How It Works: Carbon Farming Offsets

Horse-Powered Agriculture Eliminates Fossil-Fuel Emissions, Conserves Soil Carbon,

and Produces Climate Beneficial Food and Fiber for the Maine Community

 

 

The Buckwheat Blossom Carbon Farming Project is a climate-smart-ag pilot program employing a direct measurement farm carbon protocol for greenhouse gases at the site of farm operations.

 

Direct measurement of greenhouse gas offset flux changes everything. Fluxes create options for biotechnology to achieve net-zero and carbon-neutral outcomes. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology approaches are applied to direct measurements.

 

The Burchstead Family has been using horse-power for the past twenty years resulting in reduction of greenhouse gasses and sustainable agriculture as ecosystem services. Horse-power is one of nature's remarkable sources of renewable energy.

 

The farm commits each year to continue exclusion of fossil-fuel tractors and reduction in farm emissions. The BBF model can be replicated in Maine with abundant forests. The creation of new pasture gives birth to land free from historical chemical contamination.

 


Buckwheat Blossom Farm Greenhouse Gas Reduction Marketplace

Popular Trending Products

BBF Climate Beneficial Food  and Clothing Products are Available at the Brunswick, ME, Fort Andross

Farmers Market Every Saturday from 9 am to 12 pm


 

 What Is Carbon Farming?

 

Carbon farming refers to farm management practices designed to deliver climate mitigation offsets by eliminating and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

 

The goal of carbon farming is to store more carbon than is released (net-negative). Net-zero and carbon-neutral emissions mean that there is a balance between storage and release, an acceptable status for farming. Soil carbon sequestration represents soil carbon storage as a result of farm operations.

 

The graphic (left) shows differing land use management, quantified by the number of acres (diagonal shading). The GHGs are quantified by direct measurement as flux in the atmosphere and for soils (cloud with arrows). The approach is: 1) quantify farm operations by land area, 2) quantify GHG balance by direct gas measurement.

 

The graphic (left) shows uptake and release of CO2  (gas flux) as a result of farm operations for soils and vegetation (land use). The levels of CH4 and N2O are measured for soils and is important in reducing the total reduction in emissions for climate benefits.

 

Co-benefits include enhanced biodiversity, supply chain resilience to disruption and climate change, production of all natural and humanely managed farm animals including chickens and sheep, and a sustainable farming system.

 

Carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) avoidance and reductions are universally reported as metric tons of CO2 (tCO2) and as equivalents of CO2  (tCO2e) to accommodate methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

 

Direct measurement is the only approach that documents actual GHG reductions at the site. Typically, estimation and models are employed lacking standardization and in situ high frequency observation.

 

 

 


How Is Buckwheat Blossom Farm Unique For Carbon Farming?

Here Is What Is Unique About Buckwheat Blossom Farm

 

1) Horse-power for farm operations eliminates fossil-fuel combustion CO2 and related emissions such as criteria pollutants (carbon monoxide, particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen) resulting in emissions avoidance offsets.

 

2) A silvopasture agroforestry farming approach creates pasture from forest eliminating contamination with waste sludge PFAS chemicals.

 

3) The BBF supply chain is local farm-to-fork (182 miles total) and resilient to national and global supply chain disruptions.

 

4) No pesticides or artificial fertilizers are used on the farm reducing emissions of nitrous oxide and elimination of toxins associated with pesticides.

 

5) Silvopasture improves soil properties while providing a humane and healthy free-range environment for sheep while increasing resilience to climate change.

 

6) Wetlands, forests and water resources are conserved across the farm enhancing biodiversity.


 

Carbon Farming Also Refers to a Business Model

Carbon farming also refers to a business model, the Greenhouse Gas Offset Purchase Agreement (GHG-OPA).

 

The GHG-OPA, developed by Planet Alpha Corp, incentivizes climate mitigation by paying farmers to implement verifiable climate-friendly farm management practices that eliminate and reduce GHG emissions. There is no cost to the farmer/landowner.

 

The business model is widely used in the renewable energy and finance sector. We regard nature-based solutions to management of climate change as harnessing the Earth's capacity t to renew biospheric resources in concert with human activities.


What is For Sale, How Is It Priced?

BBF products are layered according to the ecosystem structure and farm operations resulting in offset products. All products are priced according to acres/year units.

Invariant farm operations that eliminate emissions and maintain farm sustainability resulting in offsets are sold at fixed prices and are available now for purchase as foundation products. All products are available in 10-year increments up to 30-years:


1) horse-powered farm operations (eliminates combustion of fossil-fuel CO2 and criteria pollutant emissions),

2) management of wetlands to retain high amounts of stored carbon in wetland sediments

3) management of silvopasture areas cultivated annually to provide nutritious fodder for sheep and chickens and enhance biodiversity for this unique ecosystem.


               

Products based on direct emission, available in 2023 after measurements are made incude:


1) net forest carbon squestration of managed woodlands (inclusive of soil and forest carbon)

2) soil emission reductions for CH4 and N2O


The cost of the products is based on the social cost of greenhouse gas accounting for the effects of emissions on society.

Products are available to individuals, businesses, non-profits, and governments representing voluntary and compliance market buyers in Maine and worldwide. B2B discount pricing is available for bulk purchase.

All transactions are recorded in the Planet Alpha no-fee registry accessible to buyers and the public. All offsets are retired upon sale and cannot be re-used or double-counted.

Product criteria is shown (lower left). A Certificate is provided for each purchase (lower right).


BBF Product Criteria

BBF Certificate of Purchase


Horse-Power Eliminates Fossil Fuel Emissions: Here Is It  How It Stacks Up for Buckwheat Blossom Farm

The chart below summarizes the annual effect of horse-powered farming on GHG emissions versus use of a tractor to manage the ~142-acre farm. Horse-power may seem low-tech, but it is a powerful and elegant natural solution to eliminate CO2 and related emissions from small farm operations.

 

Our tally of the social cost to society of tractor emissions to replace horse-power is estimated at $61,479 per year or $1,229,580 over the 20-year commitment to horse-power for the farm.

 

The Buckwheat Blossom Farm foundation products eliminate fossil-fuel CO2 burning farm equipment, combined with sustaining a forest-pasture area of livestock. This provides the human-managed ecosystem service of greenhouse emission reduction employing the power of horses, while imposing minimal damage to the ecosystem. The per acre per social cost price is $446.00. Half- and one tenth-acre products are also available. 

Chart Data Sources

Notes:  

1) The greenhouse gas combustion emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) are eliminated, reducing global warming. 

2) The Global Warming Potential (GWP) is the total warming effect for CO2, CH4, and N2O.  

3) Criteria pollutants that diminish human health are also eliminated as well as protecting the ozone layer. Sheep and horse emission of methane is minimal compared to the land area and when compared to cattle.

4) Horse-powered farming is less damaging to ecosystems and, combined with the ban on artificial fertilizers and pesticides, creates the only fossil-fuel-free farm of its kind in Maine. 

5) The Buckwheat Blossom Farm GG ecosystem service is directly attributable to farm management and is verified by monthly visits to the farm and by analysis of air on the farm. 

 


What is the Science Behind the Offset Products?

 

1) The science behing the numbers for greenhouse gas reduction products is based on methods established and practiced in the field by researchers over the last several decades.

2) The Planet Alpha Direct Measurement Farming Carbon Protocol accounts for greenhouse gas sources and sinks measured at the Buckwheat Blossom Farm site.

3) The diagram above explains the process.  In summary, both uptake and release of CO2, CH4 and N2O must be measured to calculate actual net reductions.

4) The project is organized into processes that consist of measuring physical carbon, calculating project carbon across the site and time period, and then transforming the data into verified financial  carbon and greenhouse gas products.

5) Data for CO2, CH4 and N2O, can be combined in balanced portfolios for voluntary and compliance buyers. Learn more about our process and journal peer-reviewed publications here.


BBF Elimination of about 233 Metric Tons of CO2 Is About the Same As Emissions From:


Lifestyle Blog

Horse-Powered Buckwheat Blossom Farm and Planet Alpha Directly Measure GHGs for Offsets in Climate-Smart Ag Pilot

Climate-smart agriculture is advanced by direct measurement of soil emissions, including CO2, CH4, a

Bruno D.V. Marino
Mar 15th 2022

Horse-powered Buckwheat Blossom Farm signs MoU with Planet Alpha Corp. to explore GHG offsets

Turning away from estimation protocols to direct measurement ensures offset quality, reduces risk, a

Planet Alpha Corp
Feb 20th 2022

Direct measurement forest carbon protocol: a commercial system-of-systems to incentivize forest restoration and management

Read about the science behind the Buckwheat Blossom Carbon Farming Project. Direct measurement of gr

Bruno D.V. Marino
Feb 20th 2022