The GROW Community
The GROW community (that’s you!) is a collaboration with other 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 and soil to produce food. Not only that, you can help to answer a long-standing challenge for space science, which is the validation of soil moisture detection from satellites.
Pretty cool, huh?
Our first mission begins on 8 May with the online course From Soil To Sky. In GROW missions, you can take action in growing spaces wherever they are and learn together on GROW website and online platform FutureLearn. You will get to try out exciting new ways to improve your soil and food production methods. You will do simple, coordinated soil experiments to capture and make sense of data on their local environment. This helps validate good growing practices and environmental monitoring.
We take our first steps this year and scale up in 2018.
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 scientists answer important research questions – and is one of the ways you can participate in GROW. Citizen science can engage hundreds and thousands of people in conducting simple experiments, providing data that would be too time-consuming to generate through other means.
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.
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!