Dispatches from the Hill — carbon cycle RSS



The Regeneration at Studio Hill: A Slideshow

I had the pleasure of presenting the story of our farm—from it's roots as a dairy in the '30s right up to it's current iteration as a regenerative farm—at this year's Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network (VECAN) Conference at the beautiful Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. I was joined in our workshop by Didi Pershouse of the Soil Carbon Coalition and Andrea Colnes of the Energy Action Network. Our session was put together by Paul Cameron. Our workshop presented the side of climate change that you don't often here in today's discussions: hope and practical action. Didi did a wonderful job explaining and demonstrating why it is vital for us to include soil as an ally in our fight against climate...

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Our Response to Vermont's Proposed Required Agricultural Practices

I applaud Vermont's Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets—herein referred to as "The Agency"—for trying to move the state's water quality in the right direction. When our wonderful Senator Campion stood in my barnyard one morning a year or so ago and asked me my thoughts on a hypothetical program, I was all for it. I scanned our own farm real quick and saw a few places where wet manure piles could get cleaned up and should get cleaned up. As regular readers will know, we take pride in our effort to make our farm a part of the environmental solution—not a part of the problem. So, we're happy to learn when we're wrong and happy to learn how to...

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Hope in the Face of Climate Change...and a Quick Look Into The Science of Grass

Most people—as I did for over 30 years—overlook the importance of grass. It has been relegated by modern society to suburban lawns, soccer fields, golf courses, and strip mall embankments. Though our modern ways too often prevent grass from doing so, this unassuming little plant plays a vital role in the management of the earth's carbon cycle—the reason we have air, food, and water. Simply put, if we hope to grab a hold of runaway climate change and continue to live on a habitable planet...we must not overlook the grass. In fact, that "miracle ally" in the fight against climate change that we're all waiting for...might be right under our feet. OK. Now that the compelling introduction is out of...

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Regenerative Agriculture and the Dawn of Planetary Engineering

Regenerative agriculture is the dawn of planetary engineering. And that's great news for the future of the planet. Here's how I know. We have five hay fields on our farm. They are the kind of rolling, green, and gorgeous fields that are typical across Vermont's pastoral green mountains. All five of the fields have been incredibly productive over the past forty years using our area's conventional methods for hay farming—frequent tilling, a corn rotation, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Our hay was regarded as some of the best in the area. And we produced a lot of it. Then, in 2012, we stopped tilling. We stopped spraying chemicals. We stopped rotating in corn. And, as a result, fields that once...

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