A living laboratory for a sustainable human future.

Converging Paths: the Carbon Harvest Program


Have you ever heard of carbon trading or carbon markets? In our Converging Paths segment, we’ll learn about a fresh new take on this idea that will empower individuals, organizations, and farmers in Western North Carolina to take a different kind of environmental action.

Co-operate WNC—a regional mutual aid project for a regenerative future, led by Earthaven member Zev Friedman—is rolling out its newest initiative this spring. This offshoot, the Carbon Harvest program, is coordinated by Asheville resident, ecological designer, and educator, Mari Stuart.

Here’s how it works:

  • Western North Carolina farmers participate as test sites. They put agroforestry practices to use to more actively build healthy soil, plus sequester carbon.
  • Individuals, businesses, and organizations desiring to be more proactive in lowering emissions use funds to support these regional farms.

And voila, everybody wins! The money stays local, accountability is personal, environmental impact is concrete, and all of it is connected to nourishment through food. This regional model for carbon markets is markedly different from what is currently in existence, which tends to move resources on a global scale and between much larger entities.

One of the key features in the design process of the Carbon Harvest program is the organization of stakeholder gatherings. These sessions invite feedback based on the day-to-day reality of the various stakeholders, so that the organizational model works for everyone involved.

Earlier in the month, there was a stakeholder gathering for innovators and researchers. On February 27, there will be a Learning Circle and potluck. At the Organic Growers School Conference March 7 & 8, Zev and Mari will be presenting.

Co-operate WNC aims to have the pilot sites and initial participating entities set up by the end of 2020. For more information about this regional initiative, contact Mari at

agroforestry, carbon market, Co-operate WNC, Mari, zev

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