Sweetgrass Garden stands as a local exemplar of climate-friendly food production. The non-profit, sustainable farm, located on Johns Island, was started in 2010 by Dr. George Taylor and Dale Snyder, and today is shepherded by Farm Manager Jennifer Wicker. Their goals are two-fold: providing food for the hungry, donating 7,000 pounds of produce annually to charitable food distribution network Sea Island Hunger Awareness Foundation; and educating locals on how to farm sustainably.
Everything they do is maximized to be climate friendly. They build up and maintain the soil using cover crops, sheet mulching, and through raised beds and Hugelkultur bins -- healthy, regenerative soil has carbon drawdown potential. They integrate their animal companions into farm maintenance. Ducks deal with pests, the goats assist with weed clearing, and the chickens tractor weeds, eat pests and fertilize the soil. Sweetgrass composts heartily, uses algae-based natural pesticide courtesy of Enlightened Soil Corp, and is in all its aspects regenerative.
Jennifer Wicker sees the education piece as the most impactful benefit of the farm -- volunteers are welcome every weekend to come and experience sustainable farming practices firsthand. Food production may account for 26% of GHG emissions, but our sustainable farms show us you can grow food without harming the planet.