The Art of Carbon Farming for Regenerative Agriculture
August 30, 2018 Louisa Kiely
Yes, you read correctly – the ART of Carbon Farming.
I know, I know, it relies on the ‘science’ of the soil and farming. It is well known that more carbon in the soil will improve water holding capacity and soil structure – those wonderful ‘co-benefits’ of being a carbon farmer.
AND this through the magic of photosynthesis – plants taking CO2 out of the air, using it in their own structures as carbon chains and taking it down to the soil via their roots where it is shared with the microbes for their life cycles.
But, it is HOW it’s done that I believe is an art.
As Frank Lloyd Wright in said 1957:
“Art is a discovery and development of elementary principles of nature into beautiful forms suitable for human use.”
What more beautiful form than healthy food and fibre? I ask. This is what Carbon Farmers for Regenerative Agriculture DO. Achieve healthy food and fibre while improving the capacity of the land to feed and clothe larger and larger populations.
But HOW? What is Carbon Farming?
It has been said that it is how nature farms.
“Mother earth never attempts to farm without live stock; she always raises mixed crops; great pains are taken to preserve the soil and to prevent erosion; the mixed vegetable and animal wastes are converted into humus; there is no waste; the processes of growth and the processes of decay balance one another; ample provision is made to maintain large reserves of fertility; the greatest care is taken to store the rainfall.”
– Extract from An Agricultural Testament (1941) by Sir Albert Howard (Google him!)
In the modern vernacular, with so many agricultural issues to be solved, this system has come to involve man made interventions. The ART is the insights Farmers and their trusted advisers bring to solving the issues.
So Carbon Farming for Regenerative Agriculture may now be seen as simply farming in a way that reduces Greenhouse Gas emissions or captures and holds carbon in vegetation and soils. It is managing land, water, plants and animals to meet the Triple Challenge of Landscape Restoration, Climate Change and Food Security. It seeks to reduce emissions in its production processes, while increasing production and sequestering carbon in the landscape. There are many options.
AND there is a market to reward this. The Carbon Market.
In future newsletters, I will explore different ways of Carbon Farming, talk with those who have done it and those with proven ways to do it. And answer your questions. For a great explanation, watch this video.
For now, if you would like to read more please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0417 280 540 and I will be pleased to send you Michael’s very extensive ‘Carbon Farming Handbook’.