Carbon Farming Works. Can It Scale up in Time to Make a Difference?

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The knowledge and tools to sequester carbon on farmland have blossomed rapidly in California; now farmers and ranchers just need funding to make it happen.

Author: Twilight Greenaway | Published: June 12, 2018

Lani Estill is serious about wool. And not just in a knitting-people-sweaters kind of way. Estill and her husband John own thousands of sweeping acres in the northwest corner of California, where they graze cattle and Rambouillet sheep, a cousin of the Merino with exceptionally soft, elastic wool.

“Ninety percent of our income from the sheep herd comes from the lamb we sell,” says Estill. But the wool, “it’s where my passion is.”

Wool, an often-overlooked agricultural commodity, has also opened a number of unexpected doors for Bare Ranch, the land Estill and her family call home. In fact, their small yarn and wool business has allowed Lani and John to begin “carbon farming,” or considering how and where their land can pull more carbon from the atmosphere and put it into the soil in an effort to mitigate climate change. And in a rural part of the state where talk of climate change can cause many a raised eyebrow, such a shift is pretty remarkable.

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