REGENERATIVE AG CAN REPAIR THE SOIL AND SEQUESTER CO2

The Regenerative Agriculture Group focuses on informing our community about and fostering the adoption of new techniques for soil regeneration using innovative approaches to compost.

Regenerative Agriculture Action Group

Climate action has primarily focused on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural activities generate a sizable share of these emissions and have been a target of reduction efforts. There are two sides of the coin in agriculture, both damaging emissions from current practices and the promise of great reductions in atmospheric CO2 by using regenerative practices that return healthy levels of carbon to agricultural soils.

We formed the Regenerative Agriculture Group as part of the Soil Not Oil Coalition to inform ourselves and educate our community about both sides of the agricultural emissions story. We work with local farmers, ranchers. and vintners who are using regenerative practices to inform and educate our larger agricultural community in Sonoma County about the win/win benefits of regenerative agriculture: improved quality of product and profit, increased water holding capacity of soils, and, crucially, increased sequestration of atmospheric carbon back into the soil where it belongs.

We are meeting with local officials and representatives to urge development of initiatives to support regenerative practices through education and incentives. We are also lobbying to end federal and state subsides for industrial agriculture, which will provide adequate funding for the transition.

We are collaborating with local groups such as the Sonoma Compost Coalition to establish state of the art composting facilities in Sonoma County and with Zero Waste, to recycle and reuse all waste rather than putting our commercial and personal garbage in landfills.

The founders are Anna Jaccopetti, a retired teacher and author, and Terry Harrison, retired farmer and Ag-Climate Chair in the North Coast Chapter of California Association of Family Farmers (CAFF).  Our members are devoted to researching best practices and spreading the word by writing articles, educating legislators, and organizing events and demonstrations. For more information contact us via our Facebook Page or by emailing 350SonomaCounty@gmail.com.

 

Why Renewable Sonoma?

Ask the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency board to accept their staff’s recommendation that Renewable Sonoma be awarded the commercial compost operation contract for the proposed Llano Road site (by the waste-water treatment facility).   Send emails to the SCWMA board via executive director Patrick Carter by August 14th (patrick.carter@sonoma-county.org)

Talking point ideas for your email:

  • Renewable Sonoma is owned by Sonoma Compost, the company operating our former, excellent local compost facility at the central landfill site.
  • They have a long history of supporting composting education, school garden programs, community waste-diversion/ Zero Waste efforts, and local farmers and gardeners
  • Their proposal includes an anaerobic digester that will generate electricity from green waste via natural gas generation
  • They are excellent environmental stewards
  • They have a long history of working with local farmers and have extensive knowledge of the local composting market
  • Their business emphasis is on creating high-quality soil-amendment products for customers (as opposed to merely diverting green waste from landfill)

Local composting means:

  • We do not have to truck our greenwaste out of the county (thereby reducing greenhouse gas production)
  • Farmers, schools, and gardens can purchase high-quality compost produced locally (at lower prices because of reduced delivery fees)

Find a form for a petition to the SCWMA Board Members here: RenewableSonoma_petition

County ‘Bioreactor’ Compost Ready for Action

Last year, 350 Sonoma’s Regenerative Agriculture action group hosted David C. Johnson, researcher and microbiologist at the University of New Mexico, for training and workshops on his bioreactor technique for creating compost undisturbed by turning. The first Sonoma County bioreactors created during the workshops have been opened to reveal thick compost filled with worms.  We are mixing the compost with our garden beds and making inoculate spray to spread the healthy organisms.  Stay tuned for the results!  Meanwhile, new bioreactors are being built for next year’s gardens.  A bioreactor is used to create BEAM  – a rich compost filled with mycorrhizae (fungal filaments) that are key factors in regenerating and improving soil, carbon sequestration and water retention, according to Johnson’s research.

The BEAM Team is a group that has formed to support and further test the research of Dr. David Johnson, a New Mexico State University molecular biologist who has been investigating the microbial life in the soil.  Dr. Johnson has developed, applied and tested the results of a high fungal compost called BEAM – Biologically Enhanced Agricultural Management­–with the goal of enhancing soil microbial community populations, structures and functionality to regenerate natural processes in soils of agro-ecosystems. His test plots have had very positive results in terms of the amount of carbon returned to the soil, soil nutrient availability, plant vitality and growth, and water retention. This research offers a different perspective than traditional soil science which has been focused on soil chemistry rather than soil life systems. The BEAM Team includes farmers, orchardists, grape growers and gardeners as well as climate activists. Current members are located in Sonoma, Marin, and Yolo Counties.

Interested in getting involved in this exciting project?  Contact Anna.