Reuters discusses how climate-friendly almond farmers coax life from drying Spanish soil. In one of the driest corners of Europe, Manuel Barnes has watched the soil become healthier since he started growing almonds using techniques aimed at bringing new life to the land.
Barnes and his neighbours in southern Spain are turning to pre-industrial methods they hope will avert the risk of their land turning into desert to grow crops that command higher prices from increasingly environmentally-aware consumers.
Part of a growing international movement to harness the power of the soil to combat climate change, they leave grassy plants to wither in the fields, forming fertiliser that protects the soil, and have reduced tilling.
“The soil here was poor, degraded, pale and lifeless. Now it has changed colour, the structure has changed, it’s looser,” Barnes, 35, said at the hangar where his family has processed almonds, one of the area’s most prolific crops, for 40 years.