The health of our soils, and the amount of organic life and carbon they store, is a key part of the climate change challenge.
We also know that growing food locally helps reduce food miles and food waste. And communities are stronger and more resilient when they’re connected locally to where their food comes from.
Soil4Climate is about taking all these good things to the next level.
Soil4Climate is about connecting and energising communities who want to grow. Being part of Soil4Climate will empower people to take meaningful climate action through local and regenerative organic food production.
So what is Soil4Climate?
Soil4Climate is an international movement exploring the connection between soil health and climate change.
Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, Soil4Climate is a community project to build soil health and demonstrate the positive climate impacts of organic growing.
Many farmers and government agencies are working on the link between soil and climate emissions at a bigger scale. The opportunity to increase soil carbon by changing farming could be part of the national effort to reduce our emissions.
Our project is a small part of these global and national efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
How does the project work?
We measure the soil structure, soil carbon, and microbes (small fungi and bacteria that live in the soil) at each Soil4Climate location. Then we simply get growing. As food is produced we begin to improve the soil using organic principles.
Soil4Climate supports both the testing and the growing. For example we can help organise and pay for testing. We can also provide education, guidance and connection with experienced growers. In this way, Soil4Climate will help us all to learn and become more confident growing food in a way that builds soil health.
Soil Health measurements are taken again at regular intervals. As a result, a long term picture of the changing soil will emerge. This information can help guide how the site is managed, and will be a powerful demonstration of regenerative organics.
How can I get involved?
We’re starting this project with three sites in the Wellington region and will be looking for more around the country soon.
You can read more about the launch of Soil4Climate here.
To be a test site, you need a suitable area of land for growing which can be maintained for at least 3 years and ideally for longer. We recommend a plot 4m x 4m for the test site. You also need to have two people willing to join the project as a kaitiaki/gardener and as a tester or scientist.
This project is suitable for community groups, marae, schools, and for anyone who is already growing and wants to know more about their soil. We’re also happy to work with people new to organic growing.