Vicente Ramirez Garcia, our GROW community champion from Bradford, came to the UK from Mexico in 2004. He is one of the co-founders of Grow Bradford. They aim to document, connect and promote local food and growing activity, on- and off-line, in and around Bradford.
“Growing up in Mexico the food system is very different to the UK. Despite living in the city, fresh and locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs are abundant,” Vicente said.
Vicente manages the website and social media for Grow Bradford and shares news about local, regional, national and international topics of relevance.
“I have followed developments over the last 10 years and am interested in Open Data and mapping and how technology can help resolve environmental issues,” he added.
Through following the UK Permaculture Association, Vicente found the GROW project and the use of the sensors to create maps to analyse what’s happening in terms of changes in the environment and soil. He thought this sounded like a good use of citizen science and technology to collect data from people on the ground on a wide scale.
“This is an opportunity for me personally to get involved, whilst also connecting me to other people from places across Europe, trying to develop a better understanding of what is happening both locally and across larger areas,” he said.
Vicente hopes to ‘put Bradford on the map’ as it is a historically significant landscape, being one of the earliest cities at the heart of the industrial revolution.
“The reason it became such a significant place was because of its abundance of soft water and coal seams, which combined with the hard-working nature of local people transformed into into the Worsted capital of the world (the type of textile produced). We would like to use our findings to protect local landscapes as recent flooding in the valleys and wildfires up on the moorlands are becoming more frequent and it will be useful to have the soil data to better understand the changes,” Vicente concluded.