Carbon Farming with Eric Toensmeier

carbon farming
Date: 
Saturday, March 26, 2016 to Sunday, March 27, 2016
Time: 9AM-5PM each day
Event Type: 
Special Event
Adult Program
Location: Shelburne, VT
Fee: $150 (includes lunch each day) Registration required.

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 emissions—and 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, don’t require significant changes to human diet, and—given the amount of agricultural land worldwide that is devoted to pasture—can 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 land—all 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 following 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.

Eric’s 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 Landscapes, LLC is a land planning business focused on the development of agro-ecosystems. We work with our clients to design, install and establish ecologically regenerative landscapes. We approach land management through an agrarian lens utilizing a variety of diverse biological disciplines. Our services include: Site Evaluation, Planning and Development.  As an extension of our land planning business we run a small nursery that offers a wide range of planting materials to help support both residential and agricultural projects. 


Co-sponsors:

For more information please contact Meghan Giroux from Vermont Edible Landscapes

Registration Details: 

This program is full with a waitlist.  To add your name to the waitlist please click below.

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