A Growing Culture
Farmers and farmer-centric organizations around the world are leading promising agroecological projects on the ground, but too often they are islands of innovation. A Growing Culture (AGC), will actively connect these efforts by promoting farmer-led documentation, fostering cross-cultural communication, and sharing agroecological innovations across regional and national boundaries through a first-of-its-kind digital library platform. We will amplify agroecology by collecting a bounty of information and inspiration and making it freely available to the world.
A Growing Culture (AGC) is cultivating a global community for the advancement of ecological agriculture, where farmers, educators, and advocates can come together for information exchange, education, and outreach. We actively promote the cross-cultural exchange of ideas and research for the promotion of sustainable agriculture, developing free sustainable agriculture curriculums and funding micro-outreach projects around the world.
A Growing Culture seeks to empower the sustainable agriculture movement by highlighting traditional systems and alternative farming practices used around the world. We believe that ecologically based agricultural systems are the key to a prosperous future where farming moves beyond mono-crop, fence-row agriculture to a more diverse style of practices that blends production with nature. Farming is not just a formula; it is a feeling and an art. A culmination of sweat, science and tradition, respect and determination. By creating this online community, a dialogue is initiated and information becomes accessible.
Check out our new digital brochure: http://issuu.com/lsfbrochure/docs/lsf_brochure_2015/1
"Those working to fix our broken food system must ensure that farmers have a seat at the table. A Growing Culture, the product of one man's singular passion for promoting ecological agriculture, builds one such seat. AGC is playing a critical role in the movement by collecting, curating, and archiving the special knowledge of farmers for the benefit of their fellow farmers, which is to say for the benefit of us all." - Michael Pollan
“There is immense wisdom at the Grassroots and AGC (A Growing Culture) has been created to help capture best practices from farmers the world over. Imagine indigenous farmers from across the world meeting virtually to support each other; imagine the collective capacity to innovate by sharing and learning sustainable strategies from each other; imagine indigenous, exquisitely appropriate practices, capable of inspiring farmers all over the world. This is the extraordinary platform that AGC is about to launch. Everything about AGC is intuitively timely, thoughtful and wise, an enormous tribute to its visionary founder, Loren Cardeli. I encourage immediate support for this groundbreaking organization.”- Dr. Ernesto Sirolli
"Farmers the world over work on the front lines of climate change as more variable weather and extremes increasingly disrupt food production. A Growing Culture provides exactly the kind of global farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange needed to spark ecosystem-based innovations that will put us on the path to a climate resilient food future."
-Laura Lengnick, Author, Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate
As you know, today’s industrial farms produce more commodities
than in years past, but leave people the world over hungry while also
endangering community-based farmers across the globe. The United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organization says that, even though globally we produce 17%
more calories per person than we did 30 years ago, more than one billion people
go to bed hungry every night. Unfortunately, today’s agricultural policies and
practices are shaped by a few select sectors, and the farmer community is not
one of them. As a result, recent years have brought calls for more
direct farmer-to-farmer dissemination of knowledge and skills, but little has
been done to make this a reality.
Our organization, A Growing Culture (AGC), is intent upon bringing farmers back to the forefront of agriculture, seeding an agricultural movement where innovation regains its position as the norm among farmers, releasing them from the dictates of practices alien to their culture, soils, and communities. To these ends, building a new platform that both fortifies farmer-led ecological agriculture and generates an unprecedented free exchange of information between farmers by all means digital and analog, both online and on the ground, is crucial.
AGC was founded in 2010 as a way to confront trends that undermine the traditional role of farmers as professional stewards of the land and producers of a diverse and healthy array of foods. Since its conception, AGC has been testing strategies to advance sustainable agricultural development by offering farmers ways that they and their communities can reconnect with their soils, use ecological agricultural principles, and establish a new level of solidarity with like-minded farmers throughout the world.
The AGC approach emerged from the experience of its leadership team and on the knowledge, contributions, and experiences of multiple local farmers, organizations, and communities. In the last four years, with minimal resources, AGC founder Loren Cardeli, has visited more than one thousand farmers in 20 countries, searching for existing techniques and developing new ways to encourage farmer innovation. Cardeli met farmers from Vietnam who fermented “living” bedding for hogs, Malaysian farmers who baited beneficials with glutinous rice and peanut shells, an Indian couple who built soil on top of an abandoned pebble mine, and Bedouins who learned to identify the different nutritional compositions of eroded rocks to fertilize their fruit trees.
All these and other innovations support AGC’s hypothesis that farmers around the world are actively designing new agricultural models that serve their soil, their communities, and themselves. AGC has conducted an array of workshops and lectures, based on an adaptable curriculum designed to engender farmer innovation without patronizing farmers. The organization is now positioned to expand this dynamic model to serve far more communities of farmers.