The Cycles of Nature

Posted by on May 11, 2007 in Thoughts | One Comment

800px-water_cycle

Forests form a key component in the natural hydronic (water) cycle. Sublimation and evapotranspiration carry water from the oceans to the mountains. They also moderate temperature. The sun provides the energy.

 

Capturing rainfall water from a roof, stored in a tank, pumped uphill by a solar pump and gravity fed to nurture a vegetable garden is possibly the smartest investment you can make towards a healthy productive life. Integrated in the natural cycle. Growing food will immediately and irreversibly open your awareness to the preciousness of fertile, healthy soils.
Incredibly valuable, able to store and grow vast wealth and return essential dividends.

 

Recent investigations into the highly fertile terra preta soils of the amazon basin have led to some astonishing connections.

 

A process called pyrolysis controls the conversion of woody biomass to wood gasses and charcoal. The gases can be burnt without the same carbon cost as the fossil fuels. The carbon originally sequestered by the tree from the atmosphere to form its mass is also stored in the charcoal. When this char is crushed up and spread over soils their structure allows the flourishing of life. Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus bind to this and are retained in the soil. It also holds moisture in the soil. The essential microcolgy of fungis and bacterias have habitat. Fertility is retained in the soils, for thousands of years.

 

Fertilizers are often water soluble. When it rains they accumulate into the runoff that goes into waterways. The farmer must put more on and this repeats. This concentration has massive impacts down the line. The agrichar holds the nutrients in the soil for the plants where they are wanted – clean water continues its cycle.

 

1 Comment

  1. Wholistic » Blog Archive » Urban Permaculture Tour
    November 21, 2008

    […] Interesting to see a charcoal maker in place to convert their considerable store of salvaged trees into a usable product. I’ve spoken a little bit about this biochar process before. […]