The Most Impactful 101 Acres We’ll Ever Plant
Creating a new agricultural supply chain is daunting. Yet, we realized less than a year after founding Plantd in 2021 that to accomplish our goal of rapidly removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, we had no choice.
So we’ve raced to identify and cultivate a climate crop — a plant that grows rapidly and resource-efficiently to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using the least amount of land. In other words, a crop that could play a decisive role in helping humanity solve climate change.
This climate crop would also need to possess heroic strength. It was imperative that Plantd be able to transform it into useful, durable materials; useful to sell it into a big market, and durable to store past carbon emissions for a long time.
We homed in on a tall, fast-growing perennial grass. It checked the boxes for yields, resource efficiency, and strength. The only catch: you couldn’t buy it. There was no commercial supply. If we were going to decarbonize homebuilding with useful, durable, carbon-negative materials and scale a solution to rapidly remove carbon from the atmosphere, it would be up to us.
So we went to work.'
We purchased a farm for research and development. We ran experiments. We evaluated every aspect of our plants to identify the most productive and cost-effective methods for preparing them for planting.
We researched numerous farming and planting practices, looking at soil types, crop density, and every other variable that would impact our results.
We found our first farmer. He bought into our vision for a new perennial grass supply chain. We struck a deal to plant his farm, near our headquarters and factory in Oxford, North Carolina. It worked for him because he, like many farmers across the U.S., is nearing the twilight of his career, and wants his land to remain productive once he passes it down to his children. In Plantd’s agriculture solution, he found a crop that is both environmentally and economically sustainable, a value proposition that appeals to him and his daughters.
As the fall planting season comes to an end for our first year of commercial farming, we look back with intense pride and excitement. We’ve gained hard-won knowledge and developed critical insights into our agricultural techniques. Our team has put in the work, rising before sunrise, working deep in the dirt, doing whatever it takes to move fast and plant things.
We put 101 acres of perennial grass in the ground this year. Taken out of context, that number might not carry significance. However, given all of the knowledge gained, all that we now know to expand agriculture and farming operations in 2024 and beyond, we are heartened.
The work to capture carbon from the atmosphere and transform it into useful, durable materials has only just begun. Still, our path is clear. We know what to do to build the future.
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