Ethos Farm Ecosystem and
Carbon Trial (EFECT) Initiative
Did you know that saving the world could start at a farm in New Jersey?! It can.
Ethos Farm is joining forces with the Rodale Institute and Rutgers University for an important research project. We intend to explore the potential of native grass plantings to capture atmospheric carbon and return it to the soil for long-term storage. If our agricultural lands become proficient at carbon sequestration, it could prove to be one of the most effective ways to respond to climate change and restore our degraded soils.
We propose to remove all chemical inputs from a 100-acre parcel of land at Ethos, which for decades has been farmed conventionally with GMO soybeans and corn. With the help of a Natural Resources Conservation Service-US Dept. of Agriculture grant, in 2020 we will be replanting this field with the same native warm-season grasses that covered this valley before the European settlement. These prairie grasses have superior qualities when it comes to capturing atmospheric CO2. But perhaps most impressive are their massive roots, which reach down 6-12 feet! These root systems have the potential to sequester large amounts of carbon deep down in the soil, long term. After a 5-year period, a variety of crops will be planted replacing the grasses. The restored, carbon-rich land will go back into food production, farmed using chemical free, organic, regenerative methods.
We hope to show that when an agricultural soil is first "primed" by planting prairie grasses, the soil can sequester even greater amounts of carbon than had previously been determined by The Rodale Institute. If our hypothesis is proven correct, prairie grass plantings, when combined with regenerative agriculture methods, could offer a viable solution to combat climate change.
Ethos Farm and our partners are committed to carrying out this vital research. It is a long-term, costly project and more funding will be necessary to complete the initiative.
Do you want to save your food system and the planet?
We can't do this without your support. Please donate what you can to help all the Ethos Farm Projects, which includes Ethos Farm Days, the Young Farmers Incubator Program, and the Ethos Farm Ecosystem and Carbon Trial (EFECT) Initiative .
Want to know more about our partners?
The Rodale Institute is acknowledged as the founding authority on organic agriculture in the U.S. For more than 20 years, Rodale has conducted research on the carbon sequestration potential of agricultural soils to which regenerative organic farming methods have been applied. Rodale presented these findings at the Paris Climate Accord. You can learn more from this white paper: https://rodaleinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/Regenerative-Organic-Agriculture-White-Paper.pdf
Rutgers is one of the nation’s original land-grant institutions, in the company of other land-grants such as Cornell, Ohio State, and Penn State. The Morrill Act of 1862 designated these institutions to serve the states and their citizens by disseminating practical knowledge developed at key institutions of higher learning. From an early emphasis on agriculture and the mechanical arts, the land-grant mission of Rutgers, like that of fellow institutions, has expanded to include a broad range of teaching, research, and service activities.