The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson
In The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet (Rodale, 2014) bestselling author Kristin Ohlson explores the relationship between soil microbiology, climate change and food production. She approaches the topic in a way that’s approachable for the general reader who knows little about it or why it’s important to care about the soil.
She notes that atmospheric carbon, released by plowing and fuel combustion, can be captured and retained in the form of humus, which benefits the climate and the soil. She recounts the experiences of dozens of farmers, ranchers, scientists and environmentalists who are at the forefront of developing new techniques to manage land with an eye toward building soil carbon.
The interesting work in restorative ag that she discusses is almost entirely focused on large-scale grassland grazing and grain production. Little is presented that would be directly transferable to Ventura County; we don’t do that type of farming and ranching here. However, several local projects are consistent with that philosophy, including Limoneira’s composting partnership with Agromin, the increasing use of cover crops—both in orchards and vegetable fields—and our cattlemen’s efforts to keep their herds from overgrazing.