Carbon Farming Resources

Scientific Understanding:

To avoid severe climate change, reducing emissions from burning fossil fuels will not be enough.

Carbon (as carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas) must also be removed from the air and stored away, or “sequestered”.

Many ways are being developed to sequester carbon. We all can help to slow climate change by making compost, which when applied to the land will increase plant growth leading to more carbon being removed from the air and stored in the soil in a process referred to as “carbon farming”.

An added benefit to this process is that soil fertility will be increased, which can lead to increased crop yields and greater food security.



Quick Facts about Carbon Farming:

  •  About one third of the carbon in the atmosphere today was once in the soil.
  • All agricultural production originates from plant photosynthesis, which uses sun- shine to combine carbon dioxide from the air with water and minerals from the soil to produce plant material.
  • Carbon farming involves implementing such practices as supplementing the soil with compost that are known to improve the rate at which carbon dioxide is re- moved from the air.
  • Compost decomposition provides a slow-release fertilizer leading to increased removal of carbon from the air and in- creased plant production.
  • In California, research indicated that covering just 5% of the degraded, grazed rangeland with half an inch of compost would remove an amount of carbon roughly equal to the carbon dioxide released in providing the energy used by the states’ homes and businesses in a year.



Website Resources:

Trifold_Becoming the Good Soil


  • Lengnick, Laura, Resilient Agriculture, Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate, New Society Publishers, Gabroila Island, 2015.
  • Magdoff, Fred, Van Es, Harold, Building Soils for Better Crops, Sustainable Soil Management, SARE Outreach Publications, Brentwood, 2009.
  • Davis, Ellen, Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture, An Agrarian Reading of the Bible, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2009.
  • Bahnson, Fred and Wirzba, Norman, Making Peace with the Land, God’s Call to Reconcile with Creation, IVP Books, Downers Grove, 2012.