Growing Innovation documents entrepreneurial and innovative food and farm businesses through stories, videos, photos, and audio. We have an archive of almost 600 farm projects to draw from, and we’ve published 100+ profiles to date.

Many of the ideas you’ll find here have been carried out by individual businesses, but a great many of them were the product of cooperatives, associations, and other collaborative, community-based groups. You’ll find that we share the startup stories of many farmers’ markets, food businesses, community gardens, and farm incubators here as well.

The majority of the farmers and groups featured on Growing Innovation have received a grant from the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund, a grant program of the Rural Advancement Foundation International. The Fund has been offering seed money to farmers and collaborative food and farm businesses for nearly twenty years now, meaning that there is a lot to document. In 2002, the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund began receiving funding from the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, which continues to generously support the program today.

In 2014, we partnered with our good friends at FarmHack ( to lead a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds needed to create this new website. Growing Innovation is a work-in-progress, so please check back as we continue to add more to our online library.

The Growing Innovation project is a collaboration between a farm-loving, website-making nerd, Jean Willoughby, and a farm-loving, cartography nerd, Ben Paynter. Jean currently serves as the editor for all content in the online library. (Please email her if you have suggestions or corrections.)



Call for Contributors!
Want to visit farms, meet some of the finest people in the world, and write about it? Or take photos? Or make videos? Or help us record a new podcast series about all the innovation happening on farms?

Growing Innovation needs the help of documentarians, writers, photographers, audio/videophiles, and multimedia nerds. Get in touch!