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Message from the Director 2019
From John Jeavons

Dear Friends,

Our world continues to spin, at times with less control. The climate keeps changing, and as we experience the hottest summers, strongest storms, and most destructive flooding on record, it is becoming more apparent what many of us have known for years to be true: the world of stability in which we are living is changing. Increasingly unsustainable agricultural systems are contributing significantly to the current climate crisis. With the planet's population continuing to increase rapidly, as soil fertility around the globe is increasingly depleted, now more than ever we are in need of a clear, living path forward—a method for sequestering excess carbon out of the atmosphere where it is a problem, and back into the soil where it is useful. We need to increase plant populations per unit of area, and a method for feeding many people with little space and few water, nutrient and energy resources. We need a method for creating maximum nutrition for people and soil with minimal inputs. GROW BIOINTENSIVE is this method.

It feels like spring here in Northern California. As I look at the greening hills and buds leafing out on the oak trees, I am reminded that a fallow period is always followed by new growth. Ecology Action had a somewhat dormant year in 2018, with limited staffing and fallow fields at The Jeavons Center. Like a leafing tree, 2019 has seen a flurry of fresh growth, complete with new hires, new Farmer-Teachers, new international Interns and new alliances and plans for the future. These developments have been made possible through grant funding and financial help from friends such as you, and we are grateful.

The GROW BIOINTENSIVE word continues to spread around the globe, and our presence in Latin America and Africa, especially, is growing. The method is being used to effect real change in people's lives. A case in point: there are garden sites in Kenya in conjunction with AIDS orphanages feeding children nutrient-dense food grown on-site. Our partners throughout the African continent (including G-BIACK and Garden of Hope) continue forging new alliances with like-minded groups, conducting workshops, and developing garden sites, fruit tree nurseries, and seed exchanges.

ECOPOL, our sister organization in Latin America, has showed no sign of slowing down and is in fact expanding more on that continent and even into Europe. Juan Manuel, our good friend and leader of ECOPOL, is more dedicated than ever to his mission of reaching as many people as possible with the GROW BIOINTENSIVE life-giving perspective. Presenting at conferences in both Spain and Italy this year, Juan also travelled to Chile for the first time, spending over a month conducting workshops and making new connections, and continuing his work with the Mexican Seed Guardians Movement.

We are also excited about our expanded online presence, with all of our self-teaching mini-series booklets published during the decades now scanned and available for download here.The entire website continues to be refined and now includes high-quality videos detailing every aspect of the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method, from double-digging to composting to harvesting. Now anyone with an internet connection anywhere in the world can attend a virtual workshop and see for themselves how they can regenerate their soil and feed their families.

Spring has sprung on the mountain; the birds are singing, and leaves are emerging. We are grateful for the safety and stability enjoyed during our brief period of dormancy, and incredibly thankful for those of you who support us, financially and in many other forms. We look now to the future, ripe with sustainable growth, and hope for a year filled with the conditions needed to branch out further and thrive more vigorously. Just as our beautiful, strong oaks need sunshine, rain, microbes in the soil, and other energies to grow, so we too rely on the energy of each of you to gain the breadth and vitality needed to move forward and re-invigorate the planet. We're not trying to save our precious Earth; we each are doing it, one day at a time, and together. Thank you so much for joining us on this wonderful journey.

Best Wishes,

John Jeavons
Executive Director, Ecology Action

The path to the Mini_Farm at The Jeavons Center
The path to the Mini_Farm at The Jeavons Center
PHOTO CREDIT: Cynthia Raiser Jeavons


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