First soil samples for carbon testing gathered at HM ranch in Zimbabwe

Hi Soil-Age Friends and Colleagues,

I’m excited to say that the first soil samples for carbon testing have been collected at the ACHM game ranch in Zimbabwe where I’m staying for six weeks. We took samples from the “two tree” site that was fully desertified in 2004 (and for decades prior), and restored thereafter with holistically managed livestock.


Caption: Soil samples drying in the sun. These will be sent to a lab in Harare.


“Two Tree” site, now fully covered in perennial plants (seen here, Heteropogon Contortus, H. contortus.) In 2004, and for decades before, it was a desert. Restored only with holistically managed livestock.


“Two Tree” site as it looks today, completely covered in perennials. The foreground is predominantly Heteropogon Contortus, H. contortus, a mid-succession perennial. Under the mopane tree, along with yours truly, is a patch of Panicum Maximum, P. maximum, a late successional. Savory refers to these plants as indicators of a “climax” ecosystem. Their roots can be 3 meters.


Here’s how the “Two Tree” site looked in 2004 and for decades prior. Even the annuals were unable to grow. The landscape is entirely transformed and gets better every year. As it does, more and more carbon will be sequestered.


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6 Responses to First soil samples for carbon testing gathered at HM ranch in Zimbabwe

  1. When we started this work in 2004 the South African scientists told me that Mopane trees were allelopathic and as such grass could never grow under them, how I would love to show the experts those 2 trees today a decade later. Now if we can just keep Seth from digging up all our nice grass for samples…..

    • admin says:

      Ha. Ha. I actually was careful to put that plant back in it’s hole, and then I put my drinking water on it. I’m sure it will recover the temporary photo-op extraction. 😉

  2. simbarashe Gweshe says:

    We as individuals we need to fight for sustainable land use and management. Conservation through utilization ensures species in abundance

  3. simbarashe Gweshe says:

    Landuse planning is best for our life

  4. Great stuff ! If in the future you want to map these soils and the changes then get in touch !

  5. Pingback: Carbon testing soil on HM land | Savory Grassland Management

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