Organic Agriculture and Perennial Grasses, Not Green-Washed Corporate-Ag, are the Solution

Dr. Kristine Nichols and Mark 'Coach' Smallwood, of the Rodale Institute, are walking with a message and carrying a solution.

The solution to many of the biospheric blights our current consumption creates is, as Dr. Kristine Nichols and Mark 'Coach' Smallwood of the Rodale Institute are trying to draw broader attention to, beneath our feet. It's the soil, it's organic agriculture's ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Combined with 'the Perennial Solution - perennials are thrifty, their long, massive root systems hold on to soil, water, and fertilizer, which means less pollution as well as sequestered carbon.

Many studies like the 40 year multinational, multidisciplinary, peer reviewed study 'Organic Agriculture and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in the Context of Food Security' have proven that "If farmers could stop planting GMOs, and make the transition to organic farming, farm and ranch land can become a significant sink or sequestration pool for greenhouse gasses, literally sucking excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and sequestering them safely in the soil, where they belong."

The data that Rodale has collected since 1981, and others have corroborated, from Rodale's Farming Systems Trial has revealed that soil under organic agriculture management can accumulate about 1,000 pounds of carbon per acre foot of soil each year. This accumulation is equal to about 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide per acre taken from the air and sequestered into soil organic matter.

Billions of tons of carbon - excess waste generated extractive capitalism, can be returned to the soil, our water resources can suffer one less huge contamination source, our pollinators would throw no-pesticide party, our weather as well as our climate would gradually 'relax', especially after the heating already built in by the 30 year timelag ends.

In addition to capturing more carbon as soil organic matter, organic agricultural production methods also emit less greenhouse gases through more efficient use of fuels. Energy analysis by Dr. David Pimentel from Cornell University show that organic systems use only 63% of the energy input used by the same sized 'conventional' agri-business operations.

Family farmers produce nearly 80 percent of the world’s food, things can change, there are solutions. So why don't our 'dear leaders' hear them? Money honey, as always. Capitalism ate government for lunch long ago, it had the MSM for dessert. Small scale, locally produced, hands on organic framing doesn't make the rich richer [the opposite in fact] so it can't possibly get access to the microphone. Organic farming and the reestablishment of perennial grasslands IS a real challenge to the status quo.

One of the articles published in the first muddy month here was 'Organic Gardening and Carbon Sequestration'. Re-reading it just now and then going over my most recent offering on the topic i'm happy to report that not much has changed in five years between my ears, but sad to report not much has changed beyond that space either. Please read Soil not Oil by Vandana Shiva and please visit, follow and support La Via Campesina in their bottom-up fight against the forces of evil globally.

Kristine and Mark are due to arrive on Oct. 16th from eastern Pennsylvania after completing their 160-mile journey to Washington, DC with a walking sticks, a brimmed hats, and a simple but profound message: Organic agriculture can reduce the output of carbon dioxide by 37-50%, reduce costs for the farmer, and increase our planet’s ability to positively absorb and utilize greenhouse gases.

Of course, the giddy miracles aren't even dreamable without reduced demand for needless crap, without conservation, without reducing our demands on this one blue dot we share.  But if somehow ...be it recession, deflation, degrowth or outright economic collapse, disease, or enlightenment...we do figure out how to be happy with less, we can re-establish the natural balance thrown off kilter right now by our over-indulgence and through long practiced methods of organic agricultural methods re-establish a little bit on the 'garden'.