Jan 222015

by Avis Licht

I never get tired of talking about compost. Those around me might become a little weary of my composting enthusiasm, but when it comes to alchemy and transformation, compost is right at the top of the chart. To the list of amazing contributions composting makes to the soil and plants, you can add that it is a mighty weapon against climate change. I am not making this up.

Worms make beautiful, healthy soil

A little kitchen leftovers, a few worms, a small box, and voila – beautiful soil.

An experiment in Marin County has uncovered a disarmingly simple and benign way to remove carbon dioxide from the air and potentially turn the vast rangeland of California and elsewhere into a means of sequestering carbon into the soil and mitigating the effects of global warming.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle in October 2014, if compost from green waste were applied to just 5 percent of the state’s grazing lands, the soil could capture a year’s worth of greenhouse gas emissions from California’s farm and forestry industries.

The effect is cumulative, meaning the soil keeps absorbing carbon dioxide even after just one application of compost. Plants pull carbon dioxide from the air through photosynthesis and transfer a portion of the carbon to the soil through their roots. Soil microorganisms then turn the carbon into into a stable form commonly known as humus.

This not only sequesters the carbon but improves the soil’s fertility, boosting plant growth and capturing more carbon while also improving the soil’s ability to absorb and retain water.

To find out more about sequestering carbon through rangeland composting, read the full article here.

This illustration comes from the Marin Carbon Project website. Find out much more about carbon farming  and it’s immense possibilities for doing good.

And don’t forget to compost your own green wastes at home!

Need some suggestions? Read about them in my blog: Easy composting.

Need a compost bin? Get one right here: Composting Resources.

Jan 182012

by Avis Licht –

 Water and the World

The earth through a drop of water – Thank you Markus Reugals, photographer

 Here’s an amazing fact:

All the water that is on the earth now has always been here!  No water has ever been gained or lost in the water cycle. Global warming is radically changing the availability of water on earth and it’s distribution: either through storms, hurricanes or droughts.

Glaciers hold water in the form of ice.  On mountains, these glaciers slowly release water in the summer for farmers to use on their crops. As the Earth’s temperature warms up glaciers are not only receding, but disappearing.  This is a huge problem for farmers who will not have water available to them in the summer when they need it.

The driest year in many decades

December 2011

These two photos were taken in the same place exactly one year apart. One year had the most snow in modern history, the following year, had the least snow recorded.


One year the snow is heavier than ever

December 2010


Being conscious of changes in our climate will encourage us to make good choices in our use of  precious water resources.  Those of us who grow food will have an opportunity to make many  choices in the garden – let us choose wisely.

In the next period of time, I’ll be talking about how to create healthy soil, rain water harvesting, slowing the movement of water and returning it into the water table, best irrigation practices and much more.

There’s so much we can do to take positive action in the garden.

After two months of winter drought - Rain!

After months of drought we look forward to rain - Let it begin!





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