• Farmer's Workshop
  • Main-conference

Farmer's Workshop

  • Farmer's Workshop

    Cristo C. Panerio

    National Coordinator of Masipag, Philippines


      My career life has always been focused on my commitment to be part of bringing social development in rural communities.
      I have been with Masipag or the Farmer-Scientist Partnership for Development, Inc., for some 25 years now. Through the years of actively involving myself with Masipag, I saw how the network had evolved in terms of the increasing number of farmers’ organizations (FO) membership. Specifically, in Luzon, the number of communities with active FOs has spread all over the region.
      Through time, I had witnessed the improvement in the quality of farmers’ lives from increased farm income as they gained control of seeds and production technologies and finally, through local processing and marketing which areas that Masipag advocates.

      About Masipag

      Masipag is a farmer-led network of peoples’ organizations, non-government organizations and scientists working towards farmers empowerment through farmers’ control and sustainable use of genetic and biological resources, agricultural production and associated knowledge. Led by farmers’ organizations with the support of NGO and scientist members, Masipag has contributed to food security in communities where it is present.
      It currently operates in 47 out of 81 provinces in the 3 major island groups in the country namely Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
      We have been implementing People-led Agroecology in the Philippines for more than 3 decades already. In the first nine years of Masipag we have focused on lowland rice where the impact of the Green Revolution is the greatest in terms of numbers of farmers affected and also because rice is the staple crop of Filipinos.
      But we have also expanded to other crops as well like corn, vegetable, spices and root crops. We also have native chicken and native hogs, thus forage and feed grains are also being collected, conserved and utilized by farmers in the network. After 3 decades of implementing Agroecology, over a hundred people’s organizations including women and youth already have surplus production for their own family’s consumption.
      It is our vision to achieve a just and humane society that is sustainable, and where there is holistic development for the people, mission to improve the quality of life of resource-poor farmers and goal of supporting local initiatives of resource-poor farmers and their organizations in establishing sustainable farm systems, in gaining social and political empowerment by asserting farmer-centered agricultural research and programs, and in confronting threats to food security and sovereignty.
  • Farmer's Workshop


    Teacher at Poolmoo Community College for Agriculture

      Oh Do was born in Hongdong Village, where Poolmoo Community College for Agriculture is located.
      Oh Do studied organic farming at Poolmoo and majored in flower-bed design at Keisen Women's Junior College, a sister school in Japan. Since 2003, she has taught horticulture and farming in the Department of Ecology and Agriculture (hereinafter, Poolmoo Community College Major) at Poolmoo.
      Her activities also include saving native seeds and cultivating the community garden.

      Poolmoo Community College for Agriculture opened in 1958 with a goal of cultivating common people living together on the basis of the Bible. The college, following the ethos of holistic education, extended its program to residents by opening a two-year major course, which aims to empower the workers who cultivate the roots of the society.

      When one moves away from the industrialized framework of competitiveness and confrontation, and focuses on life and peace, one finds that agriculture and rural lives are still the roots and foundation of society.
      This is especially true with the local community that practices self-sustainability through agriculture based on nature-based technology.
      The life in rural communities demonstrates that the life that thrives together is the center of realizing social change. It is important to remember that it is people, not policies that nurture life and peace.

      Poolmoo’s educational curriculum does not focus on developing large cities, which undermines physical labor, stimulates excessive competitiveness, and nurtures the elite class. Rather, it focuses on rural lifestyle, folk tradition, mental health, all of which respect individuals’ unique qualities. Poolmoo believes in holistic education that connects the individual's capacity to think, feel, and labor. Education in self-reliant villages that practice farming and life in community settings are the central values of Poolmoo.
      Poolmoo Community College for Agriculture is a grassroots community university without borders that seeks an alternative way of living within the village.
  • Farmer's Workshop

    Chang Young-ran

    Founder of Saving Local Fruits and President of Muju Indigenous Species Research Society, Korea

      Author of Saving Local Fruits

      Since 1996, I have been farming and writing.
      As a farmer, I have a lot of faith and interest in native seeds.
      Over the years, I have come to think that if native seeds are precious, native fruit trees, too, are precious and need more attention.
      So I initiated an open community group that identifies native fruit trees and protects and saves them. The first meeting was held on March 10, 2019, on a day when the spring rain seemed to fall incessantly.
      About 30 people from all over the country gathered in Muju city. As of now, the group has grown to 60 people.
      It is open to anyone who is
      interested in native fruit trees. Without rules, fees, or obligations, it is a gathering that naturally flows like water.

      As a group, we travel across the country to find native fruit trees and secure their genetic resources.
      We also study agriculture so we can grow native fruit trees in a beneficial way. Members communicate virtually with other members via KakaoTalk, the Korean messaging application, and the contents of the activities are archived online.
      We study the native fruit trees that we found and raise the seedlings for propagation in Muju. As of September 2021, we are growing about 60 varieties of trees of 22 different species, including 5 varieties of the Neuggeum apple, 9 varieties of the Oyat plum, and 7 varieties of the pear.
      The batch for demonstration is developed as a forest garden or food forest, where native fruit trees thrive. Among the trees, there are about 60 wild greens and small trees including Chinese Pea Shrub and Red-Fruit Spicebush.

      Muju Indigenous Species Research Association

      Muju is a mountain village under Deokyu Mountain.
      It is like the mountainous area that Nikolai Vavilov once wrote about.
      Muju Indigenous Species Research Association is a nonprofit organization that researches the indigenous resources that remain in the land and creates a cultural place that values the indigenous way of living.
      Every spring and autumn, we share native seedlings and organize community events.
  • Farmer's Workshop

    Kawaguchi Yoshikazu

    Founder of Akame Nature Farming School

      He lives in Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture. In 1939, he was born as the eldest son of a farmer. When he was in the 6th grade, his father passed away. So, on graduating from middle school, he became a full-time farmer. Unaccustomed to agriculture based on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and machinery, he got exhausted both physically and mentally. Finally he realized the damage of farming that harms lives, pollutes the environment, and wastes resources. At 38, he began a natural farming that does not till the soil, does not regard insects enemies, and does not use pesticides and fertilizers. In the midst of repeated trial and error, he established the principles and rationale of the natural farming technology to maintain lives.

      With the publication of the book, titled "Standing in a Mysterious Field" he began to teach other people who visted his farm to learn how to practice natural farming and to hold 1day-2nights training camps. Asked to build a space to learn his farming technologies through practices, he opened [Akame Natural Farming School] and launched "National Forum of Mysterious Field Farmers and Practitioners."

  • Farmer's Workshop

    Choi Hoon-geun

    Director of Earthworm Agriculture Research Center

      Earthworm Agricultural Research Center is led by Choi Hoon-geun, a pioneering expert of the application of the earthworm in Korea.
      Starting in 2006, the center is located near a vegetable garden in Goyang. The center communicates and cooperates with a wide spectrum of people, from children to professional farmers attending the nearby Nonghyup University, around studying and applying the earthworm in farming.
      We operate the Earthworm Experiment Center for children and teenagers. The Center provides an opportunity to learn about the life cycle of the earthworm - how they respond to different weather conditions, the ecological function of the earthworm, etc.
      The Center provides lectures on how to use the earthworm in farming.
      Charles Darwin said earthworms fertilize the soil by excreting feces, cultivate the farmland by digging the ground and consuming various organic matters. The lecture is about the function of the earthworm in saving the soil and agriculture, and is for the general public as well as farmers and university students studying agriculture.
      Due to conventional farming that uses pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and large-scale machines, the soil has been damaged, which also has decreased the number of earthworms in the soil. We are currently working to protect the ecology of the soil and produced crops by studying the nature-based farming technology using the earthworm.
      The Earthworm Agriculture Research Center develops ways of revitalizing the nutrition-depleted farmland by transferring the earthworm from the healthy soil.
      This helps to stabilize the cycle of making compost by introducing the earthworm in the farmland as well as distributing them to households.
      The purpose is to allow a safe inhabitation for the earthworm and support the multiplication of the earthworm in farmland.
      Finally, the Center publishes its findings and research results about the earthworm.
      In Korea, there is a saying “Even the marbles need to be beaded to be worthwhile.” We try to archive the practical knowledge that we gain from our experiences and activities so that the future generations can access the information and wisdom.

      List of publications
      - Use of the Waste by Using Soil Biological Earthworms, August 2001
      - Open the World of the Earthworm, December 2012
      - Farming with the Earthworm, October 2012
      - Earthworm Activities and Formation of Fecal Soil, September 2014
      - Earthworm, the Treasure of the Soil, March, 2015
  • Farmer's Workshop

    Lee Tae-Geun

    President of Heuksalim

      Heuksalim started off in 1991 as a research group in Chungju, consisting of young scientists and farming technicians that studied the soil and microorganism. When Heuksalim was first established, organic agriculture was little recognized in Korea.
      In fact, most farmers were dependent on imported technology that heavily focused on using a lot of organic matter. Without supportive policies that granted production, certification, and distribution of the organic crop production, in the 1990s, farmers who were dedicated to organic farming and consumers interested in healthy produce came together and led the first era of organic farming.

      Heuksalim pioneered the path to organic farming before large corporations and government agencies took interest.
      Technologies of making the compost and consuming the feed still remain as an important scientific basis for circular agriculture. The now widely-used methods in Korea - making the liquid manure using microorganisms, controlling the pest, and weeding - are part of the earlier legacy of Heuksalim.

      Equipped with facilities for analysis, Heuksalim Research Institute has provided a science-based education on organic farming.
      In 2013, it was nationally designated as a training center for field training for organic farming. The Institute also works to restore traditional agriculture by archiving ancient techniques of farming still practiced in rural areas.
      The work has included collecting and storing around 1,5000 species of native seeds. In 2015, Heuksalim Indigenous Research Institute was designated as the Agriculture Life Resource Management Center.

      In order to raise awareness of the importance of soil and the value of agriculture in the city, Heuksalim carried out a project in 2012, which was about cultivating rice paddies with native rice seeds in a public plaza in Seoul called Gwanghwamun.
      On Nodeul island in Seoul, we supported various vegetable farming activities, including rice planting. In 2013, we provided education to urban farmers who grew the produce on the rooftop of the Seoul Gwangjin Information Library. The educational work included making and distributing healthy soil and tools for urban farming.

      In 2005, Heuksalim established a distribution corporation named Heuksalim Food that transfers the organically-produced vegetables from the farm to consumers.
      In 2008, Heuksalim initiated the Agricultural Product Safety Management Agreement for large corporate markets.
      In 2010, it started the Household Package, an eco-friendly agricultural product delivery service.
      In 2012, it opened stores in Daejeon and Shintanjin. In 2013, it started supplying agricultural products for school lunches in Seoul, which expanded to Chungju in 2021. In 2014, it signed an agreement to supply the product to GS Supermarket.

      The Household Package is in the form of community-supported agriculture (CSA), where the producer leads the composition of seasonal agricultural products or items according to the agricultural plan. In 2013, the Household Package won the Excellence Award in the packaging section of the Agriculture Trade Contest.
      Heuksalim continues to expand by providing consultation, education, production-distribution with honesty, while conducting professional research and scientific analysis. .
  • Farmer's Workshop

    Ray Williams

    Founder of Yes Farm & Black Farmers Collective

      Ray Williams was born in Seattle and lives there now with his family. He earned a BA in Biology from Harvard and an MA in Education from the University of Washington. He spent 30 years as an educator in the classroom and administration around the US and internationally. As an instructor at the Art Institute of Seattle he was able to enrich his Nutrition and Biology classes with experiences in a local community garden. It was the connection between food, health, and life that lead him to support urban food growing as a way to support his community.

      Ray is mixed race with European and African ancestry. His community building efforts have focused on the African American community. There are dramatic differences in health outcomes for different ethnic groups in the Unites States. Ray feels he can best serve his community by highlighting the benefits of growing some of your own food.

      Ray co-founded the Black Farmers Collective as an organization that would develop a farm in the center of Seattle, Yes Farm. He serves as Managing Director and works in collaboration with farm managers and a Board of Directors. Ray works with other farmers and community partners to build healthy communities in Seattle and King Co. Washington through growing food and sharing food system education.

      Our Mission and Vision

      Vision: We envision Black liberation through food sovereignty in spaces built on cooperation and interconnectedness with the environment and the community, where our knowledge and creativity are boundless.

      Mission: Our mission is to build a Black-led food system by developing a cooperative network of food system actors, acquiring and stewarding land, facilitating food system education, and creating space for Black liberation in healing and joy.

      Black Farmers Collective is developing Black leadership on the land by employing Black and Brown farm managers, artists and educators. We serve our community through local food markets, connecting people to the land and providing spaces for healing. Black Farmers Collective operates 2 farm spaces, Yes Farm in Seattle, where we are improving the soil and building community by inviting volunteers to help grow, offering classes to youth and adults, and hosting community building events.

      Small Axe farm is in a neighboring community and is on farmland that has been saved from development by King County government. Here we are giving young farmers an opportunity to learn and we are able to produce most of our crops. We plan to own our own farmland where we can grow crops and community and be a larger part of a just and sustainable food system.
  • Farmer's Workshop

    Kang Sinho

    Founder of Alternative Energy Lab

      It is a research-based company that studies and develops technologies to mitigate climate change and protect the environment and ecology based on the philosophy of appropriate technology and disseminate them through education. We research and develop technologies for renewable energy and environmental fields that industrial capital is not interested in and make differences. We are pursuing a family-sized business, not a big company.

      Pedal equipment applied to our daily life.
      Putting together two obsolete bicycles, we can create household appliances without electric motors. A wide range of equipment is also used to produce such appliances including blenders, rotary saws, pumps, energy desks, pedal turbines, washing machines, and paper shredders. I am proud that there is no other institute in Korea that has developed a variety of pedal devices like the Alternative Energy Technology Research Center. Until now, we confirmed the feasibility of pedal-based technolgy, but from next year on, we will aim to develop pedal equipment with a practical design and various functions.

      Applicable programs for zero-wastes
      We have provided education to increase the awareness of people on the harmful plastics. He also made a presentation at the 8th Citizens Policy Forum and gave lectures to various civic groups in Seoul and other provinces. In addition, we launched a plastic recycling campaign in our daily life and installed separate waste bins on the 3rd to 6th floors of the Ministry of Science and ICT building to separate and dispose of them. Collected plastics are crushed and melted into recyclable containers that can be used. We have been sharing the process of these activities through workshops. In addition, we are practicing the process of converting food waste into resources through anaerobic fermentation and converting it into green manure. We are confident that this processes will serve as a foundation for restoring soil integrity and practicing ecologically appropriate technology in the future.

      I dare to predict that people must have capabilities of making something for survival in the future world, because of climate change. Without electricity and without the Internet, artificial intelligence and big data will be useless. If you do not have the concept of an ecological life and have basic knowledge of ironwork such as welding, woodworking, and basic electricity, you will face difficulties to adapt and live in the coming era of climate crisis. In addition, the future will be centered on the region and community. The future is not far away, where we will have to live by making houses and furniture for ourselves and neighbors in the village instead of buying the products manufactured by large-scale factories. Our research institute is training these basic competencies through the [1.5 Degree Appropriate Technology School] and various [alternative education programs].
  • Farmer's Workshop

    Park Gihong

    Founder of Sky Tree

      Sky Tree is a company that uses appropriate technologies to make our imagination a reality.

      The founder of Sky Tree raised questions, “Isn’t there a way to use less energy and create an eco-friendly society?” and thought “Governments and organizations only talk without action, and I have a lot of ideas but I can’t realize them.” Based on such thoughts, Sky Tree was established with the idea of ​​creating a happy world where everyone can live together as well as a company to make profit via appropriate technologies

      At Appropriate Technology Research Center of Sky Tree, we turn our imaginations into a reality. Since many technologies are already overflowing around us, we create new values ​​by gathering these various technologies. The Appropriate Technology Research Center uses as little energy as possible and recycles resources. We aim to protect nature, giving priority to eco-friendly products. To this end, we try various adventures and pursue a society where we live with the people around us.

      To make imagination into a reality, Sky Tree will do as follows:

      ∙ Materialize ideas
      ∙ Find a way to make it a reality in the Internet and existing methods.
      ∙ Modify it to fit reality.
      ∙ Find a possible method with appropriate technology.
      ∙ Find someone to work with to make the method a reality.
      ∙ Turn ideas into reality as we learn.
      ∙ Improve and develop.

      Sky Tree is very active in urban agriculture by using appropriate technologies such as green curtains, rooftop gardens, rainwater utilization, photovoltaic utilization, eco-friendly greenhouse nursery, animal-mediated treatment, rabbit farm, solar energy utilization, pipe farm, Cheonsu agricultural garden, playground, stove, and so on.