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Grant opportunity - seeking partners to bring permaculture to the masses!  RSS feed

 
Reya Steele
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Hello! I am writing to invite participation from growers/producers/permaculture enthusiasts on a series of grants I am writing with the new nonprofit Eden Regeneration Alliance for a technology platform that eliminates the knowledge barrier preventing more people from planting food forests. This is a Conservation Innovation Grant through the National Resource Conservation Association. We are seeking 20 producer partners (can be located anywhere in the U.S.) who would like to use/test the technology to design their food forest and track progress implementing the design. Participants must be eligible for funding under EQUIP which means "Owners of land in agricultural or forest production or persons who are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land and that have a natural resource concern on the land may participate in EQIP." and you must not receive more than $450K/year in EQUIP funding. If you have dreamed of planting a food forest but haven't started, or have started but still would like to participate and expand this grant may be of interest to you.

As a producer/farmer/grower you agree to contribute 72 Hours over 9 months to using/pilot testing the GrowCo.Club platform (8 hours/month or 2 hours/week). Over this period you will complete a plan for a food forest at your location by entering in basic information about your site and selecting plants.

• 2 Hours Introduction to project and platform
• 5 Hours Initial GrowCo platform testing
• 10 Hours Utilizing GrowCo platform to create food forest plan for my site
• 20 Hours participating in the GrowCo site tracking progress of my plants, adding knowledge content, uploading photos, etc.
• 9 Hours leaving feedback for other site users, groups, and businesses
• 6 Hours completing project evaluation
• 18 Hours additional use/testing/contribution to GrowCo over 9 month testing period

Further grant funding is being pursued to create seed funding for purchasing plants and materials needed to implement the food forest plan created by you and GrowCo. By participating in this initial grant funding opportunity through National Resource Conservation Association - Conservation Innovation Grant, you will receive:

• $450 stipend
• credit/acknowledgment as pilot GrowCo.Club member on GrowCo.Club member profile
• credit/acknowledgment as pilot GrowCo.Club member on GrowCo.Club press release
• acknowledged/credited for contributing 54 volunteer hours to Eden Regeneration Alliance ($1,350 contribution value)
• Free lifetime membership to GrowCo.Club
• First opportunity for inclusion in future Eden Regeneration Alliance/GrowCo.Club grant projects

The deadline for this grant is approaching quickly on Tues eEb 4. If you are interested in being included as a producer/pilot tester of this technology please respond to me at kristen "at" missioneden.net as soon as possible and I can send you a pdf that explains and shows the concept and proposal in greater detail. All we need from you before Tues is a simple letter or email confirming your participation and signed with your full name, title, and if you are an individual or affiliated with a farm, community group, etc. It would be helpful if this letter contained a statement about your interest in the project and a bit about the site/location you intend to plant a food forest.

Their are at least 3 more grants we are applying for on this project and the next one is not due until June so there will be more time to meet and collaborate with interested parties before then. For now, those who are committed to participating in this project have a unique opportunity to help bring permaculture to the masses in a user-friendly format and to get assistance planning and establishing a food forest that may include seed money for plants and materials (this part is to be included in the next grant application due in June).

Brief overview of technology/project:
GrowCo.club draws upon the latest online technologies connecting people with plants, and plant-related services, to people without. GrowCo eliminates the knowledge barrier that prevents people from planting multi-crop perennial food forest systems by simplifying the planning process and allowing users to easily generate food forest plans with plants that grow well in their area, and connects users to providers of their selected plants. Users can also share cultivation tips and successes, and can manage a local campaign for planting a community food forest or a similar tree-planting campaign. Users can collect volunteer pledges and promote their campaign through GrowCo.club. Users can also offer their plants and skills for “Share” or for sale creating new job opportunities for growers, permaculture designers, and laborers. GrowCo also provides a useful platform for students to interact with and research plants, add to the knowledge pool, and experiment with plant guilds.
 
charlotte anthony
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am curious about what is happening with this project. did you get your people. did you get your grant. many thanks for the update.
 
Reya Steele
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Thanks for asking Charlotte as I had been meaning to post a reply. The good news is our grant application is moving forward. We have been invited to submit a full proposal for a Conservation Innovation Grant (a federal grant through the National Resource Conservation Service). The deadline is April 30 and we will find out Sept 1 if our project is selected for funding. We do not yet have all testers. At this point we have been refining the project plan in accordance with the grant criteria the main 2 criteria for anyone receiving compensation from this grant would be:

1. EQUIP Eligible (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/eqip/) Owners of land in agricultural or forest production or persons who are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land and that have a natural resource concern on the land may participate in EQIP. The requirement is you make at least $1,000/year from your land in some way.

2. Located in the western United States: This is because we are focusing on the Western U.S. for the pilot development of this tool.

I hesitate to put too many details about the project on a public forum while it is still being considered for funding but I will say we have two pending proposals and a strong team including a communications studio with decades of experience with environmental and social justice campaigns, a university professor os Sustainability who focuses on permaculture, and a technology developer who has developed technology for NASA. We have a highly capable team put together and a really exciting product that I believe the permaculture community will embrace.

If you are interested in being a part of this exciting project as a tester of the technology, and you meet the two criteria above, please be in touch. We need 40 people to sign up but not necessarily before the April 30 deadline. I will post updates here but it may be a while before the next update while our proposal is being considered.

Thanks for your interest!
 
charlotte anthony
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thanks so much reya for your quick reply. i am now working on projects to return the rain cycle in india so could not participate, but was curious. thought maybe all this might be useable by me somehow.
 
Reya Steele
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I hope that one day soon it will be useable by you and many others. It's my hope that through this technology we can dismantle the knowledge barrier and engage many more people in growing food forests quite rapidly. I admire and respect the work you are doing. Thank you!
 
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