Joint FarmED Founder, Celene Wilkinson, has chosen this week’s featured book. It’s published by Chelsea Green, our partners for the inaugural FarmED Lit Fest, taking place next June.
Grass, Soil, Hope: A Journey Through Carbon Country
Chelsea Green, 2014
This optimistic, hopeful book about possible solutions to some of the environmental challenges faced by the planet is a tonic in the difficult times in which we find ourselves this year.
It’s an easy read, interesting to farmers as well as anyone with any interest in food production and the environment. It simply tells the stories of regenerative farmers and ranchers across the globe who are transforming the lands with which they are working, into thriving, healthy, beautiful places and, crucially, carbon ‘sinks’. Working with nature and natural systems, they are restoring and rebuilding exhausted soils with diverse planting of grasses, legumes and wildflowers, and holistically managed livestock grazing.
The benefits of these systems are immense in terms of soil health, nutritional content of food, human health, water quality, flood mitigation, drought resistance, wildlife recovery and, ultimately, planetary health. A biologically healthy soil, managed regeneratively, draws carbon out of the atmosphere via photosynthesis and holds it underground. Scientists suggest that by increasing the carbon content of the planet’s soils by just 2% this could offset a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. More, a diverse landscape with varied habitat will attract and support an abundance of wildlife, from the microbes in the soil to the largest of mammals. It also offers the sights, sounds, smells and serenity that many human beings seek from a visit to the countryside and which are sadly missing in fields of barren monoculture.
Since this book was written in 2014, regenerative farming is thankfully becoming more mainstream - Celene Wilkinson.
Available through Bookshop.org