Click here to donate
About us


Global GB Partner: GROW BIOINTENSIVE Agriculture Center of Kenya (G-BIACK)
By Shannon Joyner, Garden Companion Editor


Ecology Action is blessed to work with some of the most enthusiastic and energetic people on the planet. Our international partners help us take the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method from garden to global, teaching people everywhere to feed themselves and grow the soil, now, and into a better, more sustainable future.

The GROW BIOINTENSIVE Agriculture Centre of KenyaHusband-and-wife team Samuel Nderitu and Peris Wanjiru are graduates of the 2-Year Biointensive Training Program at Manor House Agricultural Centre, sponsored by the Kilili Self-Help Project (an Ecology Action partner organization based in California and Kenya). Samuel met EA Director John Jeavons at two African GB workshops with participants from eight countries sponsored by Ecology Action at Manor House in 2007, and eventually both Samuel and Peris completed the intensive onsite 8-month GROW BIOINTENSIVE Internships at Ecology Action’s headquarters in California. Samuel and Peris are Co-Directors of their project, the GROW BIOINTENSIVE Agriculture Centre of Kenya (G-BIACK, online at in Thika, Kenya, an area facing severe climate change impacts, with a high HIV/AIDS rate.

G-BIACK’s focus is to demonstrate, train and promote GROW BIOINTENSIVE agriculture and community development techniques for sustainability among small-scale farmers across all provinces in Kenya. Their programs are very popular: farmers reach out to be trained at G-BIACK after seeing the results of GB in their neighbors’ fields. G-BIACK broadens the impact of the training they provide by choosing to work with farmers who show leadership within their communities and can become Community Resource Persons (CRPs): teaching others to farm using sustainable GROW BIOINTENSIVE methods. In this way, they have been able to train thousands of farmers in just of a few years of operation, under extremely difficult conditions including ethnic violence, drought, floods, locust swarms and COVID-19. In last 10 years, the couple have:

  • Trained over 15,000 smallholder farmers, with the goal of all of Kenya using (or aware of) GROW BIOINTENSIVE by 2030.

  • Trained interns from all over Africa, as well as other countries, including 12 farmer-leaders from Afghanistan.

  • Given many large-scale training sessions and symposia on GB, including one with 25 representatives from 12 countries.

  • Trained farmers to establish GB Satellite Centers in 37 of Kenya’s 47 counties (as of 2021) to support surrounding communities and create regional food security and sustainability networks.

  • Established a Seed Bank and Seed Sovereignty Program to ensure local farmers have sufficient seed to maintain food security. Currently, the G-BIACK seed bank holds more than 1,000 species of seeds, including rare, indigenous, and endangered species collected from the communities they serve. G-BIACK propagates as many of these species as possible, with the goal of redistributing to the farming communities. The seeds are given out to farmers who need them, with a requirement that the farmer returns a quantity of the same seed to the seed bank at harvest to ensure future growth. G-BIACK has helped eight other communities establish seed banks of their own.

  • Established a Women’s and Girls Empowerment Program which has been especially effective at teaching marginalized and vulnerable young women to use and teach GB, and also to learn other economically viable skills such as sewing, accounting, and computer skills, so they can grow nutritious food as well as earn an income. Many of the students in the program participate in an NGO attachment program, spending three months working with an NGO, educating the staff to use and teach GB to others.

  • Kanjuku Primary School students learning GROW BIOINTENSIVE farming, 2021 Established a Biointensive Agriculture for Schools (BAS) Program which has created GB gardens in connection with over 70 schools and orphanages, projects that are of vital importance to the region. The AIDS epidemic has ravaged Kenya, and millions of children have been orphaned. Some are raised by grandparents, but often with the responsibility of raising younger siblings themselves; others are raised in orphanages. Malnutrition is endemic among these orphans, both from an outright lack of food, as well as consuming low-quality food that does provide enough nutrition to maintain health. The gardens that G- BIACK catalyzes in schools and orphanages provide much-needed, high-quality food for the orphans, students, teachers, and caregivers, as well as teaching all of them the skills they need to grow food for a lifetime.

  • Provide classes in nutrition for people impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including those marginalized by the disease, including many grandmothers taking care of grandchildren whose parents had died of AIDS.

  • Completed an important 5-year “Limited Inputs Research Project” in cooperation with Ecology Action to discover if GB-maintained soil can remain fertile by using only a small amount of required nutrients in the first year (with very promising results, published in 2020, which you can read here).

  • Trained four Community Resource Persons in each community where training has taken place, to act as GB resources after the original trainers leave. These CRPs provide training to others and are given updated training by G-BIACK on a regular basis to ensure quality control over the practice of GROW BIOINTENSIVE.

As a result of these efforts, an inspirational ripple effect is being created as farmers across the Kenya (and beyond!) learn to grow more food, build soil fertility, conserve resources, and create sustainable food security in their communities. G-BIACK has developed into a thriving education center and provides an excellent venue for the establishment of a larger training and demonstration facility.

G-BIACK’s goals are ambitious, and we need your help to make sure Samuel and Peris’ important work keeps moving forward. Please make a tax-deductible donation to G-BIACK (select G-BIACK from the “special purpose” list) or send a check/money order made out to Ecology Action with “G-BIACK” in the memo area.

We are also asking that you, our global GROW BIOINTENSIVE Family, tell us about any organizations, foundations, or individuals who might be enlisted to support this very special project. G-BIACK is working hard to make our world better. Let’s get them the help they need, to help those who need it most!


Participants in G-BIACK's  2020 Youth in Agroecology Program learning GB

top | Newsletter Home |Table of Contents| Archive

Please donate $40 to our 40th Anniversary Fundraiser! Click here to donate!