Last time, we talked about how proper composting is an important strategy for managing a farm’s carbon footprint.
Another way farmers can sequester carbon back down into the soil is through the application of prescriptive grazing.
Managing when and where animals graze is the farmer’s job, but the rest is up to the animals. Their hooves break the soil surface to fertilize, moisturize, and aerate the ground, making it a fertile breeding ground for thousands of vital soil organisms. The animals will actually restore healthy growth by creating a rich fertile environment, thus allowing the soil to capture carbon in the air and hold it.
Allowing animals to graze during a specific season and in a carefully managed area not only helps recycle the nutrients in the soil, it also controls invasive non-native plant species by targeting grasslands that would otherwise be left alone after free range grazing has depleted them.
With careful planning, grazing cycles can be created that evenly disperse nutrients into the soil, all the while maintaining a healthy biomass that can sequester carbon back into the soil.
The animals (in our case the sheep) graze through the hills, dotting the grasslands with piles of manure and enriching the soil even further. They eat the dead vegetation that covers new growth, allowing potent native grasses to grow instead of invasive plant species.
These healthy grasslands sequester carbon back into the ground, all the while feeding sheep that will, in turn, grow climate beneficial wool.
Now that’s what we call sustainable carbon farming!
Next up in the series, we’ll take a look at the connection between riparian ecosystems and climate beneficial wool. Stay tuned! In the meantime, be sure to check out our philosophy and mission as a sustainable, eco-friendly small business.