Youth Climate Story: Regenerative Agriculture in Illinois

“We’re really working to create a future that we want to see as young people — a future that is communal, and resilient, and one that is actively combatting the climate crisis.”

Meet Remi and Gavi, sisters and Co-Founders of Zumwalt Acres, a regenerative agriculture community working to develop a model of land stewardship in Illinois that is ecologically sustainable and socially responsible, rooted in Jewish values. Together they’re fostering community with other young people to address the climate crisis from their own backyard.

Zumwalt Acres is a regenerative agriculture community working to develop a model of land stewardship in Illinois that is ecologically sustainable and socially responsible, rooted in Jewish values. After close to 60 years of industrial row crops, they are working to transition the Zumwalt family farm to regenerative agriculture focused on agroforestry. Agroforestry is a way of utilizing trees and other perennial crops to grow food. They are transitioning 20 acres of corn/soy fields to organic alley cropping, restoring 30 acres of woodland area to forest farming and native hardwood forest, and growing vegetables. As they clear dead trees, they utilize the wood to produce biochar which is then mixed with compost and applied to our soil. Biochar reduces greenhouse gases and increases soil health. They are conducting field-based studies with biochar and basalt rock dust to better understand how these practices can best be used to mitigate climate change and grow healthy food.

Learn more about Zumwalt Acres: https://www.zumwaltacres.org