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.
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 change—carbon sequestration, water retention, etc.
I focused on presenting the practices we employ on our farm to sequester atmospheric carbon into the ground: management-intensive grazing, perennial tree crops, and no-till vegetables.
There are four carbon sinks on the planet: the atmosphere, the ocean, the soil, and the forests. Two of these carbon sinks are full: the atmosphere and the ocean. Two of these carbon sinks are in dire need of carbon (aka: regeneration): the soil and the forests.
To our own detriment, we earthlings only ever talk about one carbon sink: the atmosphere.
In an effort to raise awareness about the other carbon sinks on planet Earth, I gave the following slideshow showing the (reletively) immediate positive effects that can be had by restoring the natural carbon cycles of a piece of land to sequester atmospheric carbon back into the soil and the trees. (Though, because we're still just starting our perennial tree crop system, it only gets a mention. The main focus in on the soil restoration in our fields using our soil-building team of sheep, chickens, and turkeys.)
It was a wonderful session. I met dozens of wonderful, inspired, and inspiring people. I look forward to the work ahead.
And now, the slideshow:
Now, if you're still with me. If you're inspired by what is possible, please find and support your local carbon farmer. Vermont is lucky to have quite a few. Here is a partial list. There are many more, but I don't know them all. (If you know others, please send them to me through the contact form.)
- Robinson Hill Beef in Montpelier, Vermont
- Vermont Edible Landscapes in Richmond, Vermont
- Cedar Circle Farm in Thetford, Vermont
- Fortunate Ewe Farm in Cambridge, New York
- Mountain Home Farm in Tunbridge, Vermont
- Shire Beef in Vershire, Vermont
- Burelli Farm in Berlin, Vermont