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, and results in a full accounting of greenhouse gas emissions typically lacking in farm projects, addressing the need to reduce the atmospheric burden of GHGs with economic, social, and planetary benefits
Buckwheat Blossom is exploring a no-cost direct measurement GHG offset program pioneered by Planet Alpha Corp. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to quantify net farm emission reductions, including CO2, CH4 and N2O. This feature is not found in typical offset protocols, reflecting the importance of offsets for these gases in managing climate change. Although direct measurement of greenhouse gases has been applied to diverse research projects, Planet Alpha is commercializing direct measurement for the first time at no cost to small farms. The offsets will be primarily sold to Maine businesses employing a simple no-fee registration website. All raw data will be posted with open access.
Jeff and Amy Burchstead, the owners and operators of Buckwheat Blossom, said, "We envision the relationship with Planet Alpha being an extremely beneficial one for our farm and family. It will allow us to capitalize on the soil-building, carbon-capturing systems we have so carefully enacted. The revenue will justify the time we have put into this labor of love and allow us to enhance our systems to in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions even further. Hopefully, we are creating a legacy of improved ecosystem function that will be very evident on the landscape and will be curated by our children and theirs."
Buckwheat Blossom has employed horse-powered agriculture for 20 years, eliminating CO2 emissions, fertilizers and pesticides, and operates a regenerative farm by using such methods as silvopasture for the rearing of sheep and other livestock, excluding cattle. Sheep provide meat and wool products with an extremely small carbon footprint. Horses and sheep emit comparatively less methane (CH4) than cattle, classifying Buckwheat Blossom's horse-powered agriculture as a unique climate-smart model for small family farms. While our approach resonates with the passage of the USDAs Growing Climate Solutions Act, S. 1251 (117), which promotes carbon farming, Planet Alpha provides direct measurement of GHGs and soil carbon, rather than relying on estimation and models.
"Buckwheat Blossom Farm is an unrecognized champion of GHG reduction employing horse-powered operations, remarkably, over the past two decades, emphasizing this unique approach to farm management. Our goal is to combine direct measurement of GHGs with horse-powered operations to achieve a net-negative emission profile. Direct measurement levels the playing field for small family farms offering recognition, additional revenue, jobs for rural communities and verified net reductions, ensuring equity in the pricing of mitigation products. There is no cost to the landowner for our program, eliminating this barrier to GHG emission reduction management. We look forward to working with this extraordinary family farm and the community," said Bruno D.V. Marino, CEO and founder of Planet Alpha.
Buckwheat Blossom is one of about 200,000+ small farms across America that are vital to stewardship of the land and soils, sequestration of CO2 and management of CH4 and N2O emissions. However, there are few models to guide small farmers in this approach. The project intends to provide a no-cost framework for similar small farms inclusive of socially disadvantaged and underserved farmers, including African American, Latino, Asian and immigrant farm owners. Traditional estimation-based protocols may result in lower-priced voluntary offsets compared to compliance products and are mired in controversy over their quality and value. Planet Alpha employs a GHG Offset Agreement similar to contracts the solar industry employs widely.
The project welcomes small-farm collaboration (buckwheatblossomfarm@
About Buckwheat Blossom Farm: Buckwheat Blossom Farm is a horse-powered small family farm (https://www.instagram.com/
About Planet Alpha Corp.: Planet Alpha Corp. (https://www.planetalphaforest.earth) is an early-stage American company dedicated to direct measurement of GHG reductions resulting in verifiable climate change mitigation products and landowner equity across emission scenarios, harmonizing markets for trading worldwide.
Amy and Jeff Burchstead, Buckwheat Blossom Farms
Bruno D.V. Marino, Planet Alpha Corp