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Carbon Farming

Increasing organic matter in our soils helps building healthy soils:

  • Conserve water
  • Reduce erosion
  • Improve soil structure
  • Diverse, abundant microbial population
  • Optimized nutrient management

Increased soil organic matter also takes CO2 from the atmosphere and sequesters it in the soil, thereby helping to reverse climate change. Wise use of compost and mulches helps to carbon farm.

Carbon farming found its roots right here in Marin County through the Marin Carbon Project

Getting started with carbon gardening

We can also do our part of carbon sequestration in the backyard. The same principals apply as in carbon farming. Here are some educational articles that will get you going:

Compost and mulches will build organic matter in the soil. As we increase organic matter in the soil many benefits are the result. The most timely are that increased soil organic matter results in great water savings and help mitigate climate change. Mitigating climate change means that we can look at a future where extreme fires, droughts, floods, etc. are not the norm anymore. Meanwhile, enjoy slow release nutrients from compost, a diverse, large population of microorganisms that aids to reduce or eliminate pesticides, weed suppression that can reduce or eliminate the use of herbicides. Mulches can keep the soil warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Lawn Conversion/Mulching: A tool to live with drought

Lawns are big water guzzlers. Converting lawns can save a lot of water. California can never act as if there is no drought. Everyone has to chip in to cope with our sustainable water management. If you have a lawn, lawn conversion is a green way to conserve water, soil and labor. When you remove your lawn you also remove approximately 500 years of fertile soil. The lawn that is pulled out cannot be composted, since it has too much soil in it. In the landfill it contributes to greenhouse gases. So, why not just leave it in and turn it into the foundation for a drought tolerant native landscape or vegetable garden. Simply cover the lawn with compost, cardboard or newspaper and mulch, keep moist, and nature will do the rest for you. For more information on how to do this take a look at this Lawn Conversion document. Note: given that we are in a drought, it would be prudent to place the irrigation structure and compost/cardboard/mulch layer now, but hold off on planting until the next rainy season has started.

Marin Water is offering customers a cash rebate in return for removing grass in their landscapes and preparing it for climate appropriate, low water use plants and efficient irrigation. Until October 31, 2021, Marin Water is offering $3 per square foot of existing grass removed using a sheet mulch approach, and for capping the irrigation system in the project area. Please note: applications for this program will be available on June 1. Preapproval is required to participate in this program. Projects that have been started, or projects that have already been completed prior to receiving approval to participate, are not eligible. Contact our water efficiency team at (415) 945-1527 for additional information.

West Marin Compost

7:00 am - 3:00 pm

(415) 662-9849

5575 Nicasio Valley Rd. Nicasio, CA 94946