1 day ago
i’ve been sitting in the november sunshine, reading, minding the goats on their tethers as they browse and graze down part of our garden. i’ve been reading about the monoculture of industrial farming that lays bare vast tracts of our soils to bake uncovered in the sun, losing carbon to the air and with it the ability to hold water, sprayed with fertilisers, pesticides that kill off the microbial forces that would restore root relationships to sink that carbon deep into the earth. i’ve been reading about soils and the water and carbon they once held so much of, washing away into the rising sea. this would put off the mood of even the happy kid goat who only wants to nibble the book. thankfully the books i’m reading illustrate how we might reverse this process, to instead sink water, draw down carbon, nurture biodiversity in the soil and the plants, restore nutrients to our food and even balance to our water systems, weather systems. in fact, though monoculture farms and powerful agrochemical corporations seem out of reach of our influence, they too are vulnerable to the market’s whims, and we can choose not to buy their products, we can demand soil-protections and water-protections, we can support carbon farmers. but there’s more we can do that is in our immediate reach. in our own backyards, yes, the vast tracts of monoculture in the form of the lawn. those of us who do not own vast landscapes may yet have a bit of lawn, and it is a start. on moving in we swapped the ride-on mower for a scythe and a reel mower. we sheet-mulched for potagers and perennial beds. we planted trees, shrubs, vines, all edible. we slowed some water by capturing greywater in mulch beds, to filter slowly into the orchard. soon we’ll swap asphalt for metal shed roofs and capture, store, sink more water. we’ve started to remove the asphalt driveway, to sow clovers and a diversity of pasture grasses into the lawn. now we’re grazing it, making a holistic plan to move the goats, ducks, hens like wild herds, a tiny version of the biological processes that built rich soil on grasslands, savannahs. i’d love more ideas for gardening to sink water, carbon. what have you been trying?