Because our lives are entirely dependent on the health of our soils, the Soil Not Oil Campaign demands the care and regeneration of soils worldwide. We emphasize that extensive restructuring of land management practices, especially agriculture, is key to combating climate change, restoring water cycles, stopping ocean acidification, re-establishing biodiversity, improving food production, and revitalizing local economies across the planet. Furthermore, we recognize that rapidly accelerating human-caused climate change is an imminent threat to urgent action to halt the reckless and expanding fossil fuel industry, which pollutes the ecosystems we depend on and drives climate change, threatening to destabilize our biosphere on a global scale. The Soil Not Oil Campaign's call for integrated action on sustainable practices in all areas of human endeavor is essential to ensuring a safe and healthy world for generations to come.
Dear people, help us to spread the word... Bay Area Farmer Training Program is receiving application for our cohort sep/nov 2017, fantastic program about agroecology and food justice for beginner farmers. Planting Justice Urban Tilth Hank Herrera New Hope Farms Phat Beets Produce Max Kurtz-Cadji Gavin Raders Haleh Zandi Effie Rawlings Antonio Roman-Alcala Bill Nunes Kanchan Dawn Hunter Spiral Gardens Community Food Security Project Elizabeth Kaiser Singing Frogs Farm Vanya Goldberg Gerardo Omar Marin Miguel Robles Dina M. Izzo Rosi Quiñones Flores Paul Rogé Annie Shattuck Michelle Roses Wight Gracias!
California’s much anticipated Healthy Soils Program officially launched yesterday with the release of the first Request for Grant Applications (RGA) by the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA). The deadline for applications is 5pm on September 19th.
The first of its kind in the country, the program will provide grants to farmers and ranchers for implementing on-farm practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or store carbon in soil, trees and shrubs. Types of practices that will be eligible include the addition of mulch and compost, cover cropping, reduced tillage, and the planting of herbaceous and woody plants such as windbreaks, hedgerows, riparian plantings, filter strips, silvopasture and more.
Three types of grants will be available:
Direct farmer grants: Incentives of up to $50,000 per farm or ranch for the implementation of one or more new soil and conservation management practices.
Outreach and Education/Demonstration grants: Demonstration projects funded with grants of up to $100,000 for soil improvement practices that reduce GHGs and increase soil health, and also have an outreach and demonstration component to showcase the healthy soils practices and promote their widespread adoption throughout the state. These will likely involve partnerships between producers and non-profits, Resource Conservation Districts and/or academic or extension departments.
Research/Demonstration grants: Demonstration projects funded with grants of up to $250,000. These are similar to the prior category of demonstration project, but in addition to outreach and education on healthy soils practices, these projects must include measurement and data collection on GHG emissions and carbon sequestration.
CalCAN and our network of partners have been strong champions for this groundbreaking program, and advocated for the program’s inclusion in legislation. In 2016, SB 859 established the program in statute. We commend CDFA for their efforts in launching the Healthy Soils Program and for incorporating public comment in the design, and we hope and expect to see strong interest from farmers and ranchers from across California.
The Healthy Soils Program is funded with cap-and-trade allowance revenue. With the extension of cap-and-trade through 2030 by the legislature a couple of weeks ago, the funds available to support voluntary actions to reduce GHGs in every sector of our economy are expected to grow considerably in the coming years.
CalCAN will continue to engage our partners in making the case for the importance of sustainable agriculture—importantly including the Healthy Soils Program—in the state’s toolkit of climate solutions.
Here is a list of links to resources to assist growers in applying:
For a farmer fact sheet from CalCAN: click here
For Incentives Program application materials and a schedule of application assistance workshops and webinars: click here
For Demonstration Projects application materials and a schedule of application assistance workshops and webinars: click here
For a 5-minute introduction video and schedule of training webinars for COMET-Planner, the calculator required for most applications: click here (video) and here (schedule)
For more background on the history of the Healthy Soils Initiative and CalCAN’s advocacy role in its establishment, click here.
"The volume of banned or restricted pesticides and illegally applied fertilizers in the woods dwarfs estimates by the U.S. Forest Service in 2014, when a top enforcement official testified that the pollution was threatening forest land in California and other states.
According to unpublished data seen by Reuters, Gabriel, who has visited more than 100 sites in California and is widely considered the top expert on toxics at marijuana farms, calculated that federal land in California contains 731,000 pounds of solid fertilizer, 491,000 ounces of concentrated liquid fertilizer and 200,000 ounces of toxic pesticides." http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/toxic-waste-from-us-pot-farms-alarms-experts/ar-AApwncq
Pollution from illegal marijuana farms deep in California's national forests is far worse than previously thought, and has turned thousands of acres into waste dumps so toxic that simply touching plants has landed law enforcement officers in the hospital.