soil

Gabriel Farm, Sebastopol
KRCB/Steve Mencher

It doesn’t take a huge farm to make a big difference for the climate. Reporter Steve Mencher visited an orchard in Sebastopol recently on a tour organized by the California Climate and Agriculture Network -  CalCAN. The idea was to witness how initiatives developed in Sacramento are affecting practices on the ground in Sonoma County.

Carbon Farming with Biochar

Feb 21, 2017
Raymond Baltar, Sonoma Biochar Initiative

In centuries past, bio-char helped grow food for the indigenous people of the Amazon basin for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years before the first Spaniards arrived. Now it could help the 21st century world to slow global climate change.

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative is hosting a workshop on the process this Friday at Circle Bar Ranch south of Sonoma. Find details here.

'Symphony of the Soil' Digs Beneath the Surface

Nov 25, 2016

Dirt is ancient, alive, and essential to agriculture. But it is not necessarily eternal. And that can be a big problem.

You can see the trailer for Symphony of the Soil below. And watch the entire documentary on KRCB television Saturday afternoon, Nov. 26 at 3 pm, or next Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 10:30 pm.

Spreading the Word About Soil

Jun 4, 2015

  Dirt is ancient, alive, and essential to agriculture. But it is not necessarily eternal. And that can be a big problem.

North Bay Bountiful is a new focused programming initiative being introduced this month. As with our ongoing Health Connections reporting, it will include radio, television, web and community-based components to tell stories that are unique to our region, our food system, and our way of life. Learn more about it here.

Indigenous People's Group Seeks Wider Support

Apr 9, 2014

  The conservative leadership in Canada is pushing for greater extraction of that country’s oil and natural gas resources, and has taken steps to curtail the rights of native tribes in the process. As you might expect, those actions are getting some push-back from the indigenous people. Today we hear from a leader of one of those groups, the woman-led grassroots movement called Idle No More.

'The Soil Will Save Us'

Apr 4, 2014

  Plowing, using pesticides and fertilizers and other common agricultural practices actually contribute to global warming. But adopting alternative practices could reverse that, as a growing number of small farmers are already demonstrating.

  Industrial agriculture has dominated the industry for years now, but with a far higher carbon footprint than traditional methods. But reporter Kristin Ohlson says small farmers who are reverting to those historic practices are finding them profitable as well as green.

New Database Captures the Benefits of Biochar

Jul 18, 2013

  The origins of biochar, a charcoal-based soil amendment, are almost mythic. In the Amazon Basin, a rainforest region with typically infertile soils, some areas have been discovered to have ground that is almost black and rich in nutrients. The soil’s dark color is derived from its high organic matter content, believed to originate from charcoal added to the soil some 2,500 years ago, either intentionally or as a waste product from cooking.