Caro Roszell, Market Farmer from New Wendell Farm and Farm Education Director of NOFA Massachusetts (Northeast Organic Farmers Association), and Steven Keleti, Healthy Soil Legislation Expert also with NOFA Mass, talk about getting down and dirty with the important role of agriculture of capturing carbon. Rob introduces ORI’s new summer interns Jessie McIsaac and Morgan Berman, Seniors at Tufts University, who interview our guests.
Farmers are fighting climate change in two ways. They are releasing less carbon and capturing more by understanding the relationship between carbon in soil and carbon emissions. Farmers have their backs to the wall because current farming practices have so depleted soils that the UN is reporting that a third of soil nutrients are gone. They predict that if practices don’t change within 60 years all of the world’s topsoil will be barren.
Caro speaks to her own methods of eco-friendly no-till farming in contrast with those used on mechanized organic farms. There are several innovative farming tactics, including solarization (covering crop beds with tarps to block light from unwanted plants), using permanent raised beds, using compost, and no-till practices. Importantly, we learn from Caro that creating a healthy, highly carbon-dense and highly biodiverse soil environment over time reduces the need use pesticides and herbicides, This creates a win-win situation for both farmers and the planet.
Steven Keleti talks about how he got into the world of soil-health, emphasizes the legal complexity, and explains the legislation. These policies vary greatly state to state. He explains efforts to establish, develop and implement the Massachusetts Healthy Soils Program.
Methods to generate healthy soils have a myriad of benefits for farmers. However, obstacles and expenses can arise. Caro and Steven have been working with the organic farming community on education, best-practices development, and contact with legislators to minimize these barriers in order to improve soil and planetary health.
Learn more about carbon-sensitive farming, as well as happenings with the Northeast Organic Farming community at www.Nofamass.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. NOFA Mass holds two conferences a year; on August 10th and 11th they will be holding their annual summer conference. To learn more, visit: https://www.nofamass.org/tags/summer-conference.
“NOFA Mass is…” View the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0vqbC_tHOk
Talking Dirty for Reducing the Climate Crisis, play the audio by clicking here.