Carbon Farming for the Individual

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Published: January, 2017

According to Eric Toensmeier, author of The Carbon Farming Solution, “carbon farming has the potential to bring our atmosphere back to the magic number of 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide.” Encompassing agricultural practices that return carbon to the soil, carbon farming, undertaken on any scale, is an effective approach for reducing atmospheric carbon and maintaining a healthy soil ecosystem for growing. While farmers can undertake carbon farming on a larger scale, individuals can also play an active role in sequestering carbon by becoming carbon gardeners in their own backyards. The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) provides an array of strategies for homeowners to policymakers on how to help restore carbon to the soil.

Jack Kittredge, policy director at NOFA Massachusetts, reports that minimizing tillage, planting cover crops, and practicing crop rotation are needed to build and keep soil carbon in the soil. “Probably the most important single lesson is that bare soil oxidizes carbon, while plants protect it,” writes Kittredge. “Green plants form a barrier between air and soil, slowing the process of carbon emission by microbes.”


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