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Ali Baba's Carbon Farm

13 May 202216 min reading

The main purpose of carbon farms is to balance carbon sequestration and humus formation. 58% of humus consists of organic carbon. The benefits of humic soil, which we learned in primary school, are countless. Likewise, some of the dark brown dust that is said to have come from the desert lately is none other than the soil of our drought-fighting country. Soils with low organic matter and humus are doomed to die. Humus feeds the living things in the soil, is the habitat of microorganisms in the soil, and protects the groundwater.

Mine Ataman
Founder of Seed Platform

Although the carbon economy is not very economical, it is the new star of the business world. Since the carbon issue can be milked for all it's worth, the business world is attacking the issue from all quarters.

Carbon exchange, carbon banking, and carbon swaps have become showy businesses. The beautiful people of my country opened metaverse shops less than 24 hours after I wrote about the relationship between metaverse and agriculture. It fell to my lot to write about carbon farms. I know that as soon as I read it, there will be dozens of investors who will invest in carbon farms.

"Carbon farms" are one of the most popular subjects among agricultural investors. Investors who have been on the road after organic agriculture for a long time needed new blood. Now, they have it.

Since there will be investment, it is necessary to understand what "carbon" is. Because we are in trouble with the false facts also in this item. So, first of all, what is the problem?

PUT YOURSELF TOGETHER, CARBON!

Carbon has been very unstable in recent years. Carbon emission is the name given to the amount of carbon dioxide gas emitted into the atmosphere. Normally, carbon is everywhere: in the air, in the water, in the soil, in what we eat... Carbon is the source of life. In the respiration of humans and animals, in the photosynthesis of plants, in plant and animal wastes mixed with the soil. All of these create the natural carbon order and protect the natural balance in nature. The natural balance is disturbed as a result of the desire of human beings. More carbon is emitted than the amount that can be captured. This causes warming. The causes of the carbon problem are basic topics such as population growth, industrialization, scarcity of green areas, and uncontrolled release of greenhouse gases. Deep down, humanity's tendency to have more.

Carbon is among the causes and consequences of the climate crisis. The carbon and climate crises are both inputs and outputs. To stop the effects of climate change, 200 billion tons of carbon dioxide must be removed from the atmosphere. 200 billion tons is a common problem for the world, but the rich are eager to remove it whereas the poor are restless. Because the rich have nothing to do with carbon anymore, their systems can now work without producing carbon. However, the developing ones are still in the works. Switching to renewable energy without fossil fuels is costly because the game is not worth the candle. As such, it is necessary to look at what the developing ones can do.

Carbon farms are a golden opportunity for both developed and developing countries.

LET THE WORLD GREEN AGAIN WITH CARBON FARMS

Carbon also means vitality and health in the soil. Carbon is what makes the soil strong and fertile. For carbon to exist, plants must continue to live on the soil, and in the natural balance of the planet, no soil remains empty. Problems begin when the top of the soil is left without vegetation.

ROBBER AGRICULTURE

We do not give the soil the organic carbon it needs, we burn agricultural products or wastes and produce a renewable energy source. We are burning the onionskin without returning it to the field. All wastes must be separated and returned to the soil, otherwise, the soil will starve and cannot be fed properly. We use the soil for production and forget the rest. We don't care what the soil is like after the harvest, whether it is hungry or full, what it needs until the next planting. The only thing that matters for us is how much it yields. Soil both captures carbon and produces nutrients that will feed us.

CARBON MIGRATIONS ON THE WAY

While climate-related migrations took a short break, war-related ones caused the abandonment of many agricultural lands. Nowadays, agricultural lands that can take a part in production are being left to their fate due to carbon migration. The evil secrets within the climate crisis show that agriculture cannot be done in many regions. Many capitals will be underwater. At this very point, migrations begin again. The new migration is called "carbon migrations". Young people from poor countries with high carbon footprints are already on their way. High carbon steals the future of the disadvantaged and the poor, preventing them from getting a job and having a happy future. That's why sane minds are on the way to countries that have reduced their carbon footprint. What is left behind is dead agricultural lands.

KNOW YOUR PLACE, CARBON

One of the most important causes of carbon emissions is fossil fuels. Every new vehicle sold, every soda drunk, every step we take increases the planet's carbon emissions. Every living creature emits carbon like a hand grenade without a pin. Electric vehicles need electricity. At the end of the day, we need energy.


In this case, to protect ourselves from the negative effects of excess carbon in the atmosphere, we will either reduce carbon emissions or convert this carbon into organic carbon and do more agriculture and expand forest areas so that it is beneficial for all living things.

Methods such as organic agriculture, permaculture, and renewable agriculture seem to be the best solutions to restore nature and reduce carbon emissions. Pesticides, improper use of fertilizers, single-crop farming, and large animal farms impoverish the soil while reducing the absorption of water. Thus, soil can store less water. Less water means less nutrient-dense food. Soil is sick, it both stores less water and provides less carbon dioxide absorption. Carbon emissions are rising.

In a nutshell, reduce carbon emissions and increase the carbon storage and decomposition power of the soil.

The European Union, Green Deal, now supports carbon agriculture after the strategies to support local production. Carbon credit and carbon cooperatives are part of the new-age carbon economy. In developed countries such as Australia, "carbon agriculture initiatives" are being established and carbon is tried to be balanced and reduced and financial resources are being created for carbon reduction.

DRAW THE CARBON MAP

Countries are now adding their carbon maps next to their geographical maps. According to the new carbon maps, many social issues such as credits, life curves, rent level, and school quality are being determined. Bad schools give service in areas with high carbon footprints. The ghettos of the new age are places with high carbon footprints. They are full of inequalities of opportunity. Treatment according to the carbon footprint will enter the legal system. The days when carbon meter devices are placed under the skin are coming soon. For agricultural production, it's time to draw the carbon map of Anatolia and get back to work.

CARBON-REPELLING SOIL

We can think of agricultural areas also as a carbon-repelling mechanism that transforms carbon. With soil management, agricultural lands can be transformed into GHG-absorbing areas. They can also improve soil health and increase biodiversity.


Unconscious agriculture both disrupts the balance of the soil and reduces its quality. The secret of nature is being cyclical. Everything is either the input or the output of something, there is neither a vacant moment nor a material. Everything that comes from the soil must return to the soil in a balanced and healthy way. When agricultural wastes are burned, soil microorganisms fed with organic carbon in it starve and eventually die. If they die, the soil cannot retain water and the plants cannot grow. The priority is to feed the soil.

THE NEW TIGEMS OF ANATOLIA CARBON FARMS

Every agricultural field is actually a carbon farm. It is a new invention for the miscognizant whereas ancient knowledge for the cognizant. Carbon farms have been popular in every era of agricultural production since the planet existed. There had been natural carbon farms with practices such as permaculture, mulch, alternating agriculture, and compost in Mayans, Urartians, and Egyptian civilizations. It was just unnamed. The only difference from past carbon farms is that their purpose was farming and their methods were ethical and planet-friendly. However, nowadays, agricultural production has started to harm the planet so much that the solution is in ancient knowledge. We hope to benefit from "carbon farms" that are thousands of years old. Our goal is not just to do agriculture, but to create a room that will capture excess carbon.

Wherever there is agricultural production; soil, plants, soil microorganisms, and wastes transform the organic carbon in the soil into inorganic carbon and provide a natural balance. With the right biological process in agricultural production, agricultural crops absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release carbon into the soil through root secretions, seeds, plant wastes. Microorganisms in the soil also convert organic carbon into inorganic and store it. It is possible to increase the carbon sequestration and decomposition capacity of the soil by establishing carbon farms.

Carbon is the basis of life on the planet. While plants take in carbon dioxide and produce their food through photosynthesis, they also produce a breath for humans. The source of life is the carbon cycle, this cyclical order has been circulating with various stakeholders for millions of years. This order ensures that the heat entering the planet is less than the heat going out. Carbon dioxide, a carbon compound, is the protector and shield of the earth's environment. This is called the greenhouse effect. Just as greenhouses protect the products grown in the appropriate environment, carbon dioxide protects the world. As the carbon dioxide in the world increased, global warming emerged. If the carbon dioxide rate decreased, an ice age would occur. Therefore, the main task of carbon farms is to balance the carbon.

WASTED ORGANIC MATERIAL IN NATIONAL WEALTH

The most important part of carbon farming is soil maintenance. The health resource that the soil needs is in the vegetable and food wastes. 40% of the dry weight of plants is carbon. The nutritional value of food depends on the amount of organic matter in the soil. The organic matter content of healthy soil should be 3%. 58% of organic matter is carbon on average. There is approximately 500 tons of soil in an agricultural area of 1000 sq m at a depth of 50 cm. 3% of its weight should be organic matter. In other words, about 15 tons should be organic matter and 8.5 tons of it should be carbon. Plants, vegetable wastes, animal wastes, food wastes, dead animals living or mixed in the soil, microorganisms, and organic domestic and industrial wastes (garbage) constitute the source of soil organic matter. About 50% of domestic waste is of organic nature. The daily waste of a person is about 2 kg. Half of it is organic matter which is very useful for the soil. The estimated daily amount of waste in Turkey is 168 thousand tons, half of which is organic matter and half of that is carbon. Nowadays it goes to waste, whereas 35 thousand tons of carbon per day is national wealth.

Soils are gradually losing the amount of organic matter. The carbon balance of agricultural areas used to be provided through animal existence, animal manure, and agricultural and forestry wastes. The carbon content in grassland, pasture, and forest areas is far higher than in agricultural areas. Forests have protected agricultural lands since ancient times. Animals enrich it with their natural manure, plant wastes are the mulch of the soil. The order has been broken a long time ago. Forest bottoms are dark brown and contain more organic carbon than agricultural soils.

When we throw wastes into the soil, microorganisms, which have a heterotrophic diet and provide their energy needs from organic carbon, like humans and animals, convert some of the organic carbon into inorganic carbon (carbon dioxide) for their survival and reproduction and release it into the air. Humans and animals, too, release carbon dioxide, which is released by the breakdown of carbon in the food they eat, into the air through respiration. Likewise, carbon dioxide or other carbon gases are released into the atmosphere by burning oil, coal, plants, and animals, and even by subjecting carbonated inorganic materials such as lime to different processes. Carbon dioxide passing into the atmosphere is converted into organic carbon with photosynthesis by plants. This has been going on for billions of years. The problem is there's more carbon today than we can convert, more carbon than we can retain. The solution is in carbon farms.

THE FUTURE OF THE HUMANKIND IS IN CARBON FARMS

Farming in carbon farms by determining the product pattern according to the climate, needs and the structure of the soil has many other benefits besides reducing carbon emissions.

The carbon and humus ratio in the soil increases.

Soil structure improves.

The water-retaining capacity of the soil increases.

The population and activity of microorganisms in the soil increase.

Erosion is reduced.

Fertilizer use is reduced.

The health and quality of the soil improve.

Plant productivity increases.

Underground water resources are fed.

Salinization of the soil is prevented.

IN CARBON FARMS

By mulching in carbon farms, the amount of organic carbon lost in the soil is being increased. In the model carbon farms in Europe, organic carbon was increased by 450 kg per hectare annually.

The main purpose of carbon farms is to balance carbon sequestration and humus formation. 58% of humus consists of organic carbon. The benefits of humic soil, which we learned in primary school, are countless. Likewise, some of the dark brown dust that is said to have come from the desert lately is none other than the soil of our drought-fighting country. Soils with low organic matter and humus are doomed to die. Humus feeds the living things in the soil, is the habitat of microorganisms in the soil, and protects the groundwater.

To increase organic matter; all plant, food, and forestry wastes should be brought together with the soil, bare soils should be planted, the level of tillage should be reduced and the soil should be processed without being battered.

Organic matter and humus enable and improve the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils. It provides long-term storage of carbon in the soil. Humus is very important for balance. Dark-colored soil means high humus quality. There are many ways to increase humus. Animal blood and meat waste are being wasted although the nitrogen value and nutritional elements of each piece from head to toe are a source of healing for the soil.

Operating a carbon farm is possible with the cooperation of many different disciplines such as agricultural engineers, soil chemists, plant biologists.

Just like TİGEMs, which were established to teach scientific agriculture to Anatolia, Anatolian Carbon Farms should be established now. One for each ecosystem. Model "carbon farms" equipped with science, in which the soil is cultivated correctly, soil maintenance is carried out, and product planning is made, can carry Turkish agriculture into the future as well as to the world.

Turkey's agricultural infrastructure and faculties were established with the most valuable scientists of the age as part of the vision of Ataturk's era. Today, we still have very valuable scientists working with the same motivation and idealism. Prof. Sait Gezgin from Selçuk University is a very important soil chemist. He is the doctor of the soil, all the technical information given in the article was penned with his support. The government should bring scientists like him together with Anatolia, as in the first years of the Republic.

A full-time advisor should be assigned to each carbon farm to be established. They should show the public how to build and manage a scientific carbon farm. Investors, farmers Agricultural chambers, instead of asking for information in front of Agriculture directorates, experts should live with the farmer inside the farms.

SUPPORT THE FARMER WHO REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINT

Carbon farms are implemented with the "from farm to fork" strategy. Consume where you produce, get rid of all kinds of land and packaging that increase your carbon footprint, prevent overprocessing, and create a fair and safe food system. Rewarding farmers who reduce carbon emissions is also the motivation of the system. While we are still busy considering whether to support farmers on a product-based, basin-based or income-guaranteed basis, they reward those who contribute the most to the planet.

A production model with a low carbon footprint promises happiness for all: the land, farmers, and cities.

Providing that it is applied correctly. The task of rule makers and professional farmers is crucial. Although the enthusiasm to grow something on the balcony is well-intentioned, the water spent for 10 kg of tomatoes on 1 decare of land can often be at a level to reconsider the idea. In this respect, the process should be managed and supervised scientifically. Otherwise, resources can be used inefficiently in carbon farms as in the past.

It's time for climate farmers instead of peasant farmers. How about being the first? Let's set up the first carbon farm.

CARBON OPPORTUNISM

In conclusion; a statesman who is not a carbon opportunist and will establish carbon farms without carrying the carbon business to extremes is wanted. Now it's time to establish "Carbon Farms", just as TİGEM has set a model for the farmer by showing that agriculture can be done in the deserts of the country.

Let's take a hand in this work for the land, homeland, and humanity. But it's the eleventh hour. Carbon farms are the last way to avoid the climate crisis.

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