Yisrael Family Farm: disrupting a food desert

In a stretch of Sacramento with hardly a grocery store in sight, Chanowk and Judith Yisrael broke the yoke of corporate life and are bringing about change for themselves and their community by growing their own produce and teaching their neighbors to do the same.

It started in 2008 when Chanowk realized the economic downturn threatened his job and the food security of his family. He asked himself how they would survive if they couldn’t afford to buy groceries.

Chanowk and his wife Judith decided to start growing their own fruit and vegetables.

This proved to be much more fulfilling and valuable than the long hours he spent commuting and working in the corporate world, so Chanowk quit his job. He and Judith started working full-time producing their own food. Soon, they were building a movement in their neighborhood of Oak Park, Sacramento, where nutritious options and fresh produce are hard to find.

Together with their children, the Yisraels began inviting their neighbors and the community into their garden and kitchen to learn how to grow, harvest, cook and preserve their own fruit and vegetables.

“Changing the hood for good” – the Yisrael family’s motto

The Yisrael family sets a powerful example of how to cultivate a more sustainable and just food system at the local level.

They’re an inspiration for breaking out of the norm, finding a self-sustaining way of life, and for how to have a real impact in the community. By teaching their neighbors to grow and prepare their own food, they are effectively feeding their community for life.

Read more about the Yisrael Family’s cool urban farm and check out this article about their impact in the community.

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