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THE BASICS

Agroforestry is the strategic addition of tree crops to farmland. Strategies such as alley croppingsilvopasturewindbreaks, and orchard bands can stack multiple crops on one field to ensure long term resiliency of the farm, while adding profitable yields. 


Alley Cropping

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Silvopasture

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Orchard Bands

 

Agroforestry Sequesters Carbon

Our carbon cycle is currently broken: by way of fossil fuel usage and land degradation, humans are currently converting terrestrial carbon into atmospheric carbon far more quickly than we are putting that carbon back into the ground.

A tree is the opposite of a smoke stack. Trees pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it in their woody trunk and branches. Just as much carbon can also be stored below-ground in the tree’s roots and soil. Via the liquid carbon pathway, tree roots release sugars into the soil. These sugars feed the beneficial fungi and bacteria in the soil, which in turn provide the tree with the nitrogen it needs to grow. Dead soil looks like sand or the base path of a baseball field, whereas living soil looks like chocolate cake. The accumulation of soil carbon, along with the deposition of leaves onto the soil surface brings soil back to life.

Photo courtesy of Christian Dupraz.

Photo courtesy of Christian Dupraz.

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Adding trees to cropland sequesters: 10-20 tons of carbon per hectare per year

Converting forest to cropland emits: 62-120 tons of carbon per hectare

 

References:

Toensmeier, Eric. The Carbon Farming Solution: a Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2016.

 

Agroforestry Decreases Erosion and Nutrient Loss

1 millimeter of soil eroded over 1 acre, equates to 1,069 gallons, or 3.8 metric tons of soil lost. Globally, conventional cropland erodes at a rate of 10 tons per hectare per year. Comparably, erosion rates in a forest range from .004 to .05 tons per hectare per year.  This results in trillions of dollars in lost yields and livelihoods. 

With decreased erosion comes nutrient retention, keeping nitrogen and phosphorus on the farm and out of our waterways. Carbon-rich soil holds water, increasing a farm’s resilience in the face of drought. Adding trees to agricultural landscapes incorporates the ecological benefits of a forest with the food production of a farm. 

 

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Globally, conventional cropland erodes at a rate of 10 tons per hectare per year. 

Comparably, erosion rates in a forest range from .004 to .05 tons per hectare per y ear.     

This results in trillions of dollars in lost yields and livelihoods. 

References:

Trading carbon for food: Global comparison of carbon stocks vs. crop yields on agricultural land 

Soil Erosion Threatens Food Production 

Prosperous lands and positive rewards through sustainable land management


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Agroforestry systems retain up to 53% more Nitrogen than monocultures. 

They also retain 17% more phosphorus than monoculture counterparts.  

References:

Nutrient cycling in an agroforestry system with runoff irrigation in Northern Kenya

Agroforestry Practices, Runoff, and Nutrient Loss: A Paired Watershed Comparison

 

Agroforestry Increases Biodiversity

Biodiversity keeps the ecological gears turning. Like a diversified portfolio, a landscape rich with plant species is resistant to pests and disease. Plant diversity gives rise to insect, fungal, and bacterial diversity, such that orchard pests have predators of their own. Perennial plant diversity also feeds the pollinators, which pollinate the plants that feed us.

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Globally, forests cover nearly one third of land area and contain over 80% of land-based biodiversity.

 

7.    United Nations International Year of Forests, 2011. 

 

Videos to Watch

Life in Syntropy

Soil Erosion...

Soil Carbon Cowboys

Healthy Soil is the key to a Stable Farm

 

Soil health is the key to a stable yield and farm longevity. Agroforestry pulls atmospheric carbon down, putting it into the soil and in above ground-biomass. At the same time, soil erosion, nutrient loss, water retention, and biodiversity are all directly addressed through regenerative agroforestry management. When properly managed, regenerative agriculture works to increase a farm's profitability and environmental stability. 

 
 

Modeled for Growth

We have built our model to mirror the successful elements that allowed the solar industry to scale.

 

Low Volatility

Agroforestry systems create stable, long-term investments that provide dividends.

Led by Agriculture Leaders

Projects are managed and advised by professional leaders in regenerative agriculture.

 
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Stable Investment

Earn stable return while restoring soil fertility, mitigating global climate change, and curbing negative outputs.