Soil is a vital and living entity. A quarter of all known species live in the soil and human life depends on the health of these organisms. Carbon Sponge draws inspiration from soil microbes – small but mighty – and recognizes soil as a dynamic force for social change.

Recent science, much older indigenous practices and the land itself are guiding the Carbon Sponge project, our relationship to soil, how we cultivate our food and find a sense of place within complex and changing ecosystems.

Carbon Sponge is stewarding land to grow and retain carbon in the soil for the benefit of microbes, plants, people and climate.    

Carbon Sponge’s Soil Profiling event at White Feather Farm with Olga Vargas (USDA/NRCS Soil Scientist) and Rich Shaw (retired USDA/NRCS Soil Scientist).

Carbon Sponge is a collective research practice and interdisciplinary collaboration between artists, farmers, scientists, agroecologist, educators and the public to understand soil and how our relationship to it can mitigate climate chaos, improve the health of a range of species and build overall resiliency.

Initiated in 2018 at the New York Hall of Science, Carbon Sponge began by designing experimental plots to study soil dynamics and developing reliable protocols for anyone to track carbon and other characteristics in soils over time to carbon farm in New York City and, more recently, upstate New York.

Collaborators Past and Present:
Brooke Singer, founder
Dr. Perl Egendorf
Dr. Maha Deeb
Dr. Peter Groffman
Dr. Pasquale Napoletano
Dr. Claudio Colombo
Katharhy Flores
Marisa Prefer
Corey Tegeler
Daniel Fabricant
New York Hall of Science
NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation
Sahery Arain
Cara Lamberto
Anghelo Guerrero
Pioneer Works
Bronx River Foodway
GrowNYC Teaching Garden
NYU’s Urban Farm Lab
Prospect Farm
White Feather Farm
Bonhomie Farm
Foxtrot Farm and Flowers
Mossy Stone Farm
Newton Farm
Nimble Roots Farm
Stoneberry Farm
Sweet Freedom Farm
The Lo Farm
Zena Farmstead
Coming Home Seeds and Farm
Olga Vargas (USDA-NRCS Soil Scientist)
Rich Shaw (former USDA-NRCS Soil Scientist and educator)
Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming
Atina Foods
Anne-Laure White
Erin Mulholland
Nathan Pollack

Since 2018, Carbon Sponge has received generous support from: White Feather Farm/Lozen Foundation, The Spark of Hudson, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE), New York Hall of Science, Patagonia, The Globetrotter Foundation, Brooklyn Council for the Arts, The Awesome Foundation (NYC).  

Perl conducting Carbon Sponge field work at NYSCI in a Carbon Sponge “microbe print” suit, 2018.

Contact: info AT carbonsponge DOT org

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© 2018–  
Illustrations by Corey Cavagnolo
Photographs by Jess Giacobbe, Miles Dubois and Brooke Singer