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Be a Part of GROW?

Things to do

Join the GROW community, discover stories and insights, and take part in future observations and learning in upcoming GROW missions

The GROW community is a collaboration with growers, scientists and others passionate about the land to test and share growing and earth monitoring methods through citizen science experiments. This means you can share and use land, soil, crop, planting, and water resource information that will help you (and us all together) make decisions about smart and sustainable use of land. Not only that, you can help to answer a long-standing challenge for space science – the validation of soil moisture detection from satellites.

GROW will be expanding in 2018, but we invite you to join us in a number of smaller activities in 2017, as we test materials and ideas with smaller groups of participants.

Read on to find out how to continue your GROW journey!

By joining the GROW community, you can share your stories and connect with other people passionate about soil, growing and science from many different countries.

Join the conversation

The GROW website is a place to take part in discussions on the topics that matter to you. You can meet, interact and share ideas, tips and best practice – an opportunity to carry on the conversations from the online course and other GROW activities.

There will be invitations to join conversations on special themes, and to share your growing experience and knowledge. This might include descriptions of your garden design, plots, plant species, vegetable/fruit varieties, seeds, beneficial insects, tools, DIY solutions, ecological pest controls, for example.

Findings and insights

We will be holding live, online discussions on the outcomes of the online courses and chat online with the lead educators.

GROW strives to empower citizen scientists to understand the data they have collectively produced. GROW hosts online events for you to learn to make sense of the data and ask questions directly to the GROW team.

As the project develops we will introduce ways of visualising data generated in interesting and useful ways.

Interested? Sign up to our newsletter for dates and details of online discussion events. 

Take part in summer activities and experiments

GROW offers training opportunities for getting deeper insights into the soil, through the use of easy tests and innovative technologies.

This summer, we are running a mulching experiment: find out more in our newsletter.

Continue enjoying GROW over the summer; everyone is invited to take part in our activities wherever you live.

Interested? Sign up to our newsletter – at the bottom of this page – for more information about upcoming experiments

Soil sensor trials in 3 locations

GROW will be supporting soil sensor surveys in a limited number of areas in Europe. We are testing our approach in three locations this year before we start working with more people in more GROW Places next year.

People taking part in this year’s trial should have experience of growing or citizen science. In 2017, GROW will be carrying out soil sensor trials in collaboration with citizen scientists in three GROW Places:

Cloughjordan, Ireland

Minsk, Hungary

Alexandroupolis, Greece

If you live within 50km of one of these first three GROW Places in Europe, you can apply to join the trial. This would involve completing some training on how to use the sensor.

Interested? Sign up to our newsletter for information and details

Become a citizen scientist and help build a citizen’s observatory

As individual users contribute data to GROW over time, the value of the Observatory increases. By joining the GROW community, and taking part in measuring, sharing and making sense of data, you may be able to better manage your land, and better able to connect the dots of the food system (local and translocal).

Your participation is very important for the validation of scientific protocols and equipment that contribute to food security, a healthy environment, climate resilience and improved quality of life.

This can also be a springboard to learn about and get involved in participatory policy making.

Our Communities

If you want to actively participate in GROW, you can do so in one (or more) of these topics of interest. We’re always looking to hear from interested people!


Do you grow your own food? Do you have an allotment? Own a small farm? Or have a community or school garden? Do you want to develop your knowledge and skills on soil and growing for food, while taking practical steps to preserve the soil for future generations? Any scale of food grower – from back garden to commercial – can get involved in GROW. Discover more about soil and sustainable practices, join others to learn on line via Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and use simple tools to engage in citizen science on soil.


Environmental monitoring is both important and limited in what it can achieve at present. GROW, by conducting coordinated citizen science experiments on a wide and carefully planned scale, will help satellite science answer important environmental monitoring questions by measuring soil moisture at high spatial resolution over large geographical areas. This will help with the vital global challenge of climate change adaptation.  

Citizen Science involves people volunteering to help professional scientists answer important research questions – and is one of the ways you can participate in GROW. Citizen Science can engage hundreds and even thousands of people to conduct simple experiments, providing data that would be too time consuming to generate through other means. The increased availability of smartphones and low-cost sensing technologies has opened up new possibilities for collaborative data collection and interpretation. For GROW, Citizen Science will involve growers generating and contributing data on their soil and their growing and land use practices, to help build and roll out sustainable food production and land use.


It’s important for citizens to play a role in policy making: the European Commission has identified citizen science and use of widely available ICT as a way to get citizens involved in data-based decision-making. In practical terms, by getting involved in soil monitoring with GROW, citizens can use the data themselves generate to influence environmental and agricultural policy. This means that decision-making in the environment, climate change, agriculture and other areas will be better informed at the EU and, via the UN FAO’s Global Soil Partnership, the global level. Policy makers can also get involved directly in GROW as co-creators in later experiments, while citizens will be enabled to get involved with or even to conduct their own future large-scale experiments, having taken part in GROW.

GROW Places

You can take part from your growing space wherever you are. We will also be supporting growers and scientists on the ground in up to 13 locations. Here we will recruit participants to solve a major challenge for science and helping to improve climate change models. In 2018, when GROW scales up, we will be recruiting community champions to help other growers near where they live.

Hi, media people!

The press pack for logos, photos and more will be available for download soon.
Meanwhile, you can read our blog to get introduced to GROW Observatory. Help us grow the project!

Follow us on Twitter

GROWobservatory GROWobservatory @growobservatory #Soil Salon this Sat 30th in #Cloughjordan 14-16.30hrs. With #CitSci Dave Beecher & @Cloughjo_Farm's Kevin Dudley.… 4 hours ago
GROWobservatory GROWobservatory @growobservatory NEW on GROW's Medium: GROWing New Relationships with #Soil and #Nature in Cornwall 9 hours ago
GROWobservatory GROWobservatory @growobservatory RT @Space_Station: Time-lapse video from Sept. 15 of an aurora above Canada begins over California coast, to North Dakota then on to Quebe… 2 days ago
GROWobservatory GROWobservatory @growobservatory Our team is all smiles after a very fruitful meeting in #Vienna. Stay tuned for some exciting activities coming up!… 4 days ago
GROWobservatory GROWobservatory @growobservatory NEW on GROW's @Medium Learning to GROW — Greek Aloe and the Sharing of Knowledge 4 days ago
GROWobservatory GROWobservatory @growobservatory 40 people, 18 orgs, 8 EU countries. This is the #GROW team meeting at @geodepartment in #Vienna, for our annual mee… 5 days ago
GROWobservatory GROWobservatory @growobservatory "Family and #food always come first – after that, it’s the #garden". 1 week ago
GROWobservatory GROWobservatory @growobservatory RT @ARC2020eu: NEW on #ARC2020 | Over 200,000 European Citizens Demand #Soil Action 1 week ago
GROWobservatory GROWobservatory @growobservatory Our Irish partners have a fab event coming up 23rd Sept in #Cloughjordan 1 week ago
GROWobservatory GROWobservatory @growobservatory NEW on @Medium GROWers — Quick Links to Great #Gardening Info from @charlesdowding @cjredgardens @yougrowgirl & mor… 2 weeks ago
GROWobservatory GROWobservatory @growobservatory Third of Earth's #soil is acutely degraded due to agriculture 2 weeks ago