Between flooding that started the season, and an early frost that ended it, U.S. farmers have without a doubt endured a tough 2019. But this holiday season, consider the positive impact your purchases can bring, no matter how far you are from the farm. When buying gifts for family, friends, and loved ones, consider these unique products that support the sustainability — and prosperity — of both people and planet.
Support a Climate-Forward Future with a Carbon Credit
Most of the things we do every day – drive, use hot water, surf the internet – creates emissions and contribute to our personal carbon footprints.
Purchasing a carbon credit can offset this footprint by financing a project that removes carbon from the atmosphere – whether that be through regenerative growing practices, forest protection, or reforestation projects. Through The Terraton Initiative, you can invest in farmers employing a variety of growing techniques like crop rotations, no-till farming, cover cropping, and chemical fertilizer reduction. These techniques capture carbon in the soil and – importantly – keep it there.
Carbon-enriched soils demonstrate greater resilience to floods and drought, yield greater harvests, and require less inputs, among many other beneficial side-effects. This means that – with a carbon credit obtained through The Terraton Initiative – you will do more than just "offset" your footprint. You will help to advance or promote a more resilient future for the planet, support the profitability of rural communities, and advocate on behalf of the world's most important industry; simply put, your actions will be climate forward.
Put Some Regeneratively Produced Whiskey in Your Hot Toddy
Spirits run high during the holiday season and can be helped along by a good body-warming whiskey. Since 1791, when Irish immigrants began brewing whiskey in the Tennessee hills, it’s been a reliable companion during war, prohibitions, rebellions, and family dinners.
Judging from the early snowfall, we are gearing up for a cold, white holiday season. So, how about a hot toddy to usher in the holiday cheer?
Russell Hedrick, a first-generation farmer managing just under 1,000 acres in Hickory, North Carolina, is an avid user of regenerative farming practices: diverse crop rotations, no-till, livestock integration, and pollinator strips. He operates Southern Seeds and Feeds and partners with Seventeen Twelve Distillery, through which he produces a whiskey with his corn.
Whether you prefer a whiskey hot cider, a hot toddy, or just enjoy it on the rocks, Russell Hedrick’s whiskeys will warm you up and make a great gift.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Honey Produced on a Regenerative Farm
Humans have been taking advantage of the many miraculous properties of honey since the Stone Age. From using it as a salve to treat wounds to a cough suppressant, the golden, syrupy liquid has long been loved for more than its taste.
Especially this time of year, with the cold temperatures and early snowfall, honey makes for a thoughtful holiday gift that will be immediately appreciated. Studies show that, due to antioxidants like peptides, flavonoids, and organic acids, honey has been shown to fight off around 60 different species of bacteria.
Farmer Gabe Brown and his son have adopted regenerative practices such as no-till, crop rotations, livestock grazing, and cover cropping on their five-thousand acre ranch in Bismarck, North Dakota since 1993. The resulting landscape is a haven for honeybees, whose honey Gabe collects from hives across the property.
Whether it’s used for making warming holiday cocktails or in a hot cup of tea to fend off winter ailments, there’s nothing wasted when it comes to giving someone you love some of the Brown’s honey.
Bringing Your Family into the Conversation with a Good Book
Conversations around climate change and the tactics that address it can be sticky, and launching straight into a debate can be counterproductive. Instead, consider giving those who are curious about agriculture’s role in addressing climate change a good book. Here are our top reads for this holiday season:
In Growing a Revolution, David Montgomery travels around the world interviewing farmers on the cutting-edge of the movement to restore soil health. Over and over again, he sees proof that adopting specific farming techniques is the solution to truly fertile farmland, and a cooler planet.
In Drawdown, Paul Hawken systematically describes the 100 highest impact solutions to global warming. Land use and food production appear multiple times in the top 20, and Hawken goes into great detail on the impact and solutions to each.
Between travel and post-meal relaxation, the holidays are generally one of the few times of year people really do have time to read. A book will educate, ideally inspire, and it will definitely open up the conversation.
Bake Instead of Buy Your Treats This Year
When you’re short on time, it’s always tempting to look for shortcuts and buy your holiday treats. But most sweets come along with a heap of unnecessary packaging, including single-use plastics. Of all plastic produced annually, about half, or 168 million metric tons of it, will be used once and thrown away.
If you can make the time (and there is evidence you should), we suggest locally sourcing cage-free eggs, and then picking up some of Shepherd's Grain gorgeous flour that supports no-till, farming practices. Not only will your cookies or cakes taste better when you use this rich flour, but you’ll also be supporting farmers who are committed to sustaining the earth and preserving the land for generations to come.
Help the Honey Bees by Sponsoring a Hive
Like corn and soybean farmers, bee farmers have had a tough time over the last few years. According to the Bee Informed Partnership, from October 1, 2018, through April 1, 2019, beekeepers lost approximately 37.7% of their managed colonies.
Factors like parasites, pesticides and colony collapse disorder are all playing a role in the demise of the honeybee. This matters because bees are responsible for the health of more than 100 different crops, so the loss of pollinators jeopardizes our food supply.
Adopting, or sponsoring a hive this holiday season means sustaining beekeepers, even with annual losses. There are several paths to doing this: Some farmers have programs that function as “hive memberships,” and you get a certificate and some honey with every donation. With The Honey Bee Conservancy, you can offer to host a hive at your local school or garden. Planet Bee has beekeeping workshops, community programs, and other resources. And finally, through the Karma Honey Project you can sponsor an entire hive (which comes with a regular supply of honey) or a single bee.
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*HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY ROUND 2* ⠀⠀ The positive response to our last giveaway left us wanting to give you all another chance to win! We've curated some of our favorite items inspired by the growing community of farmers and supporters who are adopting and encouraging regenerative growing practices. In this holiday-inspired gift basket, you'll find curated goods such as: ⠀⠀ 🌱 Raw, unfiltered honey produced by regenerative farmer Paul Brown @BrownsRanch 🌱 "Growing a Revolution" by earth science professor David Montgomery 🌱 Exclusive "Peace (and Cover Crops) on Earth" reusable tote bag and reusable tea bags 🌱 Mint growing kit 🌱 ...all shipped to you in reusable or compostable packaging with the travel more than offset through contribution to regenerative farmers To enter for a chance to win: 1️⃣Like this post. 2️⃣Be sure you're following @Terraton Instagram. 3️⃣Tag a friend in the comments section. Enter by 12/17 at 5pm ET. One winner and their tagged friend will be chosen at random and announced in a @Terraton Instagram story. Open to US residents 18 and older. Please see the full terms & conditions here or in our story: bit.ly/TerratonHolidayGiveaway. This contest is not affiliated with Instagram. Good luck!