems with soil tilling and hot composting. It was nice to read of people who have found the same problems and read of the ideas and solutions. It should take me two to about three years to read the major works suggested in this book and see how those ideas work for me. I did find the book to be 'over selling' concepts, but it wasn't so bad which i was put off. That does mean though, that the book is a skimmer, with useful information coming in about once every 8 pages with the intervening words either setting the stage or selling the point. Also i skipped the first 80 pages. It gets 5 stars because when it hits the idea, it results a bulls eye time and time again.
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