What is it? CarbonGarden.org is a grassroots movement of people working together to restore ecological balance through “Carbon Gardens.” Carbon Gardens are natural spaces designed to facilitate the work of soil-dwelling creatures, plants and trees to pull excess carbon dioxide out of the air and draw carbon back into the ground. Carbon Gardens vary widely. But all are designed to help re-balance the carbon cycle by working with earth’s natural processes to reduce excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which is destabilizing the climate and bring carbon back into the ground where it is needed to enrich depleted soil.
Where are Carbon Gardens? Carbon Gardens may exist in many places such as apartment balconies with container plantings, portions of a household yards, workplace window gardens, hospital courtyards, vacant lots, and school grounds.
How do we start a Carbon Garden?
- Learn about earth’s carbon cycle and the particular ways plants, worms and microbes can help sequester carbon in the soil.
- Identify a patch of land or a container garden where you will deepen your relationships with the soil and the life forms that live there by experimenting with natural strategies that help re-balance the carbon cycle. While some Carbon Gardens grow vegetables, others nurture diverse native plantings, others cultivate beauty with blooming perennial flowers, while still others experiment with cover crops to regenerate new, carbon rich soil.
- Place a sign in the Carbon Garden. The sign might simply say “Carbon Garden” or “www.CarbonGarden.org.” It may also be decorated with visual graphics or art. The primary purposes of Carbon Garden signs are to
- draw people into conversation with one another for the purpose of ongoing learning,
- engage neighborhoods in taking individual and collective action to restore ecological balance, and
- deepen our relationships with one another and the places where we live, work and learn.
Is it really that simple? There is no right way to have a Carbon Garden. There is no single manual. No definitive “How To” guide. Some of us “Carbon Gardeners” know a lot about plants, soil and carbon sequestration. Some of us begin knowing virtually nothing. Some of us learn by reading books. Others of us prefer to be mentored by somebody with experience.
You will not find a resource list on this website. The movement of those experimenting with partnerships to restore ecological balance is already too big and will continue to grow. Each of us already have a wealth of resources at our disposal: within our neighborhoods, families, libraries, schools, faith communities, and online. We are each invited to take responsibility for our own learning and seek mentors who can help us grow. Starting a “Carbon Garden” is easy. The journey that unfolds thereafter is likely to last the rest of our lives!
Who is a Carbon Gardener? Any person or organization is welcome to start their own Carbon Garden and take a role in this emerging movement. Nobody owns it. There is no certification process. CarbonGarden.org is a movement of people waking up to the miracle of our relationships with one another and our relationships with the whole earth community. We know there are many people who have been engaged in “Carbon Gardening” for a long time who just did not have a name to give it or a sign to help connect them with others in their communities who have similar interests.
Can we start a Carbon Garden today? We do not have to wait until we achieve a certain level of knowledge in order to begin. We begin wherever we are. We take one step, and then another, and then another on the journey of healing our planet, healing our communities, and healing ourselves. We invite others to tell us what they are learning through their Carbon Garden. As they are interested, we share our stories, as well.
Just find a little patch of earth or a pot of soil. Pay attention. Learn. Grow. Plant a little sign. Share. Invite others.