One of the first Fibershed members to implement carbon farming strategies was Lani Estill, building rotational grazing, compost applications, creek restorations, and land management practices such as no-till farming into her overall ranching practice.
The concept of carbon farming in fashion has made waves in the food movement. “There is a rich opportunity here to completely realign the politics of agricultural and environmental policy,” wrote Michael Pollan in an op-ed in the Washington Post last December. Those opportunities extend to food and fiber farmers.
At the forefront of carbon farming in the fiber world is Rebecca Burgess, the founder of Fibershed. The Board Chair of the Carbon Cycle Institute (CCI) she and Fibershed have been working hard to promote carbon farming as an agricultural practice, as well as build the tools to help producers implement the right strategies to make their production climate-beneficial.
What is carbon farming?
According to Marie Hoff, a Fibershed producer who operates the Capella Grazing Project, carbon farming is built off of the idea that “there is too much carbon up in our atmosphere and there is too little of it in our soil.”
Carbon is a part of the natural cycle, but today, thanks to fossil fuels, we release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the earth can absorb. Carbon farming is an attempt to bring that cycle back into balance, pulling carbon out of the air and putting it into the soil. Not only does that mean removing carbon from the atmosphere which helps to curb climate change, it also means restoring the land. Modern agricultural policies have had a severe effect on the soil. Today it is estimated that the world’s cultivated soils have lost 50 to 70 percent of their original carbon stock, a loss that has seriously affected soil health. Through carbon sequestration, we can improve soil productivity and even minimize the effects of floods and drought.
Read the full article by Anna Brones here.