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  • : The blog of Frank Beswick. It deals with my interests in religious, philosophical spiritual matters and horticulture/self-reliance
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August 31 2017 5 31 /08 /August /2017 18:11

A recent report estimated that in the twelve thousand years since humanity first developed agriculture about a hundred and thirty three billion tons of carbon has been lost to the soil. Much of that is due to a number of factors: poor grazing practices that result in desertification; excessive ploughing which causes losses of carbon in land turned over by the plough, loss of peat lands, which are a great carbon bank, and soil erosion caused by loss of tree cover,particularly on slopes. This carbon is going into the atmosphere as CO2. Maybe it is dwarfed by the 450 billion tons emitted by industry, but the smaller amount adds to the greater to worsen the problem. 

Yes, it is for governments to sort out the problem, but ordinary citizens can do their bit, lessening the amount emitted and using up. We are all told to plant trees, but using wooden rather than plastic products will create a store of CO2 in the wood that we use, and long lasting trees will create a temporary bank of CO2 that lasts  for as long as the tree does. Supporting the creation of woods and peat bogs is also a help,for the latter constitute a vast carbon storage bank. 

But what we do in our gardens matters. We need to be dedicated composters. To do this we should ensure that every piece of vegetable waste we make is recycled through the compost bin, if it is not eaten. I have a garden compost system that takes up the weeds from the allotment and a bin for kitchen compost [uncooked] which is richer than mere garden compost. I am getting a wormery to use up cooked food, for worms make a rich compost. I have also created a leaf mould bin to store up leaves to be used as mulch. The principle by which I live is to recycle as much as possible and convert to compost rather than waste. 

Individuals alone will not solve the world's problems, but they can play their part.




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Derdriu Marriner 09/01/2017 16:47

Very clever about separate cooked food, garden weed, kitchen scrap and leaf mould containers! Are carbon- and nitrogen-rich compostables in alternating layers in your compost containers? How do the leaves get into the leaf mould bin -- could be back-aching if you're raking -- and do they look shredded or whole as mulch? Which of the composting worms do you use? On this side of the pond, red wigglers (Eisenia fetida) get prioritized.

frankbeswick 09/01/2017 17:23

Composting worms: brandlings, Eisenia fetida
I don't stick assiduously to layers,but tend to mix up the compost, which gets good results
I simply rake up spare leaves and place them in the container, then wait for the slow process of decay to take effect.
I have not a shredder for mulched leaves.
I have eaten Aegropodium podagraria, but the rest of the family will not eat it.
I have been making comfrey liquid.