March 26th, 2016 - 9:00 am
Eric Toensmeier at Shelburne Farms
Location: Shelburne Farms, 1611 Harbor Road, Shelburne, VT | Authors: Eric Toensmeier
Carbon farming is a suite of agricultural practices and crops that sequester carbon in the soil and in aboveground biomass. Combined with a massive reduction in fossil fuel emissionsand in concert with adaptation strategies to our changing environment carbon farming has the potential to bring us back from the brink of disaster and return our atmosphere to the magic number of 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide.
Carbon farming can take many forms. The simplest practices involve modifications to annual crop production. Although many of these modifications have relatively low sequestration potential, they are widely applicable and easily adopted, and thus have excellent potential to mitigate climate change if practiced on a global scale. Likewise, managed grazing systems are easily replicable, dont require significant changes to human diet, andgiven the amount of agricultural land worldwide that is devoted to pasturecan be important strategies in the carbon farming arsenal. But by far, perennial crops and agroforestry practices (like tree intercropping and silvopasture) have the most powerful impact on a per-acre basis.
Many of these carbon farming practices are already implemented globally on a scale of millions of hectares. These are not minor or marginal efforts, but win-win solutions that provide food, fodder, and feedstocks while fostering community self-reliance, creating jobs, protecting biodiversity, and repairing degraded landall while sequestering carbon, reducing emissions, and ultimately contributing to a climate that will remain amenable to human civilization. Some are already established in Vermont, while many more are under development or in need of experimentation.
This exciting two-day class will cover the follow concepts and carbon farming techniques:
Overview of practices suitable to Vermont
Present typology of carbon farming pracitices and relative carbon sequestering potential
Review promising and upcoming perennial crops for Vermont including staple crops and feedstocks for building materials and energy
Participants will work in small groups to develop enterprise plans for carbon farming crop and livestock businesses.
Eric Toensmeier is the award-winning author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables, and the co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. Eric is an appointed lecturer at Yale University, a Senior Fellow with Project Drawdown, and an international trainer. He presents in English and Spanish throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean. Eric has studied useful perennial plants and their roles in agroforestry systems for over two decades, and cultivates about 300 species in his urban garden. Eric is currently writing: Carbon Farming: a Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices. More of his writing can be viewed online at perennialsolutions.org.
Erics books: Paradise Lot, Perennial Vegetables, Edible Forest Gardens (co-authored) as well as, The Carbon Farming Solution: A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security will be available for sale and signing.
In partnership with:
Vermont Edible Landscape, LLC is a land planning business that is focused on the development of agroecosystems. Additionally, we operate a small nursery that offers a wide range of plant materials to help support both residential and agricultural projects. We are solely focused on growing perennial plants that sequester carbon, produce food, fodder or medicine.
Co-sponsors: Chelsea Green Publishing and NOFA-VT.
Farm & Garden
| Science, Nature & Environment
| Transition, Homesteading & Community Resilience
Book: The Carbon Farming Solution - A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security