When we first heard about the GROW Observatory citizen science project we immediately pledged to help find growers in Ireland who would like to learn more about making their growing spaces even better. We are therefore excited to let you know about a FREE online course that begins on Monday, 19th February 2018 that will help you learn more about your soil and enable you to become a citizen scientist with GROW Observatory.
Being part of GROW Observatory offers more than just taking part in an online course; it’s about becoming part of a community of European growers, scientists and others equally passionate about soil who want to help regenerate this vital resource for future generations, while also helping with vital environmental scientific monitoring.
This is your chance to make a difference – not just to your own growing space, but also by contributing to wider research about how understanding our soil better can help us adapt to a changing climate.
Moisture levels in soil can help predict severe floods and droughts. GROW Observatory data will feed into European Space Agency missions, monitoring environmental changes across the globe.
We know that soil loss and degradation are serious issues across the globe. Finding answers to more sustainable and regenerative food growing practices is literally right under our feet and is critical to solving many local and global environmental challenges.
That’s why the GROW Observatory are bringing together people who love soil with people who love data across Europe in this groundbreaking project to connect and learn from each other.
You’ll gather and analyse data to help understand your particular soil and what works for you, as well as contributing to a European-wide knowledge base. By also exploring regenerative practices such as polycultures, mulching and attracting pollinators, you’ll be able to grow better food while improving the soil for years to come.
The GROW Observatory is a supportive environment where you don’t need to have extensive experience of growing to take part – we welcome anyone with an interest in food production – from allotment holders to small-scale farmers. It is especially relevant for people with an interest in soil, food growing, agriculture, ecosystems and the environment.
Through the series of free courses, growers will learn about everything from soil health and growing techniques to how they can contribute to vital scientific environmental monitoring – all in a friendly and supportive online environment.
But they’re not asking you to sit at a computer for the whole time: you’ll be outside getting your hands dirty in your own growing space, collecting data and observations to help us create a clearer picture of what’s going on beneath our feet and how we can best protect this vital resource for the future.
In 2018, they have some big plans around changing climate and on living soils. Within this there are four GROW Observatory courses running, from basic soil analysis and monitoring to using sensors and testing different regenerative growing practices. The final course will consist of a massive collective experiment in growing spaces across Europe. You don’t have to complete all of the courses, but we hope you will be inspired to take part in as many as possible.
We’re coming together to address science challenges and gaps in our current knowledge, from creating detailed soil data to enhancing climate prediction models and earth observation from satellites.
Together we will gather evidence to support policy change towards more sustainable land practices. Wherever you are in Europe and whatever scale you grow at, you have something worthwhile to share with us.
We’ll help you build healthier soils, grow food more sustainably and better adapt to climate change. This is your chance to be part of a vibrant, inclusive community of growers across Europe learning with and from each other.