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Lexington Farm First Massachusetts Entry in Soil Carbon Challenge

Planet-TECH News Wire

Lexington Farm First Massachusetts Entry in Soil Carbon Challenge
Challenge co-founder says: “Occupy the carbon cycle!"

Meadow Mist Farm in Lexington is the first Massachusetts entry in the Soil Carbon Challenge, an international competition to measure how quickly land managers can turn atmospheric carbon into soil organic matter, essentially reversing climate change.

Peter Donovan, of the Soil Carbon Coalition, a non-profit agency overseeing the Challenge, was in the Boston area for two days on November 11 and 12 to give presentations and to take soil samples at the Meadow Mist Farm.  According to Donovan, the samples, taken at three different depths, will be sent to labs where the carbon is measured in order to establish a baseline profile. These profiles are then posted on the web, creating a high standard of transparency. The Challenge is a ten-year competition with followup profiles taken periodically.

John Moriary of the Meadow Mist Farm says, “When this test is repeated in another five years or ten years, it will be a good indicator of the health of the soil, and will help us learn what kinds of practices could have contributed to soils getting better or worse overtime”.

Lauren Yaffee, also of Meadow Mist Farm said, “We’re taking a baseline of soil samples to find out what the carbon content is in the soil. In three, six, and nine years, we'll take more samples to see if carbon is being retained in the soils and if the level of the soils is being built up on the farm, which would be good for the farm and the environment.”

Mr. Donovan is traveling across the country recruiting land managers to participate in the Challenge, demonstrating how to take the samples.  According to Donovan, our greatest hope in breaking the cycle of global warming and groundwater evaporation, is to get more carbon into the soil.  He stated, “The only way to ameliorate this vicious cycle, is to get more carbon into the soil, because water will follow."

In homage to the “Occupy” movements now going on around the world, Mr. Donovan says, "We must occupy the carbon cycle." He continued, "As important as it is to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels, the living biosphere is our big ally in enhancing the carbon cycle. The Soil Carbon Challenge is focused on helping creative, innovative, committed land managers monitor their progress towards soil health by measuring carbon.”

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