NEW! The full collection of Ecology Action's Annual Highlights from 1972 to 2010.
Read the annual reports of Ecology Action's progress over the course of almost 4 decades, and see how the organization developed over time, building a network of international partners, teaching and researching the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method. Click a link to see a section.
The 1970s - The 1980s - The 1990s - The 21st Century!
The Story So Far ...
Ecology Action is created.
Ecology Action begins a 1/2-acre research demonstration and teaching Biointensive garden and a 3-acre community garden on Syntex Corporation land in the Stanford University Industrial Park in Palo Alto, California. Ecology Action emphasizes economic mini-farming.
1972 Preliminary Research Report outlines initial yield and resource consumption information.
We publish our first book on Biointensive philosophy and techniques, How to Grow More Vegetables.
1972-1975 Research Report Summary is published with detailed data on yields, resource consumption, and worldwide applications for Biointensive mini-farming.
We begin an apprentice program.
A second edition of How to Grow More Vegetables is published by Ten Speed Press. Six years of research determine the feasibility of an economic mini-farm earning $5,000-$20,000 on as little as 1/8 acre with one person working it, and of a complete vegetarian diet for one person being grown on as little as 2,800 square feet.
How to Grow More Vegetables is published with Spanish data in metric units. Biointensive Mini-Farming: A Rational Use of Natural Resources and Cucumber Bonanza, the first two booklets in our Self-Teaching Mini-Series, are published.
Top :: 1980 :: Close topic
This is the last year for Ecology Action's Garden/Mini-Farm site in Palo Alto. Information on the method continues to spread through fair displays; school and college lectures; radio interviews; national and international magazine articles; a PBS-TV special, Gardensong, about Alan Chadwick and the projects he inspired, and the publication of Soybeans, The U-Bar, Food from Your Backyard Homestead, The Self-Fertilizing Herbal Lawn, and Beginning to Mini-Farm—booklets in the Self-Teaching Mini-Series. Tests of garden beds by a University of California graduate student in soil science shows an unexpected accelerated rate of humified carbon buildup, a process that normally takes hundreds of years. Two beds from the research site are moved to a protected area to allow future monitoring.
The Shri AM.M. Murugappa Chettier Research Centre in India reports successful use of the Biointensive method to improve local nutrition. A major article about Ecology Action's work appears in the premier issue of Science '80. Alan Chadwick, originator of the Biointensive approach used by Ecology Action, dies. His work, vision, and example inspired thousands of people.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Bob Berg-land, notes that Ecology Action's work is "10 years ahead of its time." Ecology Action cosponsors the Third International Conference on Small-Scale and Intensive Food Production. One hundred participants attend from 14 countries, including Mainland China. A transcript of the conference. Intensive Food Production on a Human Scale, is published. This conference also results in a Biointensive project in China. Three more Self-Teaching Mini-Series booklets—Modular Multi-Use Mini-Greenhouse Plans, A 10-Crop 5-Year Learning and Test Workbook, and A Perspective—are published. Twenty books by other organizations and individuals using Biointensive techniques based on Ecology Action publications have appeared by this time. Ecology Action actively looks for a new research garden/mini-farm site.
How to Grow More Vegetables is revised a third time and is expanded by over 40%. Calorie, compost, and tree crops are added, making the book really about how to grow more food. New booklets. Grow Your Compost Materials at Home and Examining the Tropics, are published. Newsweek covers gardening, highlighting Ecology Actions program. Continued airing of the PBS-TV special, Gardensong, results in thousands of inquiries to Ecology Action. Ecology Action moves to a new rural site in northern California, just outside of Willits. This site's rustic conditions, heavy winter rains, prolonged summer droughts, short growing season, steep slopes, and depleted rocky soil are similar in many ways to those in countries where Ecology Action's work is having its most dramatic impact.
A second report is received from India about a successful pilot program, this one involving women raising food under drought conditions. Our first apprentice at the Willits site graduates and leaves with his family for a new home in Brazil.
Steve and Judy Rioch offer their farm and energies for an East Coast Biointensive mini-farming site in the United States. Ecology Action launches Bountiful Gardens, a mail-order supply service for essential seeds, books, and supplies, to increase our outreach. A Reader's Digest article on gardening and Ecology Action's approach is published.
Six Self-Teaching Mini-Series booklets— The U-Bar (1980), Food from Your Backyard Homestead (1980), The Self-Fertilizing Herbal Lawn (1980). Beginning to Mini-Farm (1980), Modular Multi-Use Mini-Greenhouse Plans (1981), and A 10-Crop 5-Year Learning and Test Workbook (1981)—are gathered together in Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and Garden Log Book, which is published by Ten Speed Press.
The Peace Corps uses the French translation of How to Grow More Vegetables for training in Togo, West Africa. Growing and Gathering Your Own Fertilizers, a booklet, is published in response to an appeal from Eastern Europe for more detailed gardening advice. A 3-year apprentice program begins at the Willits site. The Manor House Agricultural Centre Biointensive Program begins in Kenya, East Africa, with Ecology Action's assistance. The East Coast site sponsors a Biointensive conference for agronomists and university professors. A successful Biointensive training project is reported in Tanzania. Mexico's Social Security Program reports 2,000 Biointensive growing beds established in 67 communities in northeastern Mexico as part of its Menos y Mejores ("Fewer Is Better") program. Ecology Action emphasizes complete diet mini-farming.
Ecology Action publishes One Circle: How to Grow a Complete Diet in Under 1,000 Square Feet, by David Duhon and Cindy Gebhard. How to Grow More Vegetables is translated into German. Segments of Circle of Plenty, a PBS-TV special of Ecology Action's work, is taped in Willits. Staff and apprentices at the Willits site begin terracing mountainside growing beds and soil upgrading. Ecology Action acts as advisor to a garden project in Zambia and to a California restaurant garden. Visitors to the California site include people from Tibet, Trinidad, Kenya, Brazil, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Canada, England, Mexico, Australia. Zambia, Nepal, and Ethiopia. Timberleaf Farm becomes Ecology Action's official East Coast site, emphasizing economic mini-farming and soil research. Gary Stoner completes a 1-year apprenticeship at Willits and begins the Living Soil Garden Project with the Menos y Mejores program in Tula, Mexico.
Growing to Seed is published, and PBS-TV segments are taped in Tula. Mexico. The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction Biointensive Gardening Project establishes 300 Biointensive beds on the island of Negros in the Philippines as part of a UNICEF project for malnourished children.
Circle of Plenty, the PBS documentary on Ecology Action's work in Willits and Gary Stoner's work in Tula, Mexico, is broadcast nationwide. A feature article appears in The Christian Science Monitor on World Food Day. Ecology Action staff visit and advise the Menos y Mejores project in Mexico. The Complete 21-Bed Biointensive Mini-Farm booklet is published. Steve Rioch begins a Biointensive mini-farm demonstration, research, and education project at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Work at the Timberleaf Farm site is postponed until the Ohio University project is completed. John Jeavons is named a member of the Giraffe Project, honoring people who stick their necks out for the common good, and he receives a Santa Fe Global Village Living Treasure award. Ecology Action emphasizes sustainable soil fertility.
The One Basic Mexican Diet, Foliar Feeding, and Backyard Garden Research booklets are published. The first 3-week workshop is offered in the Common Ground mini-farm in Willits, California. The workshop is based on hands-on demonstration and a preliminary curriculum/workbook, which is the distillation of 16 years of Ecology Action's learning and experience. The Manor House Agricultural Centre in Kenya, East Africa, initiates an active 2-year apprentice program. The Philippines Department of Education mandates teaching of Biointensive gardening in all primary and secondary schools. The director of the Menos y Mejores program in Mexico visits the Common Ground mini-farm for advanced training, which results in upgraded training for 250 key teachers in Mexico. An article on sustainable soil fertility, economic mini-farming, and Biointensive approaches is published in California Farmer. John Jeavons is presented with the 19th Boise Peace Quilt Award.
A 4-year bachelor of science degree program is approved (subject to funding) at Ohio University, under theauspices of the Botany Department. The first accredited class in Biointensive mini-farming is taught during the summer session. Feature articles appear in Mother Earth News, Vegetarian Times, and a United States Information Agency publication. There is a second national broadcast of Circle of Plenty. Thirty-five agronomists from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica tour the Willits site. The first 5-day workshop is held at the Willits site with participants from the United States and Mexico. Lectures are held at Stanford University, Clemson University, and Ohio University at Athens. Micro-Farming: A Seventeen Year Perspective, A Reading Guide, Micro-Farming as a Key to the Revitalization of the World's Agriculture and Environment, and Green Manure Crops, new booklets, are published. Man of the Trees: Selected Writings of Richard St. Barbe Baker, edited by Karen Gridley, is published. St. Barbe Baker inspired the planting of trillions of trees worldwide during his lifetime. Lectures are given in Mexico to farmers, students, agronomists, and professors. Talks are sponsored by Mexico's Menos y Mejores program. Over 63,000 Biointensive gardens are reported in Mexico.
Top :: 1990 :: Close topic
Biointensive Composting, A Comprehensive Definition of Sustainability, and Dried, Cut and Edible Flowers for Pleasure, Food and Income, three booklets, are published. The first 6-week workshop is given at the Willits site with advanced participants from Mexico, Kenya, the Soviet Union. and the United States. A 5-day workshop is given at Stanford University for participants from Mexico and the United States. A 5-day workshop is given at Stanford University for 9 participants from the Soviet Union and another another is given at the Willits site for particpants from Mexico and the United States. United States Agricultural Extension agents are given a class on sustainable soil fertility. Two classes are given at Ohio University during the summer session. A Latin
American Biointensive mini-farming demonstration, research, and educational site is established at Tizapan, Hildago, Mexico. Translation of the Mini-Series booklets into Spanish is begun. Forty-four agronomists from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Honduras attend a tour at the Willits site. Representatives from Mexico's University of Chapingo visit Willits and Ohio University to prepare for a Biointensive program they will initiate in Mexico. A project in Ethiopia reports success in combining Biointensive practices with aquaculture ponds. After 13 years of testing, the Shri A.M. M. Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre in India reports it is ready to teach Biointensive mini-farming throughout India.
The Kenyan Minister of Agriculture expresses support for Biointensive training. Fifty-two apprentices are reported to be enrolled in the Manor House Agricultural Centre 2-year Biointensive Training Program. The Center for Biointensive Mini-Farming is established in Moscow, Russia. The Mexican president’s Solidarity Program funds additional training for Biointensive promoters. The Huertos Familiares video on Biointensive practices in Mexico is produced. The University of Chapingo creates a Department of Biointensive Mini-Farming. A 5-day workshop is given at Mexico's University of Chapingo, a class series is held at Mendocino College in California, an accredited course is offered at Stanford University, a workshop is held at Mexico's University of Oxochimilco, including Bolivian and Haitian participants, and courses continue at Ohio University. A 7-day workshop is offered at Willits, with participants from Mexico, Togo, Ireland, and the United States. Presentations are made in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Classes and presentations are given throughout the year. Three new Ecology Action booklets are written. How to Grow More Vegetables is expanded and revised, and the 4th edition is published in English and Spanish.
IIRR in the Philippines publishes illustrated Biointensive gardening booklets in the Tagalog and Cebuano languages. The Mexican Institute of Social Security/ Solidarity Program reports 70,000 new Biointensive family gardens are initiated in 1991. The Mexican National Institute for Adult Education distributes 1,100 copies of the Biointensive video Heurtos Ecologicos (The Ecological Garden) throughout Mexico. The Colombian Ministry of Agriculture uses some Biointensive techniques for their vegetable garden programs. The Janus Project in North Carolina begins training single mothers in Biointensive economic mini-farming. The Ford Foundation makes a $221,000 3-year grant to the Manor House Agricultural Centre's Biointensive Training Program in Kenya so the program can be more effectively expanded nationwide. Presentations on Biointensive mini-farming are given at the Congress of National Academy of Sciences in Cuba. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization representative in Ethiopia commends Ecology Action on its work. Biointensive sustainable mini-farming classes and workshops are given: a 6-week workshop at Willits; courses at Ohio University; a 7-day workshop in Willits; a 3-day workshop in Seattle, Washington; and a 5-day workshop in Saltillo, Coahuilla, Mexico, cosponsored by ECOPOL, Ecology Action, and Ohio University.
Ecology Action Headquarters
A 7-day workshop is held in Willits, with participants from the United States and Mexico. ~ Four half-day garden tours are held at Willits Research Garden. ~ A Russian translation of How to Grow More Vegetables is completed, and Lazy-Bed Gardening is published by Ten Speed Press. ~ Linda Sickles of Pennsylvania attends the March 3-day workshop; she begins using her farm for Biointensive demonstration, research, and teaching; and gives workshops at the Philadelphia Community Gardens and at a State Prison. ~ Helene Huber turns her enthusiasm for Ecology Action's work into a gardening network, Gardeners in Community, and encourages Habitat for Humanity to establish Gardens for Humanity—gardens to accompany the houses that it helps to build. ~ Gardening classes are given almost weekly at Ecology Action's Common Ground Education Center in Palo Alto.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons gives a public presentations for the Sierra Club Agriculture Committee and delivers a keynote speech at The American Horticultural Society's National Symposium, Washington, D.C. ~ 2 Ohio University 5-day courses are taught. ~ Three-day workshops are given at Stanford University and in San Diego, with 55 participants from 7 states, Canada, Mexico, Iran, Argentina, and Nepal. ~ Several series of classes are given for Mendocino College for Beginning and Intermediate/Advanced gardeners.
Training Centers have now been established on each of 5 continents— the fulfillment of a 1983 goal. The new goal is to catalyze the establishment of training centers in each country in the world. ~ Biosphere II, using techniques based on Ecology Action's work, raises 80% of its food needs for the last 2 years within a "closed system." This experience demonstrates that a complete year's diet for one person could be raised on 3,403 square feet (1/6-1/13 of what commercial agriculture is using to feed one person).
In India, village women gardening with Biointensive methods on their own small plots raise enough food to feed their families and bring in a whole year's income.
In Mexico thousands of new people each year are taught Biointensive methods for nutrition intervention for themselves and their families. Publications and videos in Spanish spread Biointensive techniques in Latin America.
In Kenya: Manor House Agricultural Centre is directly and indirectly responsible for training over 30,000 mini-farmers during the past 7 years. The Centre opens its training programs to international students.
Ecology Action Headquarters
Biointensive research focuses on producing complete nutrition, sustainable soil fertility, income, resource conservation, and the preservation of genetic diversity. ~ Two 3-day workshops are given at Willits, California, with 72 participants from 14 states, Mexico, and Siberia. ~ A 6-week workshop is taught in Willits, with key Biointensive practitioners from Kenya and Mexico. ~ A 7-day workshop is taught in Willits for participants from Kenya, Mexico, Argentina, and the United States. ~ Two Kenyans intern for 6 months at the Mini-Farm ~ Willits Research Garden Tour participants include a representative of Global 20/20, who is working with projects in South Africa and Mali.
Ecology Action as a Resource
Classes, tours, and lectures are given throughout the year, including presentations at the Social Ventures Network, Bioneers, the University of California at Davis, and the New Haven Ecology Project. ~ A workshop is given to staff at the Seeds of Change in New Mexico. ~ Biointensive courses are given at Ohio University. ~ The PBS TV program Market to Market nationally airs a 10-minute segment about Ecology Action's sustainable Biointensive mini-farming work. ~ UNESCO and the Public Education Department express interest in including the Biointensive method in a study program of 197 high schools and as a subject in 5 research centers. ~ Technical assistance is continually given worldwide, including projects in drought-stricken India, the Caribbean island of Montserrat, the Stockholm Environmental Institute of Boston, Massachusetts, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, and Russia.
Africa: In Kenya, 35 farmer groups (536 people) are trained in 5-day workshops at the Manor House Agricultural Centre. This training improves many aspects of villagers' lives. Earnings from vegetable sales by women's farmer groups in the Local Outreach Program (LOP) are used to construct water tanks, start poultry projects, and build family shelters. ~ Thirty groups in Kenya's Cheptobot request to be incorporated into LOP's extension visits. Most LOP target group participants and their follower farmers have significantly improved their diet and level of income over the past 9-17 months. ~ Nineteen 2-year apprentices graduate from Manor House. ~ In one province, 125 displaced people are reported to be practicing the Biointensive method. ~ Kenya's Minister for Agriculture, Simeon Nyacae, states that organic farming methods need to be adopted and developed in Kenya.
In Mexico, sustainable Biointensive workshops are given regularly throughout the country, including classes taught at Antonio Narro Agricultural University and the University of Chapingo.~ The new tropical demonstration/training center in Chiapas is further developed. ~ Antonia Dodero Salinas teaches Biointensive techniques to 40 forest guards and other villagers and students in the Lacandon jungle area of Chiapas. ~ Six more Ecology Action booklets are translated into Spanish. ~ A 3rd edition of Huertos Familiares and 9 videos (in Spanish) on different environmental topics are completed.
Latin America: Ana Maria Vasquez helps establish Biointensive gardens at 17 drug rehabilitation centers in Colombia.
Russia: Twenty thousand copies of the Russian translation of How to Grow More Vegetables are reported sold.
Ecology Action Headquarters
Interns from Mexico, Kenya, Haiti, and the United States take part in a 6-month internship at the mini-farm. ~ Ecology Action gives two 3-day workshops for a total of 50 people from 15 states and 5 countries. ~ A 1-day workshop is given at the mini-farm. ~ The first 7-day teachers workshop is given at the mini-farm, with 20 participants from 6 states and 5 countries. ~ Three educational mini-farm tours are held.~ A mini-farm tour is given for the Director and staff of Fetzer Vineyard Garden. ~ Materials are provided to a group of Cuban farmers who tour the mini-farm under the auspices of Food First. ~ Future Fertility: Transforming Human Waste into Human Wealth, by John Beeby, Growing Medicinal Herbs, by Louisa Lenz, and the 5th edition of How to Grow More Vegetables, by John Jeavons, are published.
Ecology Action as a Resource
Bountiful Gardens initiates a workshop at the Asilomar Eco-Farm Conference for small seed companies. ~ Biointensive presentations are made to a Smith and Hawkens class, at Cornell University, Syracuse University, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, in Berkeley, California, at the Coyote Point Environmental Center in San Mateo, California; the National Geographic Research and Exploration Committee in Santa Fe; and the Bioneers Conference in San Francisco, California. ~ John Jeavons presents 2 workshops in Hawaii to over 200 people, and teaches an accredited Biointensive class on Hawaiian television. Jeavons also presents a 3-day workshop at Sol y Sombra in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
ECOPOL, Ecology Action's counterpart for Latin America, gives workshops in the Mexican cities of San Luis Potosi, Oaxaca, and Tizapan to a total of 89 promotores from 20 states. ~ ECOPOL also gives a 5-day workshop in Aguascalientes state to 36 agronomists, promotores, biologists and civil engineers from 8 states, sponsored by the United Nations Development Program. ~ Padre Julio Cesar de la Garza of La Milpa group gives week-long workshops monthly to an average of 30 people per session. These workshops are given at Linares and Mier y Noriega, an arid region where the group maintains demonstration centers. ~ Coordinators from 16 coastal communities in Chiapas state in Mexico report the establishment of 2 mini-demonstration centers. ~ Under DIF (an organization in each state comparable to the US WIC program) in Mexico, fifteen 1-week theoretical and practical courses are held in 10 states for 375 participants. ~ Moises Cuevas in Texcoco, Mexico, prepares "A Technical Package for the Production of Organic Vegetables" for use among unions of producers and other interested people. ~ Dr. Jose Francisco Rodriguez of the University of Antonio Narro, initiates the process to create a 6-semester course in “Technician in the Biointensive Method." ~ Gaspar Mayagoitia gives eight 1-week courses to promotores and residents of mestiza and indigenous communities in Chihuahua state. ~ The Ecological Groups of Uruapan, Mexico, start to include Biointensive methods in their work with indigenous communities. ~ An intermediate work-shop is held in 7 states in Mexico, under the auspices of SEMARNAP. The Institute Nacional Indigenista teaches Biointensive methods to all its interns and charges in 120 shelters.
In Kenya, the Local Outreach Program (LOP), a project of Manor House Agricultural Centre, holds 4 separate meetings with the Kenya Ministries of Health and Agriculture, working out ways to collaborate to avoid duplication of effort. ~ Through using Biointensive methods, maize yields for the Kaisagat Women's Group increased from an average of 4 bags per hectare to 10. LOP receives requests from 30 farmer groups who want to be incorporated into LOP training programs. A Peace Corps member videotapes LOP activities with Kenyan farmer groups to show key business practices to others. The Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture joins LOP for farm research trials that emphasize Biointensive practices.
Ecology Action Headquarters
EA gives a 3-day workshop in Willits with 45 participants and 3 translators from 10 states, Russia, Mexico, and Uganda. One of the Russians is the director of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture's Teaching and Methodological Center near Moscow, which serves 292 agriculture technology schools and colleges.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons participates in a panel at the Eco-Farm Conference at Asilomar, California. ~ Jeavons also presents a 3-day workshop at Green Gulch Center Farm near San Francisco, with 64 people attending from 6 states and 2 countries. ~ EA staff teaches another 3-day workshop in Seattle with 29 participants from 10 states and Kenya. ~ Technical advice is given to Ecological Soil Management in West Bank, Israel. ~ The U.S. Peace Corps orders One Circle for use in Turkmenistan. ~ Fairhaven College in Washington approves a 5-year plan for a Biointensive program of 25 beds a year. ~ Information on Ecology Action and the Biointensive philosophy appears on PBS's New Garden program, in Garden Design magazine, and in Rodale's Vitamin A+ Sieve newsletter. ~ The Rodale Book Club offers the 5th edition of How to Grow More Vegetables as a main selection.
ECOPOL, Mexico: In Chiapas state, Enrique Reyna conducts four Biointensive workshops for pioneers in new population centers. He also gives a workshop for 60 rural people in Tabasco state. ~ Gaspar Mayagoitia gives 7 workshops in Chihuahua state for 110 participants from agricultural high schools and members of Rural Development who work in the Tarahumara mountains. ~ John Jeavons gives Biointensive presentations and meets with farmers, teachers, and officials in Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon states. The Biointensivistas (Mexican Biointensive teachers who have trained at the Willits mini-farm) initiate their first annual meeting in Nuevo Leon state.
Russia: The Republic of Georgia establishes its first Biointensive beds in the Samtredia region and Tbilisi. ECODOM and Biointensive for Russia host a 3-day workshop in Siberia, cosponsored by the Novisibirsk State Agro-university and its farmers' extension service; 68 people participate. ~ It is reported that the yields of Biointensive experiments in Siberia average 287% of U.S. average yields.
Argentina: Fernando Pia, director of CIESA, reports that, given their excellent results with Biointensive methods, they now have farming plans that allow an individual working only 35 hours a week to provide between 60% and 80% of a vegetarian diet for a family of four, plus a reasonable income, on as little as 8,600 square feet. ~ CIESA is visited by 25 agronomic engineers from the National Institute of Agricultural Technology, who are surprised and impressed by the Center and its yields.
Kenya: A rural service center in Zimbabwe is awarded a grant for the 2nd year of its 5-year Biointensive Development Program. ~
A resource center in India receives a grant to help local women in 10 villages start Biointensive gardens for home consumption and income.
Ecology Action Headquarters
Workshops: EA gives a 3-day workshop at the Mini-Farm with 42 participants from 5 states, Mexico, and Russia. Nine of the 12 participants from Mexico stay on for 3 days of advanced training. ~ A second 3-day workshop has 40 participants from 8 states and Puerto Rico, Togo, Kenya, and Japan. Some of the participants have strong connections with the Philippines, Russia, Ladakh, Ghana, the Virgin Islands, Colombia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, and the Ivory Coast. ~ The second 7-day teacher’s workshop is given at the Mini-Farm. ~ An advanced-level 10-week course is given to participants from Mexico, Kenya, and Togo.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons presents a 3-day workshop in Hawaii for 29 participants, including many indigenous people. ~ Ecology Action gives technical assistance to Katalysis/ Honduras, the Mass Education Library Service in Mumias, Kenya, and the Institute Rural Valle Grande in Peru. ~ A 3-day workshop participant, comparing soil samples, is amazed at the difference that double-digging makes. ~ Another 3-day workshop participant works with the University of California at Santa Cruz to test the nutritional value of foods he is growing in Biointensive field tests.
ECOPOL, Mexico: the Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries gives a Biointensive workshop for 25 people, funded by the U.N. ~ The Tizapan Demonstration/Training Center in Hidalgo state gives a course for 16 IMSS promotores who work with 80 communities, another to 40 community leaders, and a third to 30 IMSS promotores.~ Gaspar Mayagoitia reports that he and Maristas priests are establishing Biointensive modules in 16 boarding schools in the Chihuahua Mountains for Tarahumara children. ~ Moises Cuevas of the University of Chapingo gives a 5-day course to people from 7 Mexican states and Peru.
Kenya: Manor House gives two 3-month courses for agricultural agents from Tanzania and Uganda. ~ The Environmental Action Team teaches Biointensive methods to 17 farmer groups in western Kenya. ~ Four farmer groups attend 1-week workshops at Manor House with assistance from the Kilili Self-Help Project. ~ People from Uganda ask Manor House trainers about the possibility of starting a Biointensive training center in their country. ~ Manor House reports that as a result of its 13 years of training, 40 other NGO's in Kenya are initiating Biointensive projects and over 70,000 people have been trained directly and indirectly. ~ An independently commissioned study asserts that between 1992 and 1996, as a result of Biointensive training in Kenya, among the farmers studied, self-sufficiency in maize production was boosted from 22% to 48%, hunger was reduced from 57% to 24%, and the proportion of farmers needing to buy vegetables was reduced from 85% to 11%.
Russia: Carol Cox co-teaches at a joint ECODOM/Ecology Action workshop in Siberia. ~ Carol Vesecky, director of Biointensive for Russia, reports that since Biointensive was introduced to Russia in 1990, 18 Eurasians have trained at 3-day workshops in Willits, 1,568 people have been taught, 30 articles have been written, and 25 radio/TV programs have been broadcast.~ Forty-nine thousand copies of the Russian translation of How to Grow More Vegetables are distributed throughout Russia.
Ecology Action Headquarters
Workshops: The first 5-day basic-level teachers workshop is held at the Willits mini-farm for 16 participants, Ecology Action's first step toward implementing its Certification Program. ~ Ecology Action gives a 3-day workshop in Willits for 42 people from 5 states and Mexico. Two of the Mexican participants work for the Mexican Ministry of Natural Resources, the Environment and Fisheries (SEMARNAP), and 4 other participants later give workshops in Uzbekistan. ~ Two people from Kenya and two indigenous Huichol, from Mexico receive 6 months of training at the Mini-Farm.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons presents 3-day workshops in Austin, Texas; Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Vancouver, British Columbia. ~ Ecology Action gives a 3-day workshop in Santa Barbara, California, for 41 people from California and Italy. ~ Earth Day presentations are made at Humboldt State University and Mendocino College, both in California. ~ Technical assistance is given to the Kentucky Department of Health, a California PBS food and farming show, the director of a hospital in Tijuana, and Proyecto Esperanza in Mexico, which trains people to stay on their land, return to their land, or learn new skills. ~ Colleague Steve Moore of Wilson College, in Pennsylvania is invited to the UN's Commission on Sustainable Development and acts as a Biointensive representative there.
ECOPOL, Mexico: Juan Manuel Martinez, director of ECOPOL, gives bimonthly courses for politicians and government employees who can influence agricultural policy at high levels. He also trains a group of 25 indigenous women, all community leaders, in the mountains of Puebla state. ~ Patricia Munoz and Salvador Morelos give a 3-month course at Aguascalientes University plus another course for the children of university teachers and employees. ~ A course is given at the Tizapan, Mexico, demonstration/training site for 35 IMSS staff and promotores. ~ The La Milpa group in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, reports that it has trained 570 people in basic courses in 3-1/2 years. ~ Empresas en Solidaridad, a government social organization in Tabasco, Mexico, adopts the Biointensive method in 4 communities after Enrique Reyna gives trainings in the area. ~ A 5-day basic-level national Biointensive workshop is given at the University of Chapingo in Mexico. ~ Chihuahua state establishes an Academy of Biointensive and Sustainable Agriculture to oversee schools where Biointensive is a required subject. ~ The 2 employees of SEMARNAP who attended the Willits workshop initiate a Biointensive awareness program for high-level government employees.
Argentina: CIESA offers 3 Biointensive workshops for a total of 72 people, some of who are very poor farmers from arid Patagonia.
Kenya: Oxfam reports that over 80% of its projects in Kenya employ Manor House Agricultural Centre (MHAC) graduates or students on field attachment. MHAC gives 2 advanced follow-up workshops, collaborating with the Peace Corps and the Environmental Action Team. MHAC gives a 1-week workshop to 8 participants from Rwanda, Holland, Uganda, and Kenya, and presents many other 1-week workshops for farmer groups. ~ MHAC staff help produce a Sustainable Agriculture Extension Manual. ~ A representative from the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture visits Manor House to learn about Biointensive. ~ Two people from the Zimbabwe Orphans Trust take 6 weeks of specialized training there. MHAC reports that within one year of receiving training, one farmer's income surpassed that of her husband's teaching salary.
Ecology Action Headquarters
Three apprentices are in residence at the Mini-Farm. ~ Two GROW BIOINTENSIVE 3-day workshops are given in Willits for a total of 75 people from 10 states, Russia, and Sri Lanka. ~. A summer course is held for Ecology Action apprentices and interns. The second GROW BIOINTENSIVE basic-level teachers workshop is given. ~ The upper knoll section of Ecology Action's mini-farm/research garden is converted to a closed-system basis in order to monitor soil sustainability.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons presents 3-day workshops in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Fairfield, Iowa; Boulder, Colorado; and Austin, Texas. ~ A PBS special, The Living Land, features John Jeavons, Wes Jackson, Alice Waters, and Mas Masumoto. ~ The terms GROW BIOINTENSIVE® and CULTIVE BIOINTENSIVAMENTEmr are registered with the United States and Mexican trademark offices respectively to denote the type of Biointensive food-raising practices developed by Ecology Action and to assure the quality of GROW BIOINTENSIVE and CULTIVO BIOINTENSIVAMENTE workshops, publications, and produce. ~ A survey form is developed to gather information for the International GROW BIOINTENSIVE™ Directory. ~ Booklet #13, "Growing to Seed,"is revised and updated. Four new worksheets are created to help make data and teaching reports easier. ~ Former 3-day workshop participants start a GROW BIOINTENSIVE workgroup in Austin. A basic-level teachers workshop participant gives three 1-day seminars at his ranch for farmers, academics, and gardeners.
ECOPOL, Mexico: A new Biointensive center is developed in a foggy jungle in Veracruz state and gives a 1-week workshop each month. Its thrust is to help people learn to grow their own food so they don't have to destroy the forest to survive. ~ Juan Manuel Martinez, director of ECOPOL, gives a workshop in Ecuador to leaders of NGOs, peasants, and producers. ~ He also writes 2 articles on the agricultural crisis and on Biointensive for Tlatani, the magazine of the Boy Scouts in Mexico. ~ ECOPOL translates its Huertas Familiares (Family Gardens) booklet into 3 indigenous languages. ~ The CEREMI Center for Juvenile Offenders in Chihuahua, Mexico, has a 105-bed Biointensive garden that produces food for the inmates as well as for an old people's home. ~ A farmer in Honduras reports that after 52 hours of rain, when other farmers had crops washed away, his Biointensive beds stayed in place.
In Argentina, CIESA gives two 3-day workshops for a total of 45 people. CIESA Director Fernando Pia reports that he travels monthly to arid Patagonia, where many indigenous people live, to advise Biointensive projects developed by former apprentices; the area has extremely difficult growing conditions.
In Kenya, Manor House Agricultural Centre gives a 3-month course for 5 people from World Vision’s Morulem Irrigation Project. ~ A woman who took the Manor House’s 6-week course establishes a 16-bed demonstration garden and teaches 38 farmers. ~ A women's group being trained by the Environmental Action Team reports they no longer have to spend time searching for vegetables to purchase; their husbands are helping them farm because of the success of Biointensive methods. Also, most of the group have experienced an increase in income. ~ It is reported that members of BIDII women's group, who have been trained by Environmental Action Team for 2 years, now have enough vegetables to feed their families, while neighbors not practicing Biointensive face serious shortages. ~ Trans-Nzoia province's District Commissioner, Minister of Health, and District Agricultural Officer tour Manor House. ~ A former Ecology Action 3-day workshop participant sends 12 Baptist missionaries to Manor House to learn Biointensive methodology and share it with their communities. ~ Manor House carries out a field day in Kenya in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and other organizations; 500 people attend.
Russia and Uzbekistan: A 3-person team holds a 1-week follow-up workshop review in Uzbekistan, then gives a 3-day workshop for 50 people in Russia.
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Ecology Action Headquarters
Workshops: EA gives a GROW BIOINTENSIVESM 3-day workshop at the Mini-Farm for 30 people from 5 states, New Zealand, and the Federated States of Micronesia. ~ A 1-day GROW BIOINTENSIVESM practical workshop is held, with emphasis on hands-on training. ~ A 5-day GROW BIOINTENSIVESM basic-level teachers workshop is given for 7 participants.
Ecology Action as a Resource
The first international Biointensive conference, "Soil, Food and People," is held at the University of California, Davis. Over 200 people from 28 states and 16 countries attend, including the directors of Biointensive projects in Mexico, Kenya, and Argentina, members of the academic community, GROW BIOINTENSIVE, and Biointensive practitioners, and the general public. ~ Ecology Action staff teaches a course on "Introduction to Biointensive Mini-Farming" at Mendocino College. ~ The California Superintendant of Public Education visits a GROW BIOINTENSIVE gardening program at a Santa Barbara school and calls it a model program for what the state is looking for. ~ A presentation is made at the Eco-Farm Conference at Asilomar. ~ John Jeavons presents a GROW BIOINTENSIVESM 3-day workshop in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, for 49 participants. Technical Booklet #1, Solar Water Heater, by Jeff Smith and John Warner, and the revised edition of Booklet #30, GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-Farming Teacher Training and Certification Program, are published.
In Kenya, Manor House Agricultural Centre (MHAC) reports that Biointensive methods and a new pump help their gardens flourish during "one of the worst droughts in the country's history." Festus Wakhungu gives a workshop for 65 Catholic teacher-trainees from the Sudan. The first foreign student enrolls in Manor House's 2-year course. MHAC sponsors their first field day at the Centre, with almost 1,000 attending. As a result, Oxfam offers to sponsor all MHAC 2-year students on their field assignments. ~ Fifteen U.S. pastors take a 1-week workshop there. MHAC gives the first advanced workshop to representatives from 3 farmer groups. The Centre establishes the first 5 mini-farms in local communities and trains farmers to facilitate them.
Latin America: ECOPOL Director Juan Manuel Martinez, reports that Enrique Reyna is working with SOCAMA in Chiapas state and has trained over 11,000 families in Biointensive techniques. ~ The University of Chapingo, the most prestigious agricultural school in Mexico, announces it is instituting "Methods of Organic, Biointensive, and Sustainable Agriculture" as part of its curriculum. ~ Ricardo Romero gives a 1-week workshop each month at the foggy jungle demonstration/training site in Veracruz state. ~ The La Milpa group gives quarterly 1-week workshops in Nuevo Leon state. ~ Moises Cuevas teaches a 5-day course at AALTER-MEX as well as three 2-day workshops during the year. ~ Juan Manuel Martinez reports that approximately 1.8 million people throughout all 32 states in Mexico are still benefiting from Biointensive home gardens established in the last 11 years. ~ ECOPOL teacher Enrique Reyna gives a workshop for 28 people in El Salvador; participants include 20 representatives of different communities. Julio Cesar de la Garza and Gaspar Mayagoitia, also ECOPOL teachers, give 3 workshops in Ecuador to a total of 148 people and install demonstration centers there. Eleven Ecuadorian organizations sponsor these workshops, including the Ecuador Ministry of Agriculture.
In Argentina, CIESA gives three 3-day basic workshops to a total of 76 people, one of whom is the president of the Argentinean Organic Movement. A 2-day workshop is also given for 23 people as well as a 3-day workshop for 13 previously trained people. Six of the 7 farmers who attend this latter workshop teach Biointensive methods to others. CIESA Director Fernando Pia coordinates a workshop at the first Latin American Congress of Organic Commercialization in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and presents a poster of his work at the IFOAM Conference in Basel, Switzerland.
Russia: Carol Vesecky and Daniel and Amber Vallotton make a 23-day trek to Uzbekistan, which includes giving a 5-day workshop to 72 scholars, activists, and gardeners. Aleksandr Avrorin of Biointensive for Russia gives workshops in 3 towns in southern Russia and another 3-day workshop in Siberia
Ecology Action Headquarters
The fourth Basic-Level Teachers Workshop includes the following participants: Ricardo Romero, director of the Veracruz, Mexico, Biointensive demonstration site; Irina Kim, of Uzbekistan, who facilitates Biointensive projects in that country; three people from the U.S.A. and EA’s apprentices and interns. ~ A delegation from Ethiopia tours the Mini-Farm with the intention of finding ways of making Ethiopian food production less vulnerable to natural disasters. Partipants include the Minister of Ethiopian Social Rehabilitation and Development Fund and Dr. Hans Herren, who was awarded the World Food Prize in 1995 for his work in averting famine in West Africa. ~ 24 people from U.S., Guadalupe, Lithuania, Ecuador, France, Israel, Nepal and Thailand tour the Mini-Farm, under the auspices of the Multinational Exchange in Sustainable Agriculture (MESA) organization. ~ EA gives a 3-day workshop for 35 people from 7 states plus Bermuda and Mexico. ~ Another 3-day workshop in November is offered for 30 participants from 4 states. ~ A one-day practical workshop is given to 7 participants. ~ 3 educational tours and demonstrations are given. ~ A special one-year internship program starts at Golden Rule Garden, south of Willits. It is initiated in response to the increasing number of applicants for GROW BIOINTENSIVE training. ~ Amy Sidran, former Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia and Patricia Mayagoitia, from Mexico, begin a six-month internship. ~ Adam Sarmiento begins his apprenticeship at the Mini-Farm.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons is one of the presenters and also gives the cap note address at the 18th Annual Gardener Mini-College: “Nourishing the Body, Feeding the Soul,” at Southern Oregon University. ~ He makes a presentation at the 34th Annual Conference of the Society for Nutrition Education in Oakland, CA. ~ Jeavons gives 3-day workshops in Madison, WI and Fairfield, IA to a total of 53 people from 17 states, as well as New Zealand. ~ EA staff teaches a course at Mendocino College: “ Introduction to Biointntensive Mini-Farming.” ~ EA publishes The Proceedings of the Soil, Food and People Conference—A Biointensive Model for the New Century held at UC Davis in March 2000. ~ “Biointensive Mini-Farming and Macrobiotics” by EA apprentice Adam Sarmiento is published in Macrobiotics Today.
Russia: Sasha Avrorin teaches two 3-day seminars in St. Petersburg and Novo Sin’Kovo, sponsored by Biointensive for Russia. ~ Viola Organization in Bryansk region reports it has given a series of seminars to future teachers, weekly practice sessions in 10 districts, and 9 seminars in 9 regions. ~ Sasha Avrorin heads a round-table discussion of the issues arising from Biointensive usage, in cooperation with the Siberian Ecological Foundation. ~ Vladimir Loginov teaches double-digging and compost making to teachers in Anapur.
Uzbekistan: Sara Imbarova and Rustam Arzykhanov of the Farmer Center report that they are conducting a community pilot program to prepare compost from garbage. 820 participants are involved.
Latin America: In Mexico, ECOPOL gives a basic 3-day workshop for 15 people who can help influence the course of agriculture in Mexico, under the auspices of CONARAO. ~ Juan Manuel Martinez, Director of ECOPOL, presents at the 3rd International Congress on Agroecology at the University of Chapingo. ~ He also makes a follow up visit to El Salvador and finds that the NGO FUNDESA has incorporated GROW BIOINTENSIVE in its education system. There are 11 growers using the method. ~ Ricardo Romero in Veracruz gives 5 trainings for over 175 participants. ~ 7 Cubans attend a 3-day workshop in Veracruz. ~ A 5-day workshop is held in Veracruz for 12 participants, half of them local campesinos. ~ ECOPOL trainer Enrique Reyna gives workshops in Ecuador for 31 people and also takes part in 3 radio programs; then he offers four 3-day workshops for over 100 people from 5 communities in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. ~ He also makes a follow-up trip to El Salvador to check on progress of GROW BIOINTENSIVE projects there. ~ 7 workshops are given by Gaspar Mayagoitia in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, for many participants, including 65 Tarahumara indigenous people. ~ Gaspar and Patricia Mayagoitia give two 5-day workshops in Bolivia, co-sponsored by the Chuquiasca Foundation. ~ Moises Cuevas of AALTERMEX gives two 5-day workshop for 15 people: students, NGO staff and professionals. ~ Cuevas also oversees GROW BIOINTENSIVE theses of students at University of Chapingo. ~ Julio Cesar de la Garza leads a one-week workshop for 60 people in the state of Nuevo Leon.
Argentina: Fernando Pia, director of CIESA, gives a 3-day workshop for 11 participants at his demonstration farm. ~ CIESA gives: a 3-day workshop at its demonstration center in arid Patagonia for 36 people, most of them indigenous Mapuche; 19 participants including growers, students, teachers and agriculture engineers, attend a 3-day workshop in Trevillin, Chubut Province; two 3-day workshops to 67 people in communities along the Atlantic coast in conjunction with the National Institute of Agricultural Technology, an important national organization; and leads a 2-day workshop at Bariloche for 18 participants, 6 who have a community garden and 8 who are new settlers. ~ Salvador and Ines Santolini finish their CIESA apprenticeship and take charge of a community garden at a local living group. ~ CIESA starts a 7-month program, organized by Cooperar Foundation, that includes a weekly workshop in organic vegetable cultivation. ~ In Peru, Pia leads a 2-day workshop in Lima in conjunction with 2 NGOs. 22 participants include small- and medium-scale farmers, agriculture engineers and teachers. Cajamarca, high in the Andes is the site of a workshop for 22 campesinos.
Ecuador: ADYS, coordinator of Biointensive projects in Ecuador, reports they are strengthening the infrastructure of the demonstration site at Pifo and have planted 20 fruit trees and 10 growing beds and are designing 24 more growing beds.
Kenya: Manor House Agricultural Centre (MHAC): Over 700 people attend the 2nd Field Day at MHAC, including 67 agriculture college students. ~ MHAC gives a 3-day workshop to 19 farmers, sponsored by World Vision. ~ The center conducts a 4-day workshop for farmers in Chepararia, through the auspices of a project of the Netherlands Embassy. ~ MHAC also gives two 1-week workshops to 17 farmers from Muhoroni and 12 farmers from Migori, both sponsored by Kilili. ~ The center establishes 5 more mini-centers in different communities, to serve as local demonstration gardens as well as sites for student attachments. ~ MHAC 2nd year students start trials on a 20-bed unit to grow complete diet, income and compost crops, based on Ecology Action’s Booklet #28. ~ The organization later holds graduation ceremonies for second-year students and gives awards to the first 5 community mini-centers established 2 years ago. ~ MHAC is collaborating with other NGOs to collect information on conservation agriculture and poverty, to be reviewed by the Kenyan government.
Joshua Machinga, Director of the Common Ground Project, gives a 7-day course for 47 people from 4 NGOs and 13 farmer community groups. ~ He also offers a 6-day workshop for 33 farmers, 75% of them women. These people have been working for $0.57 a day. ~ Machinga then gives a drought mitigation workshop in drought-stricken Turkana district. 323 people attend, including one person who walks 40 km to get there.
Ecology Action Headquarters
The summer internship begins in May and the first 3-month Autumn Full Survey Course begins in September. Participants include a student from EARTH University, Costa Rica, an intern from California, two M.A. students from New College of California, and an EA apprentice. ~ Juan Manual Martinez, Director of ECOPOL in Mexico, and Mercedes Torres, Director of ADYS in Ecuador, come to EA Mini-Farm to research materials for the new basic-level Spanish training manual. The manual will be of great help in establishing the minimum standards required in order to teach and disseminate the principles of GROW BIOINTENSIVE in Spanish-speaking America. ~ Tours of the farm are given to: visitors from South Africa, a regional Quaker group, and four people from Columbia. ~ Three people from CIESA, an organization in Argentina visit the Mini-Farm and want to learn about 10-bed units and complete-diet mini-farming. ~ The fifth 5-day Basic-Level Teachers Workshop is attended by EA’s 3 apprentices and 2 interns. Other participants come from four states, Bermuda, and Honduras. One participant is preparing for a humanitarian aid trip to Kyrgyzstan. ~ EA staff gives a 3-day workshop in Willits for 30 people. ~ Fernando Pia, director of CIESA in Argentina, participates in Steve Moore’s GROW BIOINTENSIVE passive solar greenhouse workshop in Pennsylvania, then travels to the EA Mini-Farm to confer with John Jeavons and staff.
Ecology Action as a Resource
Educational tours and demonstrations are given three times. ~ John Jeavons outreach this year includes: giving interviews on two PBS radio shows; a presentation for Master Gardeners in Napa, California; speaking at the first “All Things Organic” festival and a workshop in York, Pennsylvania, for 46 people including one man from Japan and three nuns from Malawi. ~ Apprentices and Interns: 3-year apprentices include: Bi-sek Hsiao, who was an intern last year, and has worked and traveled extensively in Southeast Asia; David Basile who along with his family, will stay at Golden Rule during his training; Brother Timothy Hunter, comes from Mt. Tabor, a local Russian Orthodox monastery; Sara Fishkin, who previously was an intern at a Biodynamic Farm near Willits. ~ Participants for the autumn course include a student from EARTH University, Costa Rica, a special intern from California living at Golden Rulefor 13 months, two M.A. students from New College of California, and an EA apprentice. ~ Oswald Romero from Ecuador starts a 6-month internship. He is a professor of Agronomy at the Technical University of the North, helped facilitate last year’s workshops in Ecuador, and has been developing a demonstration site in his country. Henry Hightower of Sacramento, California, begins an internship.
Kenya: Manor House Agricultural Center (MHAC) reports that the Center’s garden now supplies 90% of their vegetable needs. 23 new students start the 2-year course at MHAC, over 2-1/2 times the number of the previous year. ~ The organization receives 2-year funding to strengthen its mini-center extension program. 10 mini-centers have been established in communities, and 5 have “graduated”and are now able to give trainings on their own. ~ MHAC provides trainings to farmer self-help groups, including one whose members are squatters on former colonial farms.Trainings are given to farmers from World Vision and 18 pastors from Nyanza province. ~ Manor House staff led tours for students and teachers from secondary schools and from Sigalagala Technical Training Institute. ~ Staff from the Global Restoration Movement visit MHAC to explore collaboration in the establishment of BIA in their project. ~ Festus Wakhunga gives a six-week training to 77 Catholic priests and laypeople, refugees from Sudan, a country that has been shattered by civil war for the last 12 years. ~ MHAC organizes a 2-day symposium bringing together farmers and other agricultural development practitioners to share experiences and to discuss the establishment of mini-training centers.
Common Ground Project (CGP): Director Joshua Machinga is invited to join a team to evaluate the food security situation in Sudan. ~ Staff trains groups in Turkana and Trans-nzoia provinces, sponsored by Kilili and Rosavie EPZ. CGP gives a 1-week course for 30 farmers. ~ The organization launches a garden school project with the aim of involving children in agricultural activities. ~ CGP offers a year long training session for 5 community groups with a total membership of 165 families in western Kenya. ~The program donates one hundred forty 90-kg bags of maize to the hungry in Turkana. ~ CGP becomes a referral center for the Vetiver Network in Kenya. ~ An official from Tanzania’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development visits CGP to learn aspects of GROW BIOINTENSIVE. ~ General Secretary of the Right Sharing of World Resources visits CGP and its target farmers. ~ 1,185 farmers attend the farmer’s field day at Ndalala to learn GROW BIOINTENSIVE. ~ Common Ground Program organizes farmer-to-farmer extension tours involving 20 community groups. ~ 680 farmers attend a field day, organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture. ~ A recent survey by CGP, plus farmer evaluations shows that the project has managed to increase food production by 10-75% in just one year; that there is diversity in family diets; and income levels of most farmers have increased.
Latin America ECOPOL: Mexico Director Juan Manual Martinez is appointed president of the national committee for standardization of organic regulations. In this capacity he meets and works with government people making decisions on agricultural policy. ~ Ricardo Romero and Tania Alba have created a new 150 bed garden at their Veracruz demonstration site, Las Canada. ~ Ricardo Romero gives a 6-day training for 6 campesinos, gives a 5-day workshop for 6 people and a 1-day workshop for 35 campesinos. ~ The Maristas Brothers are creating a project called Peasant University in the Tarahumara Sierra with Biointensive as one of the basic subjects. ~ ECOPOL Director Martinez gives 3-day course through CONARAO to people able to affect agricultural policy in Mexico. ~ Moises Cuevas gives a 5-day course at Chapingo University for 30 people.
Ecuador: A 3-day workshop is taught to 34 people at a demonstration farm set up by CIESA. ~ The local government asked ADYS (the organization facilitating Biointensive work) to install a demonstration garden at each of the 25 centers where food from the World Food Program is being distributed. Besides being educational, the gardens will provide vegetables to supplement the food distribution program. ~ Mercedes Torres, Director of ADYS, reports that in the last year 5 courses have been taught at the demonstration site in Pifo to a total of 140 people from 4 provinces. The groups have ranged from professionals to campesinos to indigenous people.
Argentina: CIESA under the leadership of Fernando Pia, wins the SARD prize at the 14th IFOAM Congress held in Canada. ~ CIESA gives 5 three-day workshops for a total of 169 people, as well as 2 0ne-day workshops.
Russia:The Viola organization presents a Biointensive conference for directors of all the schools in the city of Bryansk. 80 to 90 people participate. ~ Steve Moore teaches a 5-day seminar near Moscow and three1-day workshops near Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Afghanistan: Afghan Retraining Initiative for Self-Employment (ARISE) is developing a vocational training center in Kabul, which will include agricultural training, and the group will include GROW BIOINTENSIVE as a key part of its curriculum. ~ In August a group from ARISE and the Foundation for Global Community tour the EA Mini-Farm in Willits.
Ecology Action Headquarters
A 3-day GROW BIOINTENSIVE workshop is offered at the Mini-Farm in March to 28 participants including; Igor Prokofiev, co-founder of the Viola organization in Russia; an agriculture teacher from the Santa Fe Indian School, and the co-founder of an environmental organization in the Philippines. ~ In September another 3-day workshop is given for 15 participants. ~ The Sixth Basic-Level Teachers Workshop includes an environmental educator from Israel and the manager of Oregon Tilth’s Organic Education Center garden. John Jeavons is part of a panel on organic agriculture at Golden Rule Ranch. ~ Educational tours: People from India, Zimbabwe, France, Columbia, and Burma, also Vice Provost of International Studies at UC Davis, and the Associate Director of the USDA’s SAREP tour the Mini-Farm in May. ~ Three more tours are offered this season. ~ Three 6-month interns include: 2 from Mexico–the garden manager of the Veracruz demonstration garden and a professor of Agronomy at the university in Coahuila state; and a New Zealand man interested in preserving local seeds. Later an intern participates who has a background of international study and work. ~ Scott Weaver from Wisconsin and Aaron Homan from New Zealand receive their initial GROW BIOINTENSIVE teacher certification. ~ Two prospective interns from Afghanistan pass an initial test for entry to the US, the first step toward obtaining visas for next spring. Publications: Booklet 31 of the Self-Teaching Mini-Series, “Designing a GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farm.” Also “2003 International Directory of GROW BIOINENSIVE Mini-Farmers and Mini-Farms”.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons gives a presentation at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo to over 200 people, and then teaches a class for 30 students and exchanges views on sustainable agriculture with university professors. He gives two short courses at the 11th National Small Farm Trade Show and Conference at Columbia Missouri. ~ Irina Kim of Uzbekistan and Ludmila Zhirina of Russia travel to the US to present papers about their Biointensive work at the Eco-Farm Conference at Asilomar. ~ Devon Patillo, a 2002 Teachers workshop participant, spends two weeks in Kabul, Afghanistan, assessing the possibilities for developing a GROW BIOINTENSIVE program there.
Mexico: In Saltillo state, Reynaldo Villareal trains 2,500 young people at his center in 2002. ~ Salvador Morelos of Aguascaliente state has a project with 1,200 centers throughout Mexico that reach people without formal education. ~ Juan Manuel Martinez travels to Ecuador, Columbia and Peru. In Costa Rica, Martinez begins work organizing a Biointensive conference to be held there in 2004; he continues networking and meeting with staff of several organizations. ~ Las Canadas demonstration center in Veracruz state gives 5-day Biointensive workshops in March and November. ~ The University of Chapingo, Texcoco, hosts two 5-day international workshops.
Argentina: Fernando Pia presents a “Biological Agriculture” element at a 2-day forum co-sponsored by the National University of Patagonia. He also presents two 1-day workshops for 180 participants. Later in the year he gives several 3-day workshops and one 2-day workshop.
Ecuador: Juan Manuel Martinez collaborates with Mercedes Torres, Director of ADYS to complete their revision of the new basic-level Spanish Language training manual. ~ They visit Biointensive gardens in the Amazon grown by Columbian refugees–a joint project of ADYS and The UN High Commission for Refugees. ECOPOL signs an agreement with the Rector of the Technical College of the North to install a demonstration garden at the University. ~ ADYS teaches a six-week course.
Uzbekistan: Irina Kim reports that eight demonstration centers in Uzbekistan were created from 1998 to 2001. ~ The Agrocenter in Chirchik has helped establish an association of Biointensive gardeners and has also helped establish networks in the Farish region and at the Nuratau nature Reserve.
Africa: Kenya Common Ground Program (CGP) starts table banking financial assistance methods among small-scale farmers. ~ 198 participants graduate from the Participatory Integrated Community Development Workshop and village based GROW BIOINTENSIVE training. ~ Over 150 farmers graduate from the 2-year intercommunity training. ~ CGP receives funding from Right Sharing of World Resources to carry out a food security project for nine communities. ~ World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) staff train in field data collection techniques. Information gathered will be directly applied to soil fertility research in Trans-Nzoia and West Pokot regions. ~ 60 farmers participate in the Farmers-Exchange.
Manor House Agricultural Centre (MHAC) Twenty-seven students begin the two-year course. ~ 8 first-year students fulfill their community attachment at the new community mini-training centers. ~ During the first half of the year the organization holds 9 seminars; the participants were housed in their new upgraded facilities. ~ 30 extension staff from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, from Uasin Gishu District tour the center. ~ Oaxacan long-time researcher, Boone Hallberg, and Manor House staff are investigating the potential for crossing Oaxacan Opaque 2 maize with native Kenyan varieties to produce open-pollinated varieties that need less fertilizer. First Hallberg spends a month at the Kenyan organization researching trials. Later in the year, Emmanuel Omondi, Director of MHAC and three board members visit Ecology Action before traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico to see Hallberg’s onsite work.
Ecology Action Headquarters
A strategic planning process is held at the Mini-Farm to evaluate Ecology Action’s emphases for the next 10 years. ~ The seventh 5-day Basic-Level Teachers Workshop was given. Participants come from 3 states and 5 countries. The 2 Afghan participants work with the Ministry of Agriculture. ~ In November the staff gives a 3-day workshop for 21 people including a woman from Turkey and a man from Guadalajara, Mexico. ~ Workshops and Tours ~ In March the staff gives a 3-day workshop at Willits Mini-Farm. Participants include 36 people; 19 from California, 3 from Canada, one from Switzerland and 2 from Ghana. One of the participants is Director of Global Service Corps, and 2 are from Nebraska where they direct a community garden project for low-income people and refugees. ~ 16 people take an educational tour in May. 2 tours are given in June for 29 people. 47 people take the August tour. ~ Bountiful Gardens announces it is now set up to take orders online. ~ David Basile, a second year apprentice, begins a 40-bed unit, designed to provide food for one person for one year, carbon and nitrogen to feed the soil, as well as income. ~ The six month interns arrive in April: two interns from Afghanistan and Adriana Rodriguez from Costa Rica; Oscar Valbuena from Colombia, Patricia de Oliviera from Brazil and Itai Hauben from Israel. ~ In August Melina Hurtado, a student at EARTH University from Colombia, begins a 14 week internship.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons gives one of the keynote addresses at the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) National Scientific Leadership Conference, attended by over 700 of ARS’s scientists and leaders. The discussion topics are designed to encourage the scientist to think about the challenges that agricultural research will face in the future. ~ Jeavons gives a 3-day workshop in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania for 32 people from ten states, Greece, Chad, Malawi and Afghanistan. A husband and wife team from Canada participated. They started the Post Carbon Institute that explores in theory and practice what cultures, civilizations, governance, and agriculture might look like in the future. ~ Carol Cox gives a talk to the Healdsburg Garden Club. ~ John Doran, with consultation help from John Beeby, speaks of “Feeding a Hungry World Using Biointensive Methods,” at the University of Vermont. The talk is part of a series to celebrate a new major—Ecological Agriculture—in the University’s Plant and Soil Science Department. ~ The Spanish translation of the sixth edition of How to Grow More Vegetables is completed and sent to numerous Latin American countries. ~ EA publishes Booklet 32 in Self-Teaching Mini-Series: “GROW BIOINTENSIVE Composting and Growing Compost Materials” which dramatically updates composting experience of the last 14 years and is truly “growing edge.”
Steve Moore, Intermediate-Level Teacher, gives a workshop in New York for 75 people, teaches several workshops and a conference for a total of 88 participants. Throughout the season he offers six tours to 50 people. Moore gives a 2-day passive Solar Greenhouse workshop for 32 participants. He participates in a GROW BIOINTENSIVE conference for 84 people. This year he offers a Seed Saving Workshop for 10 people.
Mexico: The National Committee on Organic Agriculture, chaired by Juan Manuel Martinez, Director of ECOPOL, completes its work on organic regulation and gives it to the Mexican congress. ~ ECOPOL reports it has helped bring Biointensive information up-to-date at Chapingo Autonomous University, the Postgraduate College of Montecillos, and at Antonio Narro University in Saltillo. ~ Martinez travels to four Central American countries giving workshops, checking Biointensive projects, negotiating agreements and identifying key people to invite to the conference and workshop in Costa Rica. ~ Martinez gives courses in Colima, Mexico for a total of 72 people. ~ ECOPOL presents a 5-day international workshop at the University of Chapingo for 25 people. ~ Feliciano Ruiz gives two workshops to a total of 34 people ~ NGOs from four countries come together to jointly address an ecologically sensitive region of South America—The Chaco, situated in Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. Martinez provides a 3-day workshop for participants. ~ Martinez also gives a talk in Bolivia and signs agreements with deans of Gabriel Rene Moreno University. ~ It is reported that in 2003, in the state of Saltillo, Reynaldo Villareal gave talks about Biointensive and demonstrated compost making to almost 4,000 students from kindergarten through college.
Argentina: CIESA gives a 3-day workshop for 34 people from Chile and Argentina.
Kenya: Common Ground Program (CPG) establishes Mini Ag center in Teso Western Province and in neighboring Uganda. Three farmer groups graduate after 2 years of GROW BIOINTENSIVE training. ~ Farmer Field Days are held in 7 locations and draw 1,389 participants. ~ CPG gives a training workshop for farmers in Bungoma district. ~ CPG collaborates in a 4 month Participatory Integrated Community Development workshop. The organization introduces micro-financing support project to 2 community groups. ~ Kieran O’Dowd from Village Volunteers visits CPG to document its projects. ~ The Common Ground staff attended the symposium held at Manor House. ~ At the end of the year, Joshua Machinga, director of the organization, attends the ECHO conference in Florida and afterwards makes presentations to several Rotary Clubs in the U.S.
Manor House Agricultural Centre (MHAC) reports that its gardens are now planned to have peak production cycles once every quarter, to feed students and workshop participants. ~ In November the organization co-sponsors a symposium: “Community Empowerment Towards Sustainable Management of Resources”- at the Centre. ~ The 18th graduation ceremony for second-year students at Manor House is held on the last day of the symposium. ~ The follow-up of second-year students on NGO field attachments showed that all of the involved organizations were impressed with the students’ abilities. ~ 7 first-year students begin their community attachment at community mini-training centers. ~ MHAC reports that instead of hiring tractors, some of the heavy work is now done by donkeys owned by the center. ~ The MHAC director and accountant attend a one-week workshop on Financial Management, organized by the NGO Council. ~ The Mumias Sugar Company approaches MHAC to help the company design a Biointensive agriculture project, with emphasis on composting, to help them reverse the steadily declining yields in their sugar cane plantations. ~ A team from the Technical Center for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation tours MHAC to exchange ideas on organic farming and marketing. Team members come from Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Guinea, UK, Madagascar, Austria, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, and Kenya. ~ Workshops: MHAC hosts a one-week workshop for 40 farmers on Community Development, sponsored by Action Aid. Another 1-week workshop for 20 participants is offered. In September MHAC hosts another Community Development workshop for 40 participants, this time sponsored by World Vision. They co-facilitate 2 one-week workshops for 35 farmers of the LIFE project of the Swedish Co-operative Centre. MHAC co-facilitates a one-week workshop on farmer-to-farmer extension approaches for 30 participants. They give a one-week GROW BIOINTENSIVE workshop for 20 Baptist Church pastors from 3 districts.
Russia: The Russian translation of Ecology Action’s Sustainable Vegetable Garden is edited, and 300 copies are typeset and printed by the Educational Methods Center of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. ~ Reports from the former Soviet Union, coming through Carol Vescky, describe promising research results using GROW BIOINTENSIVE in extremely saline soil in Uzbekistan and radioactive-contaminated soil in Russia. ~ It is reported that in 2003, in Bryansk, western Russia, 100 people were taught at the Bryansk Pedagogical University, and 400 more students, dacha gardeners and farmers were also taught.
Uzbekistan: Irina Kim continues to teach 250 people a year in her high school classes and 11 remote villages. ~ She is also starting to teach in cities in Kazakhstan. ~ It is reported that Dr. Bakhtiyar Jollibekov and his son Berdiyar taught 200 people in 2003. Dr. Bakhtiyar writes a curriculum and textbook in the Karakalpak language on GROW BIOINTENSIVE and presents to 100 university-level agriculture students.
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Training: Sasha Paradis, from New York, begins a 3-year apprenticeship in April, while David Basile completes his apprenticeship in August. Salvador Dias, from Mexico, and Faust Moran, from Ecuador, are 6-month apprentices. Three-Month Interns include: Alvaro Hidalgo, a student from the EARTH University in Costa Rica and Peter Anderson, from California, training to be a volunteer with the Afghanistan project next year. Yesica Cusiyupanqui from Peru begins a 5-month internship in November. EA gives two educational garden tours during the summer and 3-day Workshops in March and November. Mary Barsony and Robin Mankey, both from the San Francisco Bay Area, attend a multi-day tutorial in July, an alternative this year to the Teachers Workshop. EA continues to work with ECOPOL to plan a conference and workshops in Costa Rica that have the potential to impact the whole Latin American continent.
Ecology Action as a Resource
The website is changed to make it more informative and accessible. Ecology Action develops a Global Networking Chart, graphically illustrating the reach of EA initiatives over the years; in it are email addresses of all EA teachers on the chart to facilitate networking with each other. ~ Anna Lappe interviews John Jeavons about sustainable diets for a new book she is writing. ~ Jeavons is also interviewed by Julian Darley; founder of the Post Carbon Institute. ~ Willits Economic Localization, a group devoted to creating a sustainable local economy, is consulting with us about sustainable, local food production and John Jeavons gives a presentation to the group in April. ~ The city of Oakland, California contacts EA for advice about training citizens to grow much of their vegetables and fruits. ~ The largest strawberry grower in California contacts EA about training an intern from Angola. ~ A volunteer at an orphanage in India emails EA seeking information about Biointensive training techniques for children. ~ A farmer in Sweden, wanting to start using Biointensive, emails for information. ~ Ecology Action is at the center of an email correspondence between a colleague and a former apprentice, trying to determine how to extrapolate GROW BIOINTENSIVE production to a larger area.
EA Colleagues: Steve Moore, in Pennsylvania, teaches workshops throughout the year, including ones to learn how to grow using Biointensive in a passive solar greenhouse. Steve also continues to develop information on energy efficiency. ~ Bi-sek Hsiao spends 6 weeks at the Biointensive projects in Ecuador, teaching ADYS staff and also training people at the Amazonian project in organic rice production and seed production. ~ Calvin Bey, in Arkansas, teaches a workshop for 25 people.
ECOPOL (Mexico) sponsors a 1-day forum at the University of Chapingo where participants work toward a national Biointensive network; 220 people attend. Director Juan Manuel Martinez is requested by state authorities to teach six 3-day courses in Colima state, for a total of 180 people. Then he makes a presentation at a conference in Aguascalientes state, and as a result is invited to give workshops in 3 other Mexican states. Martinez learns that many people in Aguascalientes have been trained by Patricia Munoz. She received training at the Willits Mini-Farm in 1997. ~ Martinez travels to Ecuador where he meets with representatives from 2 UN organizations and one from the Ecuadorian government, all whom offer support for the Biointensive projects there.
Russia: Director Carol Vesecky leads a 17-day culture/eco-ag tour to western Russia where they visit Biointensive gardens, education centers and research gardens in the Chernobyl irradiated zone.
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Dan and Margo Royer-Miller, from Indiana, start their 3-year apprenticeship. ~ Interns include: Marisol Tenorio and her husband Agustin Medina, from Mexico; Anel Rojas, from Bolivia; Tom Marino, from Virigina. 6-month intern, Jennifer Ungemach from Pennsylvania, goes on to become Ecology Action’s liaison to its Latin American projects. In October, after returning to Mexico Tenorio and Medina report they have begun their garden with 10 beds. ~ EA gives three educational tours of the Research Garden during the summer and two 3-day workshops. ~ 5 people join the apprentices and interns at the 5-day Teacher’s Workshop for a total of 12 participants. ~ EA co-sponsors a 6-day workshop in Costa Rica, with 115 participants from almost all of Latin America.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons makes presentations at the following events: the Symposium of Biologically Intensive Agriculture, the 18th World Congress of Soil Scientists, the American Community Gardening Association’s Annual Conference, and at the Slow Foods Conference in Turin, Italy. ~ In May a group of 5 farm advisors from North Carolina tour the Mini-Farm seeking information.
ECOPOL Mexico: Juan Manuel Martinez, Director of ECOPOL, is re-elected as president of Mexico’s national committee to establish organic standards. Martinez organizes the above-mentioned 6-day Latin American workshop. He gives the following trainings: three 3-day workshops in Peru, one 3-day workshop and 5 trainings in the Dominican Republic, and 5 trainings in Bolivia. ~ In Paraguay, Fernando Pia and Martinez offer workshops at a new demonstration/mini-ag site, the San Francisco Agricultural School. ~ ECOPOL reports that since so many Latin American governments are experiencing challenges and encourage the growing of export crops, it is teaching Biointensive directly to universities, NGOs, producers, peasants, and agricultural schools.
Kenya: Manor House Agricultural Centre (MHAC) Currently the center has 30 second-year students and 26 first-year students in its 2-year certificate course, one of them from Uganda. The demonstration garden consists of 176 raised beds, each student managing 8 beds. ~ Two 3-month trainings are given. ~ The center partners with 7 other NGOs, each choosing a new farmer group to train in Biointensive and other alternative technologies. ~ 40 farmers participate in farmer exchange visits. ~ A professor and staff person from Egerton University tour the center seeking information about organic agriculture, since currently the university’s courses are all geared toward conventional agriculture. ~ Ministry of Agriculture staff inquires about soil fertility management techniques. ~ Visitors come from Sweden, UK, USA, Bolivia and Uganda.
Common Ground Program (CGP): 750 farmers are awarded certificates after 2 years of training. ~ Pathfinder Academy, an agricultural school for children, is launched by CGP, and later receives an award from the Ministry of Education for community service. ~ 890 farmers attend a field day on food security and solar cooking. ~ Amistad International funds a CGP micro-finance project. ~ Kenya Broadcasting Corporation airs GGP project activities countrywide through its English Service Program. ~ The founding president of Zambia acknowledges Common Ground Program’s activities. ~ 200 Kenyan farmers visit GROW BIOINTENSIVE project sites in Eastern Uganda and Kampala. ~ 27 farmer-to-farmer exchange visits happen in The Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western provinces.
Russia: Biointensive for Russia. The Viola Organization, whose mission is to educate people in areas contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear accident, reports the results of the expedition it made last fall to other irradiated areas. Soil samples and produce from the fall harvest are analyzed. The organization recommends double-dug beds and the addition of compost to lessen the effects of radiation. ~ Igor Prokofiev, co-director of Viola, attends the 2006 Teachers Workshop at the Ecology Action Mini-Farm. ~ Irina Kim, Director of Ecopolis in Uzbekistan, gives a 5-day workshop for 32 people at the University of Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan. Participants include: teachers, students, scientists, and laboratory researchers. ~ Biointensive for Russia reports giving trainings to 11,224 people in Russia and Uzbekistan during 2005 and 2006.
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Trainings: Margo and Dan Royer-Miller begin their second year of apprenticeship. Jennifer Ungemach, Ecology Action’s Liaison with Latin American Projects, returns to begin her second growing season. ~ Interns include: Isidiro Alejo from the Dominican Republic; Loretta O’Brien, from California; Gerardo Tenorio from Mexico; Jerry Arguello form Nicaragua; Austen Bradbury from El Salvador; and Riley Thomson, from EARTH University in Costa Rica. Before leaving, both Jerry and Isidro create plans to develop a Mini-Ag Center in their respective countries. ~ EA gives 3-Day workshops in March and November, and 4 educational tours during the summer. ~ The Common Ground Store and Educational Center in Palo Alto, California, is developing a demonstration and training garden.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons gives workshops and makes presentations at the Greening of Detroit, the University of Michigan, and in Hawaii. One of the participants of the Hawaii workshop later writes that he is transforming his conventional corn farm into an organic CSA. ~ John Jeavons travels to Kenya and teaches a 5-Day Workshop to 138 people from 7 African countries. The workshop and a 4-Day Symposium are co-sponsored by MHAC and PELUM. ~ A man from Chad reports he is translating EA publications into French. ~ A person from Burma orders videos to use in training indigenous communities there. ~ A woman from British Columbia asks for information on growing food for her island community’s 1500 inhabitants.
Latin America ECOPOL: Juan Manuel Martinez, Director of ECOPOL, continues strengthening the connections with colleagues from last year’s Costa Rican Workshop. He makes trips to El Salvador, Costa Rica, Cuba, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil. In each country he offers workshops and presentations; gives radio and TV interviews; and establishes ties with universities and NGOs. During the year, ECOPOL also fosters and maintains connections with many NGOs in Mexico. ~ Las Canadas in Veracruz now has 110 Biointensive beds. Karla Arroyo, Garden Manager, also maintains a separate 30-bed garden for seed production. ~ Jennifer Ungemach spends 4 months at the San Francisco Agricultural School in Paraguay, teaching a 3-month course to 5 people. She offers a 3-Day workshop to 30 participants and then teaches another 3-month course for 4 people from Bolivia, one from Paraguay plus two from the school.
Kenya: Manor House Agricultural Center (MHAC) spends much time and energy this year planning and hosting the 5-Day Workshop and 4-Day Symposium in August. They are aided in this endeavor by PELUM, an association of 170 NGOs from 10 African countries. ~ 117 graduates of the 2-year certificate program have a reunion and form an alumni association to continue networking. ~ Kilili Self-Help Project: reports that during the first 10 months of this year, it has awarded 126 grants to projects organized by Manor House graduates. ~ Over 20,000 farmers have been trained; double the number of two years ago. ~ Kilili’s Director, Sandra Mardigian, now has an advisory board of four Manor House graduates who are interviewing grant applications for her.
Common Ground Project (CGP) Director Joshua Machinga reports 36 farmers’ groups are trained in GROW BIOINTENSIVE farming skills, indigenous crops and heritage seeds. 450 home tree nurseries are established, and more that 500,000 tree seedlings from the community tree nurseries are planted along the farmers’ fields. ~ Eight farmers’ field days are held, attended by a total of 43,687 people (including farmers and students from both primary and high schools.) ~ In November, Machinga travels to Seattle and presents African GROW BIOINTENSIVE farming experience to a representative from the Gates Foundation.
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Training: Dan and Margo Royer-Miller continue their third year as apprentices, beginning the year at the Mini-Farm and then moving to Golden Rule to help manage the GROW BIOINTENSIVE garden there. The couple commit to staying through next year’s growing season to mentor new staff and interns. ~ Jennifer Ungemach, EA’s Liaison to Latin American Projects, gives a three-month course and a three-week workshop in Paraguay. She also spends part of the growing season in Willits. ~ The list of interns for 2008 includes: Giovanna Armas, who works with the ADYS organization in Ecuador; Boaz Oduor, a staff person at Manor House Agricultural Center, and Elijah Wekesa, who trains farmers at the Common Ground Project, both in Kenya; and Louann Rank, who has been working in community development in Alaska. ~ Later in the year, additional interns include: David Kariuki, a trainer for CARD, and Phillip Odhiambo, who works with OTEPIC, both in Kenya; Sandika Nuwarapaxage, a three-month intern, is District Director of the Sewa Lanka Foundation, Sri Lanka. ~ Two 3-Day Workshops were given for a total of 77 people, including 12 couples. ~ Four educational tours of the Research Garden were given, as well as a special tour for volunteers at the community garden, two Sunday tours for Seventh Day Adventist groups, and two Sunday tours for Sustainable Agriculture classes from Santa Rosa Junior College.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons made teaching trips to British Columbia, Washington, North Carolina and Virginia. He also gave a Power Point presentation to 38 incoming MESA stewards from six countries. ~ Ecology Action hired an Administrator in April for support at its headquarters in Willits. ~ A woman who will be going to Ethiopia as a teacher wants to investigate the feasibility of a training program in that country similar to Manor House Agricultural Centre. ~ A woman who operates an environmental education project in Hong Kong asks for input about supporting a Biointensive project in Malawi. ~ A man from New Zealand wants to promote two Ecology Action books in English, Maori and sign language. ~ Ecology Action launches a public engagement campaign called the RenewAll Garden Project for localization of food production. ~ EA staff hands out seeds at the Slow Food conference in San Francisco. ~ A website is up and being further developed for that project at: www.RenewAllGardenProject.net ~ As a result of our involvement with the Slow Food Nation event at the Civic Center Victory Garden, the Health Program Coordinator for Kaiser-Richmond Medical Center requests seeds for an upcoming Fruit and Veggie Health Fair. ~ John Jeavons participates in an urban design charette in San Francisco co-hosted by Urban Revision and Rocky Mountain Institute, for discussing sustainability in these changing times. ~ Collaborations are developed with the Maharisih University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, and with the Agroecology Department at the University of California-Santa Cruz.
Latin America: Juan Manuel Martinez, Director of ECOPOL, re-establishes connections with several Mexican government agencies in order to strengthen support and funding for organic agricultural extension to small-holder farmers. He initiates meetings between government agencies and Biointensive producers, with the agencies later concluding their NGOs will be served more effectively if they channel their funding through ECOPOL. It was reported that Salvador Morelos, a former EA workshop participant, is now head of the government’s Training Center in Sustainable Development, and is using his influence to encourage this combining of agency efforts. ~ Martinez made follow-up training trips to Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, and Brazil, as well as teaching workshops in Mexico.
Africa, Kenya: During the tribal conflicts in Kenya, Samuel Nderitu relocates his Biointensive project to Thika, near Nairobi. He develops a new organization, BIAnet, and includes 20 graduates from Manor House Agricultural Centre to develop and promote GROW BIOINTENSIVE among small-scale farmers. BIAnet develops a one-acre piece of land, situated along a main road, into a demonstration center. 4,206 farmers have been trained by the end of October.
A project in South Africa grows in exciting, new directions. In 2007, two students from CIDA, a free university in Johannesburg, took a 3-month course at Manor House Agricultural Centre in Kenya. On their return they started a GROW BIOINTENSIVE program at the university, including a thriving demonstration garden. CIDA is now being reorganized, and the Biointensive program is being transferred to a new Ecological- Campus, focusing on Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Architecture. The new campus is located on the 4,500-hectare Ezemvelo Nature Reserve, recently given to the Maharishi Institute by Nicky and Strilli Oppenheimer. Plans include a 5-month course and a 5-day workshop.
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Dan and Margo Royer-Miller complete their apprenticeship in February, and continue to mentor the new interns and apprentices and help teach Ecology Action workshops and classes. In December they return to their family farm in the Midwest. ~ Interns at Ecology Action: Mateo Gonzalez, manages the GROW BIOINTENSIVE® garden at the Xochitla Nature Reserve (see below ECOPOL); Cesar Garcia teaches Organic Agriculture at a university in Guatemala and plans to starts a Mini-Ag Center; Chelsea Cates, from Alaska, will be farming her family’s land in Washington State; Raj Solanki and Tracy Gonzalez are from Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. ~ Ed and Natasha Fernandez begin their three-year apprenticeship. Natasha grew up in the Ukraine and Ed has Cuban roots. They are being trained as co-Field Coordinators for the Golden Rule Garden in 2010. ~ Two three-day workshops are given for a total of 80 people and four educational Mini- Farm tours are held.
Ecology Action as a Resource
John Jeavons meets with Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique, to present a proposal for training students from Mozambique, and other African countries. ~ Jeavons and Steve Moore—long-time farmer and EA colleague—give a five-day workshop to 100 participants at the Ezemvelo Nature Preserve, South Africa, where there is a promising Mini-Ag Center. ~ Ashland, Oregon: over 350 attend a presentation by Jeavons, 40 people attend a 1-day Economic Mini-Farming Workshop, then 35 participants are at the 3-day workshop. ~ John Jeavons is part of a panel on Water Wars in the Future at Yale University. ~ Jeavons participates in an informal USDA committee on improving food quality for school cafeteria programs. ~ Jeavons and Steve Moore give a three-day workshop at the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa. (MUM) where there is a promising Mini-Ag Center. Moore also gives a one-day workshop on gardening in a passive solar greenhouse.
ECOPOL Mexico: Juan Manuel Martinez, the organization’s director, encourages the following centers and their staff to work together as a GROW BIOINTENSIVE network: El Mezquite in Aguascalientes state, developed and managed by Augustin Medina and Marisol Tenorio, who are now Intermediate-Level Teachers; Las Canadas, in Veracruz state, managed by Karla Arroyo; and the developing program at the Xochitla Reserve in Mexico City, managed by Mateo Gonzalez. Martinez believes that this core group—along with some official government programs—will eventually cover most of Mexico. ~ Martinez and EA Liaison to Latin American Projects, Jennifer Ungemach, guide Karla Arroyo in becoming a certified intermediate-level teacher. Martinez has the intention of extending basic-level certification to Ricardo Romero, Mateo Gonzalez and Eduar Pinzon in the future. ~ From January through July 2009, Martinez gave at least one workshop each month in various parts of Mexico. In the process, he trained 625 people, 397 of them indigenous women. For example, from July 14th to 25th, he gave 4 workshops in different communities in San Idelfonso, to a total of 277 indigenous Otomi women. He explained that the workshops were for women because most of the men have emigrated to the US or other parts of Mexico to get jobs to survive. In the last half of 2009, Juan made monthly teaching trips to Latin American countries.
Kenya: Manor House Agricultural Centre currently has 30 second-year students and 26 first-year students in its 2-year certificate course, one of them from Uganda. The demonstration garden consists of 176 raised beds, each student managing 8 beds. ~
Joshua Machinga, Director of Common Ground Program, receives an Ecology Action grant to take a seed production workshop taught by Karla Arroyo in Veracruz, Mexico. He stays an additional month to practice this new skill. The same grant funds ten experienced Kenyan trainers to attend the five-day workshop in South Africa that John Jeavons gave in September. Samuel Nderitu was one of the ten. He and Philip Odhiambo stay in South Africa an extra three days to teach GROW BIOINTENSIVE methods to Maharishi Institute students. Later in the year ten Kenyan trainers attend a seed production workshop at Nderitu’s project, Grow Biointensive Center Kenya, taught by Joshua Machinga.
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Ed and Natasha Fernandez finish their second-year apprenticeship at Golden Rule Garden. Interns for the 2010 growing season include Angel Cruz, an American who has taught gardening in El Salvador; Phinyada Bee Thonvanik, from Thailand, who works with her father, a Biodynamic farmer; Joshua Otieno Ouko, a trainer at Manor House in Kenya and a farmer who tends 120 double dug beds, Juan Pablo Chiriboga, from Ecuador, who works with indigenous people in the Amazon; Philemon Emukule Obetel, from Kenya, who teaches youth at Regional Development Network; Angelica Navarrete Flores, an Ecuadorian student from EARTH University, Costa Rica; Byron Jimenez Ponce, a student from Ecuador; Justin Cutter, a graduate of Maharishi University of Management (MUM); and Brandon Neil, also a MUM student. ~ EA gives a special 2-month course for 6 participants from Maharishi University of Management in Iowa. ~ EA hires an assistant director/organizational development manager and an assistant garden manager. ~ Trainings and Workshops: 3-day GROW BIOINTENSIVE workshops are offered in March for 43 people from 7 states, Mexico and Germany, and in November for 41 people from 8 states, Canada, Ecuador and Thailand. EA staff gives a basic-level teacher’s training for14 participants.
Ecology Action as a Resource
Ode magazine highlights Ecology Action’s work in “The Joy of Dirt”. ~ EA’s first e-newsletter includes garden tips and links to international project partners, John Jeavon’s personal site, and the RenewAll Garden Project website. EA’s Self-Teaching Manual is posted online for free downloading. ~ Margo and Dan Royer-Miller, intermediate-level teachers, settle on family land in Ohio where they double dig enough beds for a 4,000 sq. ft. diet plan. ~ A new initiative—the Green Belt Program at Stanford-Inn-By-The-Sea near the town of Mendocino—trains interns who make a commitment to establish a mini-ag center/soil test station in an area where economic, resource, and food limitations are prevalent. ~ John Jeavons gives a lecture to 90 students in Raleigh, North Carolina. ~ Steve Moore and John Jeavons co-teach a 3-day workshop at Warren Wilson College in Asheville North Carolina with support from Cindy Conner. Of the 37 participants from 8 states, several will be sharing what they learn in El Salvador, Tanzania, Ecuador and Belize.
GROW BIOINTENSIVE Agriculture Center of Kenya (G-BIACK) is the site of a 5-day Seed Production Workshop taught by Samuel Nderitu for 13 participants from 8 African nations. This is the third in a series of seed production workshops sponsored by EA. ~ G-BIACK project, run by Samuel and Peris Nderitu, trains farmers; teaches women with HIV/AIDS about nutrition and gardening; and offers gardening and sewing skills to street children. ~ Nderitu organizes 60 farmers to explore different planting methods and trial plantings of maize and beans. ~ The Kenyan World Food Day is held at G-BIACK. ~ Samuel participates with a group framing a national organic agriculture policy for Kenya. ~ Nderitu makes a trip to the U.S. where he visits EA headquarters, gives a presentation in Willits, visits Steve Moore and makes a presentation at a college in North Carolina.
Pathfinder Academy, founded by Joshua Machinga, is voted best school garden project in the country by the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture. 300 students from K through 8th grades learn gardening skills along with their academics. The older students teach Biointensive agriculture in their communities during school vacations. Joshua reports that last year the students had provided training to 68 “critically-affected community groups.”
Carol Vesecky, Director of Biointensive for Russia, is overseeing the translation of several EA publications, including the online Self-Teaching Manual, the Basic-Level GROW BIOINTENSIVE training manual and John Beeby’s Future Fertility.
The Pan-Latin America Conference and Workshop is given for 204 participants from19 Latin American countries, Kenya, Russia and the U.S. ECOPOL and Ecology Action sponsor the event, held at Xochitla Ecological Park, near Mexico City. Trainers include John Jeavons, Marisol Tenorio, Agustin Medina and Karla Arroyo from Mexico and Eduar Pinzon from Colombia; 24 additional trainers assist with hands-on field work. ~ Marisol Tenorio is writing a GROW BIOINTENSIVE manual for children and Ricardo Romero is writing a GROW BIOINTENSIVE manual for indigenous people. The Interactive Basic-Level Training Manuel is being revised to include broader chapters on soil and seed production. ~ Juan Manuel Martinez, ECOPOL director, facilitates a teacher certification workshop at Patzcuaro, Mexico in October for 20 candidates, 14 of whom commit to becoming certified at the basic-level within a year. This event marks the first time that candidates for certification are able to begin the process outside the U.S. ~ Martinez teaches workshops almost monthly in Mexico and gives the following workshops throughout Latin America: in Panama a workshop for 50 participants. (It is organized by two of the people that took part in the Xochitla workshops.) In Colombia, he teaches three one-day seminars for 30 people each, as well as a seminar and a conference. In Peru Martinez offers a training at the University of Cuzco for 32 participants and another in Arequipa for 43 participants.
The Itzamna Research Garden, is run by Kumiko Tsutsui, a Japanese native, for UNEX, (a Japanese and El Salvadorian company working to to reactivate the coffee economy with organic practices). Kumiko works with 762 families, training them in Biointensive gardening, healthy cooking and improving coffee production. Cesar Lineo, a 2009 EA intern, and an instructor at University of San Carlos, works closely with Tsutsui. They both attend the GROW BIOINTENSIVE workshops at Xochitla and the Teacher Certification workshop at Patzcuaro. Martinez gives a GB 3-day workshop at Itzamma for 45 coffee producers.
A 9-day series of events concerning organic agriculture takes place in Ecuador, sponsored by Ecology Action, ECOPOL and ADYS. The purpose of the national conference is to train university students, faculty members, farmers and agricultural professionals, on the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method; to involve two universities in researching, teaching and spreading the method, and to strengthen ADYS’ and the universities’ connection with other parts of Ecuadorian society. From 180 to 230 people took part, 128 of them Agronomy students with the rest being producers and the staff from NGOs and institutions. Juan Manuel Martinez reports, “ There is a very important change in the attitudes of the professors that participated, who before this meeting used to despise organic agriculture (especially on a small scale); now they are willing to teach it.”
Ecology Action Headquarters
Chelsea Cates, 2009 EA intern, helps with the transition phase for the new interns during April. ~
Ryan Batjika is a new assistant garden manager.
Randy Fish is the new Golden Rule field coordinator. He lives there with his wife and two children.
&nutrition; Lucas Howerter from North Carolina, stays until April 2012, who teaches gardening and does outreach with youth; Binod Aryal from Nepal, who runs a rehab center for displaced youth and teaches them gardening; Rachid Morrison from France.
Zuzanna Drozdz is managing the Common Ground Garden in Palo Alto, where she planted 20 beds this summer with biomass crops and high-calorie root crops and volunteers planted 12 donated fruit trees.
Matt Drewno manages the new Greenbelt Program on the Mendocino coast.
40-year Celebration and fundraising dinner has a local-foods theme. Long-time staff recognized at the event.
Trainings and Workshops: 3-day GROW BIOINTENSIVE workshops are offered in March for 29 people from 5 states, and Mexico, and in November for 31 people from 7 states, France and Ecuador
EA staff gives the 11th Basic-Level Teacher’s Workshop for13 participants; 5 from Mexico, one each from Ecuador, France, and Nepal.
Ecology Action as a Resource
Acres USA magazine interviews John Jeavons in “Still Growing Strong”.
Administrator Jake Blehm tours Africa: interviewing perspective interns, making contact with several organizations including Women of Grace and Ministry of Hope, both in Malawi. Then as part of an international team, he explores community needs and resources in several areas of South Africa where he offers consultation for an innovative educational pilot program. A key feature of the program uses online gaming technology to teach GROW BIODYNAMIC through 3-D Virtual Learning Environment (3DVLE).
John Jeavons teaches several workshops at Common Ground Garden in Palo Alto. Other staff and former stafff teaching there include: Carol Cox, saving seeds and planning a garden with master charts, Mark House, an introductory class to GB.
Margo and Dan Royer-Miller continue farming their family land, Circle of the Sun; they teach two interns from Kenya, Mary Wangui and Peris Wanjiru, co-founder of G-BIACK.
Xochitla, in Mexico City is the site of a GB garden run by former EA intern, Mateo Gonzalez. The garden has no budget, but the maintence is performed by people attending classes. Gonzalez focuses on 3 goals: training, research and production. He taught classses from July to November to community leaders, environmental educators and teachers. Also, he taught 256 members of the National Inst. for Senior Citizens and focused on how they could create roof-top gardens. Classes were taught to 28 college students and and 14 juinor high students. 160 employees of a local corporation volunteered during a community service day. Gonzalez grows open-pollinated seed crops and keeps records of yields; the seed will be a source of income.
El Maíz Más Pequeño, located in the mountains of Quertaro state is run by an American, Henry Miller. He teaches Biointensive method to school children at 5 regional junior high schools and 2 high schools. He received his teacher certification in October. His assistant German Perez Botello is a 6 month intern at EA this season. ~ Second GROW BIOINTENSIVE Teacher Certification is taught by Mexican nationals, Augustin Medina and Marisol Tenorio at Patzcaro and includes 17 candidates; 2 from Panama, one from US and 14 from Mexico.
Naqibullah Salik, EA Special Intern in 2004, currently is Dean of Agriculture at Alberoni University. His biointensive courses include: composting, seed saving, irrigation, and plant pests and a history of organic ag in US and Afghanistan.
Grow Biointensive of Agricultural Center of Kenya, G-BIACK establishes a GROW BIOINTENSIVE garden at a Kilimambogo hospital which produces vegetables and other nutritional food crops for HIV/AIDS patients. The garden is also used to train 9 organized women groups, totaling more than 900 women.
Farmers training farmers: G-BIACK approaches communities and asks them to elect 2 or more well known, permanent residents who are good farmers. These members become the community Resource Persons. The CRPs use their own farms as demonstration plots. ~
Through G-BIACK efforts a school for the mentally handicapped is adding activities in GROW BIOINTENSIVE agriculture as part of its training for 120 students aged between 3 to 27 years old. The school now has a kitchen garden with 40 beds and 5 compost piles. Its goal is 120 beds. The agriculture teacher says they now supply all the onions, tomatoes, kales and spinach that the kitchen uses. Also the children have sold vegetables worth USD 203.
G-BIACK hosted the 2011 Slow Food Day, whose theme was “Celebrating Eating Locally”. Farmers and participants reminded one another of the importance of going back to their local food and local seeds. G-BIACK receives a Food Sovereignty Prize Honorable Mention from The Community Food Security Coalition, an international NGO.