Connecting Business – Growing Opportunities

How Farming Carbon is Tackling the Climate Emergency

Membership Spotlight

Our new Northern Irish member, Stephanie McEvoy writes in this membership blog on how Farming Carbon is promoting change to tackle the climate crisis.

Innovation noun in·no·va·tion | i-nə-ˈvā-shən  
- the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods

Do you want to know what innovation in farming looks like? 

Ok – let's go for a walk on our farm. 

Imagine you have your welly boots on and have climbed the gate, even though it would have been as easy to open it. The hedgerow on your left side is noisy - it is as though the din of tiny wings flying, & birds chirping  are trying to talk to you. Walk on, around the perimeter, because aside from this metre edging of the field, the rest is grown tall with a chest height growth of varying textures and shades of green. Over the top of the crop growth on your right, you can see the clear grey outline of the Mourne Mountains. 

The growth in the field is still holding the morning dew despite the time being near 11am, and you look closer to see what is growing there. The kale and typhon are the tall, stalky plants with huge leaves that create a canopy for the varieties of bugs flitting in and around. The typhon has antibacterial qualities that help reduce the need for dosing cattle. The other species are stubble turnip and rape, the growth is dense. The multi species mix of plants means that the livestock have a healthy balanced diet, all grown in this field and in a way that supports all other life in the ecosystem. 

Promoting root diversity and research to restore ecosystem balance

When communities of vegetation breathe in CO2, they turn the carbon into sugars and feed it to the microbial networks in the soil, as well as repurposing the carbon to grow in every direction. Root diversity helps the soil structure and means the soil is less susceptible to erosion. All of the initiatives we are researching and undertaking are in attempt to restore ecosystem balance, in a way that merges modern efficiency with time honoured traditions. A focus on the health of the soil and diversity of plants supports biodiversity and livestock health which has a positive impact on human health as well. 

Our farms and farmland make up 79% of land in Northern Ireland and provide a solution for climate change. Healthy soil retains more carbon, becomes more porous because the root networks flourish and therefore can store more water during periods of floods – which are retained within the soil to support life and growth through periods of drought. 

Encouraging change to progress positively for future farming

Since the dawn of human cultivating the landscape, we have farmed grains, livestock, vegetables, fruits - but until now, Farming Carbon didn’t need to be such a priority. For most of our history, we have farmed in a way that was congruent with nature and we want to help modern farmers to be our hope for a brighter future. In a complex world we are always looking for someone to blame, rather than for ways to support and create change. Farming Carbon will support change in the industry based on the findings of one of the founders having success with their self-funded move to sustainable practices over the past 5 years. 

For 2.5 million years humans fed themselves, gathering and hunting up until 10,000 years ago, when we had the Agricultural Revolution. Farming has since been a standard human method of ensuring availability of food, and has continually developed to ensure that humans were getting the most out of the land they were working. Unfortunately, there have been developments in recent history that have increased farming efficiency at the cost of ecosystem balance. Over dependence on chemical application, alongside increased road traffic and other human resources have impacted the biodiversity around us. 

The Climate Crisis and its chain reaction to farming and food supplies

Everybody eats. The variety we are now accustomed to on the supermarket shelves, is dependent on an international supply chain, of importing / exporting produce and products. Our farmers have to face the cost of living and supplies in Northern Ireland but competing on the price of grain, or vegetables grown across the world where costs can be vastly different. We now have an agriculture industry that is reliant on subsidies and the general population have a concerning miscalculated perception of food value. 

Agriculture offers a unique opportunity to support local biodiversity, maintain food security, and offer a solution to the issues we face in terms of international temperature changes. 

The Met Office has documented the hottest September on record here in Northern Ireland. That came after Ballywatticock made headlines hitting 31.2 C in the summer. Internationally in 2021, we have had record temperatures, cyclones, dust storms, wildfires across Europe and Australia, flooding across Northern Europe. There is no doubt that our weather patterns are changing. Alongside climate concerns we have been experiencing an increasing uncertainty of the food supply chain across the UK, which led to national chains closing their doors for lack of produce this year. Our news threads are full of frightening stories and hopelessness. 

An alternative solution and method in farming

Climate change is a result of excessive greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. We present a natural, chemical free way to increase the chemical breakdown of CO2 through photosynthesis. Plants grow and are nourished by this process of “digesting” CO2, retaining the carbon in their structure and excreting oxygen as a by-product. This is why plant growth is the most available, realistic to implement and completely natural way of addressing the imbalance in our atmosphere full of carbon emissions. Our method of farming not only removes atmospheric carbon, but it also reduces the emissions of other greenhouse gases, through using renewables where possible, reducing chemical usage and a myriad of other environmentally impactful changes.  

We want to empower businesses to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility, achieve their own environmental goals and help make a real impact on the rural economy. Businesses drive change in the marketplace. Farming Carbon is aligned with a wide variety of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and so a partnership with us can help your own Sustainability Goals. To stay ahead of consumer trends, businesses drive innovation, and customers prefer to engage with those who can demonstrate that they are reinvested back into systems that benefit all. 

Planting the seed of change with Farming Carbon

We want to plant seeds in a movement more powerful than activism or protesting. Action breeds hope and your action can galvanise our impact, because we are already doing this, but our ability to influence and support other farmers onto the same path will be amplified. Life for our future generations could be a diverse exciting flurry of insects through to great beasts, or a slowly dying monoculture of humans, and the select few other beings that are useful to us, depending on our actions now. 

What we need is support from our community – imagine being able to describe to our future generations that you were part of the movement that made such an impact on protecting the world they will flourish in. Part of the movement, although based in Northern Ireland, is researching a framework that is relatable to farmland internationally. A movement that demonstrates how far we have come as a small country and how we are adaptive and innovative. 

Through a stringent method of research and analysing sustainable farming on our farm, we would be in a better place to make recommendations to local authorities and policy makers to protect biodiversity, soil health and our food systems and structures. 

Get in touch

Farming Carbon  offer fully customised business packages depending on your requirements and have a per unit model of sales so that all of their research on biodiversity and carbon capture that is to be completed, can be calculated back and credited to your business. Join them today and find out more by visiting their website at with Stephanie on LinkedIn, or email them at to find out more about what Farming Carbon do and to discuss their business rates. 

Causeway Event - Spotlight on Businesses Tackling the Climate Crisis through Innovation

Stephanie McEvoy will be a guest speaker at an online Causeway networking event on 27 January 2022, sharing more about the work and activities of Farming Carbon in tackling the climate crisis. All are welcome to attend and participate in this interactive session - advanced registration essential - register here >

Author: Stephanie McEvoy

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