Update: Eric Toensmeier on permaculture for the climate




We’ve received an update on Eric Toensmeier’s ongoing book project, with the working title of “Carbon Farming: A Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices.”  We first reported on it here.

I’ve just completed the chapter on agroforestry support species. These fascinating plants can: provide nitrogen fertility; serve as contour hedgerows, alley crop anchors, and living fences; provide crop shade, living trellises, and windbreaks; serve as shade-tolerant nitrogen-fixing understory crops; and provide livestock fodder in the form of pods, fodder bank foliage, and even host plants for useful cultivated industrial and edible insects. Together these species can help perennialize annual crop systems without necessitating a diet change.

This was a short chapter and I’m quite excited to get on to the next one: perennial staple crops! I’m also moving forward with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization as they would like to make a special publication of my 2011 perennial staple crops article.

I recently returned from two weeks in Cuba at the International Permaculture Convergence. I presented on the book in English and Spanish and was invited to present in Australia, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, England, Hawaii, and New Zealand. I won’t head out on such a tour until the book is completed – but it looks like 2015 could be a busy year! I was also very fortunate to tour farms around the island and see excellent demonstrations of carbon farming species and practices like food forests, moringa everywhere, living fences, and much more. Cuba also seems to lead the world in post-fossil fuel agriculture, which I’ll be writing about in a future chapter.

Finally, Chelsea Green has confirmed that they will publish the book and I should be signing a contract in the next few weeks.

It is thanks to all of you that I am able to spend the time to write this book properly and rapidly. As the new year approaches you are in my thoughts and you have my gratitude.