Minneapolis adding agriculture to tools against climate change

The Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution today to add additional tools to fight climate change while bolstering resilience in local food systems. The resolution supports “regenerative agriculture,” a holistic land management practice that restores soil health and its carbon content to benefit the environment and the people living in it. The use of biochar is a practice of regenerative agriculture; biochar is an ancient technology that pulls carbon from the air and returns it to the soil for faster growing, larger plants. Carbon is the main greenhouse gas emission contributing to climate change. The resolution states that the world’s top scientists overwhelmingly agree that climate change poses significant near- and long-term threats to communities, the economy and the future.

Regenerative agriculture strategies in an urban setting that cultivate healthy soil and store carbon include using compost in gardens and landscapes, planting a variety of deep-rooted native and perennial species, eliminating pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, tilling the soil as little as possible, and reducing food waste through onsite composting and municipal organics recycling. These practices all support production of nutritious, locally grown food. They could also provide economic opportunities related to urban farming, landscaping, and compost and biochar production, especially for people in communities facing disproportionate negative impacts from climate change.

Biochar can be mixed with poor soil to regenerate the soil and in turn nourish plants and the pollinators that feed on them, vegetables and even trees so they grow larger faster. Trees, in turn, pull more carbon from the air – the bigger the tree, the more the effect. With precipitation trending toward fewer but heavier rainfalls, biochar can help keep water out of the storm sewers as it holds up to 16 times its weight in water, storing it in the soil where plants and trees can use it.

Video

Watch and share this video explaining what biochar is and how it helps our climate and our food.

 

Published Jun 21, 2019

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