Here is an account of an indigenous approach to sustainable farming in West Africa. It seems to have emerged on farms there spontaneously, and to have spread by word of mouth. The centre of the approach is a recognition of the value of protecting and promoting young trees by farmers on their own land. The documented benefits flow both to the farm–shade, shelter, leaf litter and organic matter, water conservation, and so on–and to the global environment, by building a significant carbon sink. As this article notes, the initiative can be scaled up, and the learning being accumulated by these African farmers can be communicated with other farmers throughout the world–a welcome flow of expertise from African farmers.