Chris and Marilyn have been doing tremendous works on helping other people around the world. I always remember Marilyn always says how they enjoy the work of service; and they have been helping others selflessly. Their works are real and have great impacts to people. They show how science and technology go hands in hands with farmers. I am happy and fortunate to be able to meet them; I have learned so much from them and I cannot wait to collaborate with them next year on the work with soil and food sovereignty.
I met Marilyn McHugh and Christopher Kennedy during the Ato Z Agroecology course in Navdanya,they were teaching us about the soil food web and the role of microorganisms in the soil. They give voice to this little microorganisms that are so important for life in the soil. Its amazing their passion when they teach and the way they make simple a subject that its not that easy to understand.
They have an amazing mission in this world and they are doing it really well .Its all so amazing the work that they are doing with the farmers in India, these farmers who need help to transition from chemical to organic farming practices, and with the knowledge that THP is sharing since 2011 with the "Living Soil Training" they have shared the information to over 2500 individuals . Its amazing...They are amazing, inspirational...
But they do not act only in rural areas, the "Cleveland Seed Bank" its an amazing program that create awareness about seed saving, grow, and share open-pollinated seeds.
They teach kids too and empower them. They are multipurpose and can convey the message in a way that everyone understands.
It would be wonderful that will exist more people like them in this world ,that believe that its possible (and they prove it) to start small and spread the message and help others.
"And this is what we are called to do, no matter who or where we are, or what our capabilities. We are called to do the best we can! " The Humingbird Project
I met Chris and Marilyn at the A-Z Agroecology course hosted by Navdanya. They bring such charisma and enthusiasm into everything they do! Their amazing work fostering the Hummingbird Project and the Cleveland Seed Bank has clearly touched the lives of so many. During our month long training during this course, both Chris and Marilyn shared their deep expertise and knowledge in thoroughly accessible ways---their teaching style is incredibly flexible and adaptable to the needs of the group they work with. This enables them to get across critical lessons in a friendly, understandable way. Furthermore, it's obvious that they deeply engage with the people and communities they work for---service to others drives their passion and this shines through all that they do. The Hummingbird Project does such important work while spreading compassion around the globe.
Chris and Marilyn's dedication to the work of the Hummingbird Project and the Cleveland Seed Bank is unparalleled. They love the work they do, are incredibly hard working, and as a result, are driving rewarding and meaningful projects throughout the world. The Hummingbird Project and the Cleveland Seed Bank excel at collaborating with other organizations and individuals and continually move the needle in educating and empowering people about issues and methods that are so important to the future of food and healthy communities. The organization's projects and passion for the work is inspiring and contagious.
I met Chris and Marilyn from the Hummingbird Project at a course on agroecology held at the Navdanya farm in Dehradun, India. They taught multiple classes on soil and seeds over a period of about 4 days. Out of all the teachers that taught at this course, they were by far my favorite! They taught us how to take soil samples, save tomato seeds, and all about soil microorganisms and the soil food web. But really it was their energy and passion that inspired me so much and made me want to learn more about soil and about seed saving! Marilyn and Chris are an incredible duo, and their organization is truly a testament to "being like the hummingbird" - hard-working and making real change one step at a time!
I attended a one-day Soil Fertility workshop that Marilyn and Chris taught as a part of a Permaculture Design Course. Their enthusiasm, thoroughness, passion and professionalism were immensely invigorating. They adapted well to group class discussions, as well as one-on-one conversations. Marilyn and I talked a little bit about their projects abroad, specifically small-scale energy-producing biodigesters, and her ability to relate to me and the information was quite refreshing. I would recommend to anyone interested in resilient community agriculture to keep the Hummingbird Project on their radar and get involved however possible.
The Hummingbird Project is the passion and commitment of co-founders Marilyn McHugh and Chris Kennedy. I first met Marilyn and Chris before they started The Hummingbird Project. With an interest in permaculture, regenerative practices, teaching and community service, they traveled the world on a delayed honeymoon and returned with a vision that became The Hummingbird Project.
The Hummingbird Project is a participatory, community-driven non-profit doing cutting edge food justice work in developing nations and at home. The mission of The Hummingbird Project (THP) is: Working for Social Justice thru Ecological Regeneration & Community Empowerment. Funded primarily through small, individual donations, THP chooses its projects carefully for high impact and effectiveness on communities of individuals in need of the expertise in soil biology, biogas digesters and permaculture that Marilyn and Chris have to offer. They believe that the key to a sustainable community based organization is to meet the needs of their constituency for the long term. They are committed to staying for long periods of time in country, and to knowing and listening to their beneficiaries. They strive to implement a values-driven, honest, and humble approach; and also to apply self-regulation and accept feedback. Today, The Hummingbird Project has grown into an international network of volunteers, collaborating organizations and projects on three continents.
For the past several years, The Hummingbird Project has worked closely with Dr. Vandama Shiva doing farmer trainings and education in six states in India. Their expertise is in teaching the importance of the soil/food web -- the microbiology of living soil -- and organic farming methods to farmers that have become trapped in the vicious cycle of purchasing genetically modified seeds (rather than the tradition of seed saving) that require the use of costly pesticides and result in depleted soil with decreasing yields. Their passion is inspiring and the response to their trainings has been profound. In an effort to get feedback from the farmers and adapt to their needs, Marilyn, Chris and volunteers created a farmer survey (written in HIndi) and sent close to 500 of those surveys to a group called Statistics Without Borders.
Other projects of The Hummingbird Project include work in East Africa -- building biogas digesters, water management, compost management, tree planting and orchard management, among other things -- and the Cleveland Seed Bank, a community based seed saving initiative.
I am a gardener. Last year I spent time at Navdanya in India & met Chris & Marilyn (The Hummingbird
Project). They were teachers/participants. I was impressed by their vision & integrity. Also their
skillfull, joyous teaching.
I hope to stay in touch with them.
I'm especially interested in their work with seed banks. We need to take our food system back into
our own hands so that we can pass it on to children.
I asked Marilyn and Chris to lead a soil food web workshop in conjunction with myself in Kentucky recently after meeting them nearly a year ago at another course and was super impressed with their knowledge and ability to transmit it. It was a delight to see people so enthusiastic about the life in the soil and stewarding this precious natural resource. Their dedication to the science and practicality of the soil food web is outstanding and my five foot tall corn plants a week before the fourth of July is a testament to their treatments. Also i love hearing their stories of their work overseas as i also do this sort of regenerative agriculture work overseas and appreciate their journey immensely.
These are great people with a great mission. The enthusiasm that Marilyn showed about the soil food web was contagious to say the least and Chris's passion for teaching and relaxed manner in front of a group of people was equally enjoyable to take part in.
Additionally, they are very fun people out of the workshop setting! I recommend attending any workshops they put on.
I met these folks in 2009 during a permaculture design course and we've kept in touch since. We study and apply the soil food web concepts together and share our findings. While I was working to apply compost tea and soil biology to creating a business, The Hummingbird Project was created with a greater purpose in mind.
I am continually impressed with Marilyn and Chris's focus on using their vast knowledge in practical applications around the world. They take the cutting-edge theories straight to the places that need them the most. When I work with The Hummingbird Project, I know that the info that I get is field-tested and smartly designed. They do not spend time promoting products and companies; they just teach and give so many skills that can directly help peoples' lives.
I know first hand that money that goes to the Hummingbird Project is spent on real, life-changing education for people who need it. They are much more than an organization that gives out T-shirts and takes photos. They put their lives and careers on the line to create a real relationship with the people that they teach.
Living Soil is the connection between all living creatures, and the Hummingbird Project continually supports places that need living soil the most.
I am 59. I grew up in Flint, Michigan in an urban renewal neighborhood where an inner state highway was being built. I could not understand the waste of tearing down old homes and hauling them to landfill. Why couldn't we re-use the windows, the doors, save the hard wood floors? This was 1965, 1966 and I was visioning decades out. Waste, wasteful practices, patterns of living that are redundant and out of sync, "modern" ways of living, have always been a reality that I had a hard time accepting and kept me isolated and often alone in a culture that seemed hell bent on getting it wrong every time.
So, that is the back story. For decades I had a dream of having everything in my yard be there for a reason. Food, medicinal uses etc. I did not know about permaculture until recently but the idea of planting everything in my yard for a use has always appealed to me. Marilyn and Chris and I organized a "permablitz" at my house last summer. We made a pollinator garden on my curb with all the day lilies and cone flowers from the side of my house and then I planted food at the side of the house. We put down card board, inches of wood chips and inches of top soil/compost. This summer this pollinator garden has come up and is really taking off. I saved tomato seeds, planted them and they are all in the garden now at the side of the house. Marilyn came up with a yard plan and I know my goal is to get the front and back yard planted with edibles, many of which are perennials.
They are brilliant but make their knowledge accessible and I don't feel patronized or talked down to. I love their knowledge and commitment. Give them your time and money. They really deserve it. The Cleveland Seed Bank is amazing. They brought the movie Open Sesame and I was able to invite a city council person who gets the movement that is happening now and became even more supportive of our wanting to pass the law so we can have hens for eggs here in Lakewoood, Ohio. I have found kindred spirits. Am inspired by them to turn our block club into a resilient community. They are the best, period.
Marilyn and Chris taught a soil ecology class as part of a permaculture certification course I was attending in Athens, Ohio. They were great teachers who were able to make a fairly complex subject matter very engaging and accessible. During the class, we also learned about the Hummingbird Project and what they had been doing while traveling and while in their home base of Cleveland, Ohio. I was very impressed! The scope of their work resonates with the values of altruism and long term sustainability that are so often lacking in the world. The Hummingbird Project is a truly inspiring, all volunteer organization that is only limited by their current level of funding. If additional resources were made available through grant funding, and therefore increased public awareness, the Hummingbird Project could accomplish the great work they're doing on a grander scale, and exponentially increase their impact on the world.
I met Chris and Marilyn at an organic farming conference in Ohio. They later collaborated with the non-profit for which I was interning. It turned out we would both be at the same organization in India for a few months where they were teaching and I was doing a Fulbright research project.
Over this time, I got to know Chris and Marilyn well. They are fantastic, driven, patient, and humble people who are doing amazing work all over the world. Their work is truly inspiring and has given me new ideas about the kind of work I can do in the world. They are professional, yet warm and approachable. The way in which they relate to people from all backgrounds in casual conversation, teaching, and training, is friendly, open, and accommodating. I am excited to collaborate with them back in the United States.
I met Marilyn McHugh and Christopher Kennedy in Kenya at a school called the Daraja Academy (daraja-academy.org). I was there volunteering and Marilyn and Chris were there sprinkling their permaculture magic dust over the entire school. I did not even know what the word bio-gas was before I met them. Their tentacles arched far and wide and with such enthusiasm and knowledge that their language ended up creeping up into my own.
They are 2 of the hardest working people I have ever met. They had just come form 6 months in India and hit the ground running in Kenya and at Daraja. They taught biology classes to the student, donating their microscope and teaching them about soil health. They invested in a biogas system that they donated to help the school cut down on their carbon footprint. They started grey water areas on campus and planted trees everywhere, also starting a seed bank. They helped girls with their science projects on topics that were new and exciting to them and had girls thinking differently about future careers.
There was nothing that remained the same that they touched. They give tirelessly from their hearts, minds and their own pockets. It was such an honor to meet Marilyn and Chris and I cannot say enough about the work they are doing in the world. You will never meet 2 more humble people. NEVER. They are truly a gift to this planet.
Review from Guidestar
I happened to meet Chris and Marilyn during the A-Z Agroecology course at Dr.Shiva's Navdanya farm and Biodiversity Conservation Center. And it gave me great satisfaction and pleasure to see this wonderful couple work with farmers and other grass root organizations to bring the secrets of the soil to the eye of the farmer. Knowledge about why to do organic farming and knowledge about the organic farming practices and its philosophy is essential to stay grounded in organic farming and I see Chris and Marilyn as one among the many upcoming voices who advocate and promote organic and sustainable agriculture for a better future.
Cheers to them and to all those who support them.
I had the opportunity to meet Marylin and Chris during the course of Agroecology- Organic farming from A to Z. I really enjoyed their courses and practical work related to the soil food web and the role of microorganisms in the soil. As a geologist I mainly deal with dead matter, so their course helped me learn about the interaction between the living environment and dead matter. They inspired me to think about the soil as the substrate full of living creatures that needs to be nurtured in order to obtain nutritous food for us and maintain the health of the soil. After leaving the course and returning to my home I did not forget what they taught me. Instead I am using the knowledge and practices in my home garden and moreover, I am telling my friends and colleagues about it, so they can maintain their soil by considering the soil food web and enjoy the benefits that come out from it.
I think that if there would be more people like them, working so selflessly and effectively in the field of agriculture towards simple and sustainable solutions, we would easily preserve agricultural soils healthy and enriched with nutrients for many future generations.
I hope to meet them again someday to share and excange more ideas and experiences in the field of agriculture and enjoy their pleasant company.
There is a great need, worldwide, to promote the adoption of strategies that enhance the important roles and functions of soil biodiversity for sustainable and productive agriculture. The Hummingbird Project teaches and encourages integrated soil management approaches that build on the available information, knowledge, and expertise to build a better food system. The Hummingbird Project leaders, Marilyn McHugh & Chris Kennedy, are making exceptional progress and creating opportunities for a sustainable agricultural future in the USA, India, Kenya and Uganda. In this regard, I ask you to financially support their efforts to harness the economic, environmental and food security benefits from better management of soil and community life. (also check out and support their newest Project: The Cleveland Seed Bank)
It was with great pleasure that I met Marilyn and Chris at Navdanya Farm in India during the fall of 2011 where they were teaching courses to interns and local, rural farmers whose chemical farming practices have led to decreased crop production and increased debt. Their classes focused on living soil, composting, and other benefits of organic farming. Their use of a microscope and computer is particularly beneficial because, with the use of the farmers' own soil samples, they are shown the difference between healthy organic soils that contain living organisms and the sterile, dead soil that results from the ever-popular chemical farming.
I have been most impressed by their monumental success with very little funding. Marilyn and Chris are warm, enthusiastic and tireless in their efforts to promote sustainability throughout the world, from Cleveland to India and East Africa. In two years time they have-- almost singlehandedly-- received federal non-profit status, successfully crowd-funded an educational training program in India in 2012, created a seed bank in Cleveland, Ohio with corresponding educational classes in the summer of 2013, and once again returned to India in the fall of 2013 all while gaining increased financial support from a variety of grant funders. Importantly, all individual donor gifts are allocated to program support so you know each dollar you donate goes directly to the farmers and folks most in need.
Finally, what impresses me most and keeps me ever interested in their efforts is the dedication to create systemic change. Marilyn and Chris are not interested simply in helping people in need-- they are passionately dedicated to reversing the activities and mindsets that created those problems using engaging educational tools that empower and inspire individuals living in poverty, food scarcity and those at risk of suicide. Three cheers for The Hummingbird Project's continued good work.
I met Chris Kennedy & Marilyn McHugh during a permaculture design certification course in Oberlin, Ohio, several years ago and their passion for their work is as focused now as it was then. I had the wonderful experience of working with them this year as they developed the Cleveland Seed Bank as a program of The Hummingbird Project. They are dedicated to their mission, transparent with their goals and are two of the most genuinely compassionate people I've ever met. The world is a better place because of them. I look forward to working with them on replicating their programs in as many communities as possible.
I met Marilyn in early 2010 while attending a sustainable workshop in Corvallis, OR. Since then I have collaborated with the Hummingbird Project on many educational events across the United States. Their professionalism is second to none. They have an objective view and a diplomatic rapport that carries over into their work. Soon after our meeting, they completed their first trip to Daraja, an all girls school in Kenya. They helped incorporate compost, soil biology teachings, and started a biogas initiative. Since then the Hummingbird Project has turned into a year round passion. Marilyn and Chris are both leaders and teachers. They bring their integrity and commitment into difficult cultural situations. This helps them achieve a high level of success where other organizations often stumble.
I met Chris and Marilyn in September 2013 as a student in the A-Z of Organic Agriculture course in Ramgarrh, India. I was immediately struck by their approachability and genuine love for inclusive, knowledge sharing spaces, which always shone through during our lectures. As teachers, Chris and Marilyn have a unique pedagogical style that allows classrooms to become sites of collaboration, where through an understanding of the biological processes at work in nature, a sense of wonder expands exponentially. I have many memories of engaging lectures where Chris and Marilyn made the most of the resources available to them. When we had power outages during lectures they came up with trivia games, when we worked in the soil lab they used open source computer programs and microscopes to allow students to see the microscopic forms of life present in soil collected around the farm, and the list goes on.
I have been in contact with Chris and Marilyn since returning home and continue to feel supported by them and the work that they are doing in other parts of the world. Their dedication to Earth Democracy is evident in their unwavering commitment to their work and the support they offer freely to others.
It has been exciting to see the organization grow and change, especially the development of open source seed library software which I plan to use in a seed saving project that I am part of. I would jump at the chance to work with Chris and Marilyn again, they have so much wisdom to share and so many creative ways to share it!
I have the pleasure to know Chris and Marylin in Navdanya´s A-Z of Organic Agriculture & Agroecology course in India. As a teachers they show us the incredible world of microorganism to understand the life in the soil and that totally change the way I saw it, now I’m more conscious about soil nutrition and inspired to start to apply in our organization projects.
The way they teach, the background and their achievements are an inspiration for people who work in nonprofit organizations with communities and who know the importance of this to reach more and more people.
Amazing job, all the best.
Great teachers Chris & Marilyn, they make the biological world come alive for people. Although I majored in plant science, at Uni it was never stressed that soil is a living organism. I guess we just take soil for granted. However Chris & Marilyn made us realise that "SOIL NAHI TOH KUCH NAHI" translated, it means...without soil no life!! As it is the creatures that live and feed in the soil that supply nutrients to plants, without soil, naturally there would be no life. I am spreading their word among budding farmers. I wish these two great teachers and lovely couple all the very best of luck in their endeavours. The world needs more Conservationists like Chris & Marilyn...
Best Regards Always,
If I could describe The Hummingbird Project in one word, I'd say it's 'inspirational'. I met Chris and Marilyn at Navdanya, Dehradun, India where I had gone to attend a certificate course on organic farming. During the one-month period of the course, I got the opportunity to interact with them not just as a student, but also as a fellow activist, seed-saver and soil-lover, and I learned so much. Their work in Africa, India and Cleveland, Ohio inspires me to continue in my efforts to save seeds and promote natural farming. They opened my eyes to the life that exists in the soil itself, the intricate web of relationships that, in part, make possible the fertility of the Earth. The Hummingbird Project is essential to preserving an ecologically and nutritionally-sound food system, which is the need of the hour. They inspire others, like me, and through networks, as nourishing as those of the fungi in the soil, play a key role in realizing the dream of sustainable living.
As an upcoming organic farmer, The Hummingbird Project's founders, Chris and Marilyn, were responsible for completely changing the way that I look at growing vegetables. Rather than looking at nourishing the plants I realised that I was nourishing the soil which would in turn nourish the plant - knowledge and understanding that will help me for the rest of my life.
I was fortunate enough to attend their lectures at Navdanya farm's Earth University for the A-Z of Organic Agriculture & Agroecology course, and will be forever grateful that I had access to such important knowledge in such an easy to digest and comprehensible way.
They are a wonderful teaching team who complement each other with their various experiences, not to mention incredibly encouraging and supportive to all the students.
Their humility and 'go do it!' attitude was indescribably inspiring to all the course participants and I witnessed many a behind the scenes conversation where what they have achieved with The Hummingbird Project had prompted many of the participants to realise that they had the potential to do something similar and effect positive change like THP has already done around India, Africa and USA.
I am so grateful to have met Chris and Marilyn and having experienced their teachings firsthand, I know without a doubt that what The Hummingbird Project is doing is worthwhile for the future of organic farming and the world's food security.
Like the humble hummingbird, they're doing "the best they can", and that seems to be a pretty amazing job so far.
The Hummingbird Project is admirable. I was lucky to meet Chris and Marilyn last September at Navdanya Biodiversity Farm in Northern India. The knowledge we received from them about soil microbiology and its huge role in agricultural success or failure was profound. Their hands-on teaching style using microscopes to actually see the microbiology up close and personal made the subject fun, we related to it, and learned effortlessly and easily. They are a dynamic duo who complement each other so well, bringing together strong skills of teaching, communicating, and inspiration with extensive knowledge and scientific background.
I consider The Hummingbird Project to be very important to worldwide social movements revolving around Organic Agriculture, Agro-ecology and Sustainability. Chris and Marilyn are helping farmers become aware of and discover that their soil is not just the vehicle for plant roots to grab hold of and drink water and NPK from. It is a food web because it is a complex system which must be stewarded and respected, because doing so is the cornerstone of sustainable low-input agriculture. If your soil food web is in a balanced state of homeostasis, your plants will grow healthy and strong and your environment will be clean! Let's help The Hummingbird Project spread the word! and the skills!
Keep up the great work!
I got to know Chris and Marilyn during the A-Z of Organic Agriculture held yearly at the Navdanya Biodiversity Farm in Northern India. As part of the course's faculty during the Soil Food Web week, they were by far the highlight of the week. They are both very inspiring, passionate, knowledgeable and friendly. The Hummingbird Project reflects these traits as it spreads important knowledge in neglected communities.
They were always open to help us develop our own projects related to organic agriculture, and would openly share information with us so that we can accomplish our goals of championing these important food-related movements. The way they teach others if very dynamic, fun, and very professional and important. They have great skills in transmitting and teaching in very accessible ways.
I look forward to interacting and working with The Hummingbird Project in the future. I definitely see the project growing quickly in many ways because Chris and Marilyn have put their heart and soul into the project, which is making real and tangible changes in the world. I'm sure they will continue to inspire people and share their vast knowledge and experience in such a fun way all around the globe.
I am a student from Germany and I had the pleasure to learn from the Hummingbird Project during an Organic Agruculture Course in India in 2013. I have grown up with parents that tought me about nature and gardening so that I could develop an intuitive understanding about soil and nature. But Chris and Marilyn deepened my understanding and opened my eyes in a way that I am still very greatful for!
This is part of my reflexions that I wrote right after the course:
"Some days ago, I was so lucky to be able to examine a soil sample through a microscope. It was exciting and surprising to me to observe the colourful landscape of decomposed organic matter and living microorganisms: slowly moving bacteria, jumping protozoa and nematodes and beautiful fungi in-between. One can actually see the life in the soil! Just look at the earthworms that are visible to our bare eyes. They turn organic matter into fertile soil.
A plant and the soil are intimately connected and I only start to understand their intricate relationship.
There are dead soils all over the world. In dead soils there are no microbes. Thus, soils are infertile and cannot nourish a plant. Once the chemical fertilizer has killed the soil, it will demand more and more fertilizer in order to replace the microbes and their miracle of work.
I don’t understand how we have lost our knowledge about soil and ultimately have stopped to believe in soil."
This course left me incredibly inspired and so ready to learn much more in order to be empowered to implement practically what I have learned. By now I have also a Permaculture Design Certificat and I am looking forward to see where I will engage in the future. The Hummingbird Project is a gift to the world today!
I met Chris and Marilyn when they taught part of the A -Z course at Navdanya. They were incredible. They brought to life, what to many would seem a dull and boring topic, "soil". I was not only impressed with their knowledge, but how engaging they were when discussing, explaining, and showing the wonders of something we often refer to as "dirt".
In addition to being passionate teachers they are also wonderful people, and fun to spend time with. i wish them all the best as they spread their magic all over the globe, and I am sure one day soon I will find a way to work with them.
Chris and Marilyn were extremely helpful in assisting our environmental NGO in Saudi Arabia with the challenges we face composting, and growing food in sand. We met them at the Navdanya conference last year, and found them to be knowledgeable,and good listeners.
To me, The Hummingbird Project is a product of a beautiful journey embarked upon by two extremely committed and enterprising torch bearers of sustainable living, Marilyn and Chris. I met the couple at Navdanya, India (a biodiversity conservation farm and learning centre founded by renowned physicist, Dr Vandana Shiva) as part of a month-long hands-on course in organic farming and agroeceology in September 2013.
Marilyn and Chris have an extraordinary quality of captivating a culturally diverse audience while teaching about complex soil structures - a topic that is usually associated with being very dry. As part of their 'Living Soil' workshop, the couple took painstaking efforts in making sure that age, language, backgrounds were no barriers to understanding the importance of cultivating living soil and being resourceful with the processes involved in growing healthy food.
Their workshops made specialised knowledge available. For example, Marilyn and Chris, personally funded and set up a Soil Laboratory at Navdanya for participants to be able to study the different microorganisms present in the soil. For someone who has never studied the Sciences but interested in growing healthy food, Marilyn and Chris, presented information that was visual and tangible. They are remarkably accessible and willing to impart everything they know and do it with an infectious energy.
In India, The Hummingbird Project undertake farmer trainings in rural and remote communities, where most people lack any sort of formal training in agriculture and are heavily reliant on labour- intensive traditional techniques and are also heavily exposed to misleading information about the use of chemicals in order to produce higher yields. For a country, that almost leads the world in indiscriminate use of chemicals in the form of pesticides, herbicides, nitrogen fertilizers etc, we need initiatives like The Hummingbird Project to educate and empower potential food-growers and real farmers in providing good food for their families and for a living.
As a side note, I will never forget a kind gesture from Marilyn, who spent so much of her precious time helping me write a grant for my own personal undertaking.
It is my distinct pleasure to have interacted with such inspiring individuals and recommend their work without any reservations. I am looking forward to volunteer with The Hummingbird Project in the near future and it would be such an honour to help them in any way I can.
After a wonderful learning experience with Chris and Marilyn during an organic farming course in India in 2013, I decided to find a way to exchange more great ideas with this passionate couple. If their training sessions at Navdanya's course in India had been so powerful and inspiring, I had to see their impact on farmers in rural India.
Fortunately I had the chance to accompany them as a volunteer on some of their farmer trainings - as part of the 'Living Soil' project - and see how Chris and Marilyn's dynamic energy and honest exchange with Indian farmers were spreading hope for change.
Chris and Marilyn's Hummingbird Project is authentic proof of how real solidarity, open knowledge-sharing and love for ecology can shape a better world.
I met Chris and Marilyn for the first time at Navdanya, Dehradun in Sept 2012. They were conducting a series of soil workshops and teaching a module at a course on organic agriculture that I was part of.
I witnessed first hand their passion to make a difference in people's lives, especially in their interactions with farmers and students at Navdanya. Whether it was taking the time to explain all about the living organisms in the soil, elaborating on different kinds of biogas installations, or helping co-ordinate the building of a community garden made by course participants, they were always extremely patient and full of enthusiasm at the same time.
We have kept in touch since and I have had the opportunity to meet them a couple of times more and hear more about the farmer trainings that they have conducted in other parts of India. They have been a huge inspiration to me, and made me think about how if just two individuals can contribute so much, there is no reason for me to think that I can't make a difference, if I really put my mind to it and overcame my apprehensions.