How can you...Be a Part of GROW?

Join the online discussion

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.

You can join conversations on special themes and share your growing experience and knowledge. For example, we might be interested in descriptions of your garden design, plots, plant species, vegetable/fruit varieties, seeds, beneficial insects, tools, DIY solutions, ecological pest controls.

GROW Missions

GROW has two “Missions”: the Changing Climate mission takes place in the 9 GROW Places, and the Living Soils mission can be done by anyone, anywhere.

In the Changing Climate mission we are deploying a large number of soil sensors. It is focused in a limited number of areas because a high density of measurements is the most valuable. There is a limited supply of the leading low cost soil sensor we are using in GROW, Flower Power.

The Living Soils mission also involves data collection, but does not use the sensor. It involves experiments to test regenerative growing techniques. So people can do both missions if they are in those 9 locations in Europe, and people can do the second mission from anywhere in the world.

GROW Places

The GROW Observatory is supporting local communities in 9 GROW Places across Europe to enable them to generate, share and use new knowledge and data on growing practices and soil management as a response to our changing climate.

GROW Places are in:

  • Evros & Laconia (Greece)
  • Southeast and Northwest (Ireland)
  • Miskolc (Hungary)
  • Barcelona (Spain)
  • Lisbon (Portugal)
  • Tayside & Central belt (Scotland)
  • Vienna (Austria)
  • ’s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands)

If you are based in any of the places above and are interested in finding out how you can participate in GROW’s Changing Climate mission, please fill in this form.

If you are in a different location, you can take part in GROW’s Living Soil Mission that is open to everyone and will focus on testing regenerative food growing practices with people like you.

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Growing

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 on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and use simple tools to engage in citizen science on soil.

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Science

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.

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Policy

It’s important for citizens to play a role in policy making. The European Commission has identified citizen science and use of widely available technology as a way to get citizens involved in decision-making based on data. In practical terms, by getting involved in soil monitoring with GROW, citizens can use the data themselves 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 take part in or even conduct their own future large-scale experiments, having taken part in GROW.

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GROW Online Courses

Whether you are in a GROW Place or not, you are invited to take part in all of the free GROW online courses, including Citizen Science, From Soil to Sky; Citizen Science, Sensing the World; and Citizen Science, Living Soils, Growing Food. You can find out more from the University of Dundee courses page at FutureLearn

We would like to invite you to join this journey with GROW and become part of an international community of soil and growing champions!

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RT @toodrew: "Help the battle against climate change and solve the planet’s hunger crisis" – Nice article from European Commission on @GROW…