Global Sustainability in Agriculture: GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Mini-Farming
Ecology Action’s Global Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture offers hope and demonstrated results in helping communities worldwide grow plentiful and nutritious food, without depleting natural resources and with sophisticated yet low-technology approaches to farming and marketing.
Ecology Action, a non-profit organization, has devoted over thirty-eight years to researching and developing the GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming approach. This method is low-cost and non-polluting, maximizes agricultural yields, builds soil fertility, and minimizes inputs of water, energy, and fertilizers. Ecology Action’s work is centered at its Research and Demonstration Farm located in Willits, California. The site was chosen, due to its difficult growing conditions, including poor soil quality and hilly terrain, to best demonstrate the effectiveness of the GROW BIOINTENSIVE approach and its adaptability to diverse climates and cultures. The farm serves as one of the oldest continuing sustainable agriculture research projects in the U.S.
Ecology Action’s mission is to spread education and training in the practice of sustainable food production gathered through research and development to communities around the world. This information and experience enables them to raise their food while conserving natural resources. The global education and outreach initiative described here will be accomplished through seminars and workshops; training and certification of GROW BIOINTENSIVE instructors; publication of numerous books; booklets, and information sheets; and the creative use of websites. These learning tools have been piloted in virtually all climates from tropical to temperate, and in all variety of soil conditions. They have been refined to meet the worldwide needs and demands of millions to have organic methods of farming that are low-input, local-resource and truly sustainable.
Present analysis and projections indicate there will soon be insufficient arable land available for many populous nations to feed their people using conventional techniques1. This situation will worsen as populations grow, aquifers are drained, and topsoil is lost to development, erosion, and pollution. GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming can meet the needs of these countries if their farmers can be trained. Ecology Action’s training efforts to date have resulted in these methods being used in over 140 countries.
Sufficient, stable financial resources would enhance Ecology Action’s global outreach and training effectiveness. To this end, Ecology Action proposes a major, global sustainable agriculture initiative to meet the food needs in the new millennium and reverse the environmental degradation that is the result of current, conventional farming methods. An estimated 2 million people have been trained in Mexico and 2.5 million in Kenya through the work of Ecology Action’s current international partners. These partners in Latin America and Africa, as well as others in Asia and Europe , will be strengthened, and in collaboration with Initiative 2 on soil fertility, new mini-ag/soil test stations will be established to maximize the outreach potential, particularly in the Global South where food insecurity and declining soil fertility are daily threats.
In this era of globalization that negatively impacts communities already economically and socially marginalized, this initiative by Ecology Action works at the grassroots level to create an improved quality in the standard of living for people, while building a stronger base for agriculture.
1 Derived from population, land area and agriculture studies by the United Nations: United Nations. UN-FAO Yearbook-Production. 1997
and other relevant volumes.
State of Our Soil...
State of Our Water...
Detailed proposal available.