Urban to Rural
Grow Strong is an international organization that stemmed from local food movements from urban California to rural Kenya while advocating for thinking global, but acting local.
San Diego, CA
With a year round growing season, San Diego County ranks number one in California for the largest amount of small farms, yet nationwide farmland is decreasing. Promoting efficient and responsible use of the limited natural resources needing for agriculture will minizmize the impact to the natural environment and sustain the growing urban population. Since 2008, Grow Strong has been an advocate in San Diego for mobilising volunteers to engage in localizing our food system by collaboration with the Annual Cultivating Food Justice Conference held in San Diego. Additionally, through the development of urban farms and green spaces as well as resource sharing.
In partnership with Asali Honey, Grow Strong is most actively educating the public on the importance of pollinators, mainly bees to our food system and their role in the natural environment. This includes responding to the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) through bee rescue and adoption. Interventions have included training on the use of the Kenya Top Bar Hive that is simple to construct, more friendly to the bees as it resembles natural habitat. This hive has proven to be free of most bee pests and has higher hygeine. These are factors that ensure that bees survive. A major concern in San Diego beekeeping is the presence of africanized bees which are believed to be more aggressive. Grow Strong, using knowledge and experience working with bees in Africa, is mitigating this challenge through popularising beekeeping techniques that domesticate and increase the productivity of africanized bees.
Bondo District is a rural area over 200 miles from the capital city. With just over 200,000 people, half that is under 25 years of age. 43% of children under 5 are known to be stunted caused from malnutrition in early childhood and fetal development. The District has HIV/AIDS prevalence rates almost twice the national average. Bondo District is one of the poorest regions and food insecurity is recognized as one of the main factors contributing to high poverty levels.
We work in Bondo District because it is one of the most vulnerable areas, yet it has high potential for adequate food production. They are blessed to live next to the world’s second largest fresh water lake on the equator, creating the perfect environment for increasing farming opportunities. Communities have potential to reconnect with traditional, sustainable systems that are better suited to this environment and ensure food security.We assist communities to reconnect with their rich cultural and dietary wisdom. A local diet consisting of a wide variety of green vegetables, wild fruits, fish, dairy, and pastured meats.