Terra Preta, which means “black earth” in Portuguese, is a type of nutrient-rich soil found in the Amazon rainforest. While its origins are uncertain, with some theories suggesting that it was created by pre-Columbian indigenous peoples. While others propose that it is a more recent phenomenon, it is clear that Terra Preta has been made by humans. It is created by adding charcoal, bone, and other organic matter to the soil. This increases the level of nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium which is essential for plant growth.
Terra Preta is also known for its ability to sequester carbon, which makes it a potential tool for combating climate change. The charcoal in Terra Preta can hold significant amounts of carbon, and the soil can continue to store carbon even after the crops have been harvested. As the world’s population continues to grow and the demand for food increases. Finding ways to increase food production and reduce carbon emissions will be crucial for ensuring a sustainable future.
The high fertility of Terra Preta has led to interest in using it for agriculture, both in the Amazon and in other regions. Researchers have been studying ways to replicate the Terra Preta model in other parts of the world, such as Africa, Asia and Europe. Additionally, recent research also suggests that human feces can be used as a component in creating Terra Preta, providing a way to manage human waste and produce nutrient-rich soil. We’ll talk about this in more detail in our next Tuesday-Story.
Overall, Terra Preta is a valuable resource which we can produce and use in many regions of the world. It has a huge potential for sustainable agriculture and carbon sequestration. Recent studies of using human feces to produce Terra Preta provide a solution to managing human waste while producing a nutrient-rich soil.
If you’d like to learn more about circular models, get connected and join us for a better resource use.