Regenerative Agriculture and Carbon Sequestration: Why This Matters So Much
We grow the fresh vegetables, herbs, microgreens, and edible flowers available at Farmer Jones Farm through the special techniques of regenerative farming where we enrich the soil and the ecosystem where we plant and grow our crops.
In short, we create healthy soil to grow healthy crops for healthy people and a healthy planet.
As Bob Jones, Jr. explains, “People want fresh vegetables that taste great, that are nutrient-rich and free of toxins. To achieve that, everything—and I mean everything—is predicated on the health of the soil, especially the top two inches where the vegetable roots will grow.”
A key component of regenerative farming is the strategic use of cover crops. These are crops planted after the harvest to build soil back to a degree that’s even healthier and, as part of this process, we’re naturally sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Through this process, we’re helping to “offset greenhouse gas emissions, such as the carbon dioxide emitted by cars, power plants and other burning of fossil fuels. The soil has significant potential to store carbon and to mitigate the effects of climate change.”
More About Carbon Sequestration
The use of cover crops is a significant strategy to sequester carbon. In a carbon sequestration article on The Chef’s Garden’s site, we share research that concludes how cover crops:
- could sequester about 60 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually
- if planted across 20 million acres
- which would offset vehicle emissions of 12.8 million vehicles
Bringing Those Stats Home
Those statistics are powerful, taking the macro view. But what about the fields, specifically, where we’re using regenerative farming techniques to bring you farm-fresh produce? Anecdotally, of course, we know that the farming techniques we use build healthy soil, sequestering carbon as part of the process—and we’re now in the process of gathering specific data about our fields to validate the amount of carbon we’re actually sequestering.
We’ve contracted with SoilOptix® to quantify the presence of carbon in our soil. In October 2022, they used their specialized equipment to drive over our fields and measure the amount of carbon that was drawn in from the air by our multi-specific cover crops and deposited in our soil. SoilOptix uses gamma radiation as a measurement tool to determine, from a geological perspective, the amount of carbon captured and contained by our healthy soils.
We’ll continue to plant our vegetables and cover crops as usual. Then, in October 2023, SoilOptix will take another set of measurements and provide us with data.
“We know what we believe to be happening, anecdotally,” Bob explains. “Now we’re in the process of scientifically quantifying the data to confirm what is happening. We’ll get results from greenhouse soil, too.”
In 2021, we independently verified another of our beliefs: that, by growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature, we’ll grow more nutrient dense crops. Independent testing verified this, showing how our regeneratively grown crops have up to 500 percent more mineral content than the USDA baseline.
Ready to experience how this also creates fresh vegetables with flavor off the charts? Choose your vegetable box today!
We are located in Huron, Ohio.
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