I have just been appointed the new Programme Director of the GROW Observatory (GROW) and I am delighted to be working with such an exciting project. The GROW Observatory, an EU Horizon 2020 project, is coordinated from Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art and Design at University of Dundee. Working with 18 partner organisations from 10 countries across the Europe, the project is an innovative approach to creating a community of citizen growers, gardeners, small scale farmers, scientists and policy makers, all working together to learn from each other, provide growing and policy advice and contribute data on local soil conditions, to help validate climate change models generated by satellite.
The project vision is to support and build smart and sustainable custodianship of the land and soil across Europe and to provide an answer to the long standing challenge for space science, which is the need to validate climate change models with soil moisture detection on the ground. These data and this knowledge will in turn also be used to inform policy decisions on land use, soil management and climate change.
GROW will empower citizen growers, gardeners and small scale farmers to understand better their environment and their impact on land and soil and to use that knowledge to address land degradation and habitat loss and fragmentation. To achieve this, GROW will deploy low cost sensing technology to gather data on key soil variables, collated via mobile phones and tablets, and large scale, world leading technology, including satellites. Growers will be empowered and encouraged to join a Europe wide network through the GROW advice service, that they will help to build by producing data and information on growing and soil management.
GROW is a wide ranging and varied partnership that is working with digital communities, environmental scientists, growers, gardeners and citizens interested in the environment.
You can help the partnership take its first steps by filling in our online Growers survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc5Ud5I4mDre5tt70kukTRJeoyUdIjTVDKHWo_Kf_mKhu2G4w/viewform?c=0&w=1
Find out more here: www.growobservatory.org and on twitter @growobservatory