Our global agricultural and food system is broken and needs to transition to one that is more regenerative and beneficial to the world’s population. This must happen in the face of the linked challenges of climate change, natural resource depletion, and worldwide economic and social upheaval.
Change is among us. Farmer-led social movements are growing, and there is increasing recognition that agroecology and food sovereignty are key solutions.
Grow Food Where People Live
In 2009, 12 people from eight countries – Burkina Faso, Canada, Ecuador, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, the Philippines, and the United States – gathered at Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts to create Groundswell International as a global partnership to contribute to the bottom-up movement to overcome hunger, poverty, and the devastating effects of climate change.The founders of Groundswell International have been at the leading edge of developing methods to spread ecological farming practices, farmer innovation, farmer-to-farmer extension, community health, and strengthening local organizations to lead their own development processes.
Few places in the United States face greater challenges to human and economic development than Western North Carolina. Food insecurity affects 15.3% of WNC, including over 38,000 children. The Grow Food Where People Live initiative is empowering vulnerable people to grow their own food, learn valuable skills and organize food-buying clubs to improve their household economies and job prospects, and start market gardens and food-related enterprises to earn more income. We seek to develop a scalable model that will spread beyond Polk County, NC, where we began, into more counties in North Carolina and across the Southeast.