1000 trees in one day, or how two women are changing the rules of farming

From a career in advertising and finance, to farmers: three years ago, Claire and Gaëlle started a regenerative farm in Gonneville, France.

Our food system is broken and that’s hurting both nature and people. The way we produce food through large-scale industrial agriculture is responsible for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Gaëlle is co-founder of the GonneGirls farm with Claire.

While smallholder farmers produce around 70% of the world’s food, they often live in conditions of great vulnerability. And now the effects of climate change are further deteriorating their lands.

Providing a healthy, affordable and environmentally friendly diet for all will require a radical transition to a regenerative agricultural system.

Gaëlle and Claire want to prove that this transformation is possible.

To kick-start their project, they needed to plant 1000 trees to help regenerate the soil. Ecosia helped them get enough saplings. But we needed some help to plant them.

We got it from Tibo, a YouTuber with millions of followers who called upon his community and some fellow video makers to help the GonneGirls plant those trees.

It is estimated that by 2050 about 70% of the world population will live in cities, turning entire villages across the countryside into ghost towns. This is already a problem in Spain, where we met Belén and Leo when we first visited Ecosia’s project in Andalucía.

In a way, Claire and Gaëlle, too, are part of a movement of rural millennials trying to restore entire landscapes by applying regenerative techniques on their farms.

Without people like them, Europe’s soils run the danger of being depleted. As big industries take over abandoned land, the soil may be exploited beyond repair. We have to stop relying on an agricultural system that time and again has proven to be broken.

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