Crowdsourcing an online compendium of small farmer innovation

farm innovation photo
Video screen capture Growing Innovation

When people talk about sustainable farming, they too often seem to think in terms of a nostalgic throwback to times-gone-by. But most farmers I have met—and especially small, independent and sustainability-minded farmers—are about as far from this patronizing cliche of neo-peasantry as I can imagine.

From using animals to replace fossil fuels to solar double cropping, it takes ingenuity and persistence to make a small farm work in this globalized economy.

The small farmers I know are innovators. They are business people. And they are committed stewards of the land. And now Growing Innovation, a new, crowdsourced collaboration between NC-based Rural Advancement Foundation International and open source farming advocates Farm Hack aims to provide an online library of small farmer innovation for others to learn from.

Here's the idea:

The Growing Innovation project was inspired by farmers. At our small nonprofit organization, we work with farmers who amaze us everyday with their ingenuity and determination. Over the past 17 years, we've documented hundreds of successful farmer-led projects. We want to celebrate and share their innovative ideas by creating an online library and a new book.

From a tool lending library for young farmers to a sustainable farm enterprise for a returning veteran, there's plenty of important ideas for others to develop and build on.

At the time of writing, the appeal had just passed its $14,000 goal with ten days to go. But a little more certainly can't hurt. Head on over to Kickstarter if you'd like to help build this important resource.

Crowdsourcing an online compendium of small farmer innovation
Small farmers are, by necessity, resourceful innovators. A new project aims to record their innovations so they can be disseminated widely.

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