Mari Jyväsjärvi Stuart
What are you working on now?
My ELI Capstone project—a carbon farming plan for a small fiber farm—made me realize that this was the thing I could imagine dedicating the rest of my life to: promoting carbon farming, or regenerative agriculture—that is, farming practices that mitigate, and may even help to reverse, climate change. My innate strengths are in teaching, design, communication, and organizing, so my role within this newly emerging field of carbon farming was going to be one that draws on those strengths.
The momentum and inspiration from ELI continues to energize me and keep me working towards that vision. I’m now developing an initiative called Project Grounded (www.projectgrounded.com), which will launch in the spring. The project will provide urban and suburban consumers—i.e., people who can’t be carbon farmers themselves—meaningful ways to engage with regenerative agriculture through their daily lifestyle choices and eventually also direct investing. The goal is to create bio-regional hubs where the local community will give farmers the support they need to transition to climate-beneficial agriculture… and will in turn get to create a more grounded life for themselves, with nutrient-dense local food, a deeper connection to the land and each other, and the empowering knowledge that they are contributing to the solutions.