"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." -- Albert Einstein
The imminent global warming crisis has gone from an urgent concern of activists and climate scientists to a prevalent topic in daily mainstream dialogue. Although this hot button issue has given rise to partisan arguments and wholesale denial of scientific facts, it has also led to the development of ways in which average, everyday citizens can help reverse climate change.
It is a well-documented fact that uprooting vegetation and overturning the earth’s crust releases carbon, and when this gas mixes with atmospheric oxygen it becomes CO2. Carbon emissions, including those from all industrialized nations, are responsible for the greenhouse effect. If gone uncorrected, this phenomenon will eventually incinerate all life on the planet’s surface.
Thankfully, it has been proven by agricultural scientists that the rise in atmospheric carbon levels can be curtailed by simply keeping the carbon beneath the earth’s crust. This can occur through carbon sequestration -- otherwise known as carbon farming or regenerative agriculture. In addition to the use of hydroponics and the practice of no-till farming, people who love to cultivate can do so in an eco-friendly way through raised-bed farming. These practices not only keep carbon beneath the planet’s surface, they also capture additional carbon as plants make their own food during photosynthesis.
Leave it Alone
A raised-bed garden is a series of rectangular planters that sit approximately 12 to 18 inches above the ground. By installing these islands of workable soil, you are leaving the ground on your property relatively undisturbed. Even though you may opt to till it once before installing the beds (for deep-rooting plants) you will not have to repeat the chore every
Save Your Back
Gardening in raised beds that are weed-free, need no tilling and are a foot or so closer to your reach can enable you to enjoy your green thumb with fewer aches and pains. Rather than having to repeatedly squat and bend over, you can use a plank of wood laid across the narrow sides of the beds as a makeshift seat, so that you are positioned at an optimal level for planting, trimming and harvesting.
Raised garden boxes retain more moisture than ground-level gardens due to the simple fact that water cannot dissipate into the surrounding soil. A precisely timed and measured irrigation system can be a hassle-free way of hydrating plants at optimal (low evaporation) times. Reduced runoff also means less washing away of the raised-bed microbiome you have been cultivating through composting and the assemblage of high-quality soil.
Get Started Now
You can build your own raised garden beds out of repurposed items and/or scrap wood using any one of these 50 free design plans. Or, you can order easy-to-assemble kits that can be delivered to your front door. Alternately, large grow bags, pots and other portable containers are available if you have limited space or if you are on the move. Your infill should consist of 50% healthy loam (soil, sand and clay) and 50% compost. You can also opt for a mixture that is equal parts compost, peat moss and vermiculite.
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