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Groundswell International & Food First Launch Highly Anticipated Book on Agroecology

This past Tuesday, June 5, Groundswell International Executive Director, Steve Brescia and Food First Executive Director, Eric Holt-Gimenez, joined friends and fans at Busboys and Poets for the official Washington, DC launch of our new book: Fertile Ground: Scaling Agroecology from the Ground Up. The event, hosted by Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC, was a celebration of the solutions offered by agroecology and a call to join in supporting them. It was a quite a night and we are looking forward to building on its momentum. I hope you will take the next step with us.

Fertile Ground provides an on the ground look at agroecological practices in action, and strategies to scale them. Agroecology is a set of practices and principles for working with nature, that rely on farmer innovation and leadership, and take root local communities. Citing nine case studies of farmer-centered strategies to scale agroecology, the book uncovers viable solutions smallholder farmers implement to change their livelihoods, their health and the wellbeing of their communities.

Activist and author Raj Patel remarks, “if the food system is made sustainable, it’ll be because of examples like those in this book.”


Steve Brescia, Groundswell International Executive Director, presents at Busboys & Poets in Washington, DC

Here are some of our favorite moments from the evening:

    • “There are about 2.5 billion family farmers ready to implement and scale up this solution to climate change – agroecology”
    • “Over a third of the population of the planet works on family farms and food production.”
    • “We can’t address climate change without dealing with our farming and food systems”
    • Regarding our partners in Haiti, “One farmer explained that the Idea [behind agroecology] is to ‘make our communities a good place to live’”
    • Regarding our partners in Mali, “The farmers decided they had to take action into their own hands and change things…They decided to work with nature and created a technique known as Farmer Managed Regeneration of Trees…They have [reclaimed farmland and] pushed back the desert with this technique”
    • Regarding our allies in Brazil, “They worked with a farmer called Nell – he migrated to Sao Paolo in the 1990s to earn money to send home. He learned how to build pools. When he went home, he brought this skill to build cisterns to store water on his farm. Then, he worked with his neighbors to teach them and a movement emerged. They called it ‘living with the semi-Arid” region. They created a 1 million rural cisterns campaign, which grew and had great success.”


The gathering at Busboys & Poets

We had a great question from the audience — “What can we do? How do we get more involved?” If you are wondering the same thing, we’d love your help in spreading the word about the book! Learn more about ways to get involved.

Steve closed out the event by sharing, “There are so many heroic farmers around the world. They are the real heroes. It is just nice to be able to walk with them and support them and tell some of their stories.” We invite you to join us in supporting these heroes.

Interested in bringing the talk to your town? Let’s connect!

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