Citizen Science: Grow Observatory

Through the Permaculture Association newsletter a few months ago I came across a MOOC which looked interesting. So, I signed up to the course, which is being conducted by the University of Dundee, looking at soil.

The Grow Observatory is a project being run by the university to ultimately improve food production and the MOOC appears to be a starting point to get people like you and me involved. In other words, we citizens are active researchers, contributing to the bank of knowledge, not just learning using top-down methology. Sounds exciting to me.

In case you are interested in joining in, and not already signed up, the MOOC is through Future Learn, one of the major platforms for such online courses. This is only day two so there wouldn’t be any catching up to do so far.

Anyway, on the subject of soil, I’ve been looking at the patch where I sowed seakale seeds a couple of weeks ago. This is supposed to be the dampest bit of the garden but the ground was so dry when I watered it yesterday, the water sat in puddles rather than sinking straight in. 

There are also sunken bits, which I’m hoping is the soil settling as the bokashi solids I put in the ground decompose – but I wouldn’t be surprised either if it was feathered friends taking the seeds for themselves. There is something growing but I have my suspicions it might be different from what I had intended.


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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2 Responses to Citizen Science: Grow Observatory

  1. sounds interesting – I look forward to hearing how the course goes.

    • Helen says:

      So far it’s been very general stuff about what the course entails and who we are. There seems to be an interesting spread of participants, from retired science teachers to people who have set up community gardens and beyond.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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