The Rise of the Carbon Farmer

Patrick Holden strolls across the field, pausing from time to time to bend and point out a bumblebee, or a white butterfly, or a dung beetle. A wide expanse of blue sky stretches above. Beneath, undulating green hills, sprawling hedgerows, a horizon broken only by the jagged tips of Wales’ Cambrian mountain range. Sun-soaked goodness.

“Can you see that bumblebee working the clover?” he asks, voice breathy with exertion. “The bird life, insects, butterflies, small mammals, and bats … the biodiversity of this place is unbelievable.” This is all here, he says, because he’s farming in harmony with nature.

The secret to this small oasis, Holden says, is the way he

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