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View Diary: Global Warming: What Can I Do? (137 comments)

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  •  Not just grasses with extensive roots. (6+ / 0-)

    Go back to grass-fed animals for what meat we do eat, and have responsible numbers of animals per acre grazed.

    One of the details in Omnivore's Dilemma is that the farm the author visited had gotten its soil quality back because of an interesting feature of grass: it seeks to maintain a certain root to leaf area ratio. When an animal grazes, the grass abandons the extra root mass. It regrows the root matter as the above ground leaf grows back, BUT all the carbon for both come from the CO2-O2 cycle, not the ground. The carbon from the old root just sits there, along with all the other nutrients in it.

    That was just everyday southeastern pastureland 'nature let it grow' field grass. The farmer never seeded it; it was there when he started.

    Graze sustainably, and the grass gets nibbled again right at the point the recovery growth slows down... which maximizes the calories taken in by the livestock but also (and the book didn't point this out but it follows) maximizes the abandoned root material's mass and carbon content.

    It wouldn't be as fast as making terra preta, but it might still be a source of carbon sequestration over time, while still allowing for (a lesser amount of) dietary meat.

    Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

    by Cassandra Waites on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:52:30 PM PST

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    •  Salt marsh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel, kyril

      fed animals are very good. They raise them in coastal areas around here and can get premium prices for them (or did before we all went  broke and started eating beans, thereby adding to the methane problem).

      "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

      by northsylvania on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:11:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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