🌱 Community infrastructure for regenerative agriculture to overgrow the system: Hylo Product News

Clare Politano
Terran Collective
Published in
8 min readMay 30, 2022


Announcing the launch of new Hylo features in partnership with OpenTEAM & Regen Network, May 2022

The adoption of regenerative agriculture that produces abundant, nutrient-dense food while restoring thriving ecosystems is critical to creating a future that we want to live in.

Today we’re thrilled to announce that Hylo is now fully supportive of peer-to-peer farmer, rancher, and land steward networks. For the last year, we have worked closely with our partners OpenTEAM, Regen Network, Regen Foundation, and their networks of growers and technologists to design a key piece of the regenerative technology ecosystem: the community platform.

We’ve launched a set of features calibrated to meet the needs of producers and land stewards and advance the spread of regenerative agriculture and land management. Here are the goals for these new tools:

  • Nurture relationships of mutual support among producers
  • Develop community between producers and the public
  • Grow deeper connections between humans and landscape
  • Enable a greater flow of resources towards regeneration

Beyond regenerative agriculture, these tools will serve any place-based group and all purpose-driven groups seeking to coordinate action and steward shared resources.

Here’s the quick download on all the new features [1:45 mins]:

Quick download on the main new features.

And here’s the in-depth demo for our friends at OpenTEAM [55 mins]:

At A Glance

How networks can benefit from hosting their community on Hylo

Mutual support among producers is critical to spreading regenerative land management practices. Land stewards want to know what others are doing, and learn from their successes. Hylo creates space for this peer-to-peer learning and relationship-building to thrive. Here’s how producer networks (and any purpose-driven network) can use these new tools:

  • Move from top-down to peer-to-peer organizing
  • Share updates across the network
  • Grow connections among group members
  • Organize & promote in-person or online events
  • Find collaborators for research projects, coops, etc
  • Connect with nearby folks with similar interests, or find a mentor
  • Expand market access by connecting with local purchasers and the public
  • Nominate people & projects for funding
  • Connect with other producer networks and the larger regen ag movement

Read on to get the details on all the updates and learn about our process.

The Features

The features fall into five categories: Farm Functionality, API & Integrations, Group Explorer, Location & Mapping, and General Usability.

Farm Functionality & API

We have created our first custom group type on Hylo — Farms! Farms can be created through our API integration with OpenTEAM, by filling out a quick survey on OpenTEAM’s open source tool, SurveyStack. With the producer’s consent, rich data from the survey is then populated into a beautiful farm profile page on Hylo, offering a way for land stewards to communicate about their operation — their goals, products, land management practices, needs and the types of connections they are open to. Farm profiles offer a way for land stewards to build relationships with each other, benefit from peer-to-peer support, and connect with purchasers and the public. Features include:

  • Beautiful farm/ranch profile page with “At A Glance” keywords, social links, embedded video, description, farm details and products, operation managers, location on a map, and hours of operation (if open to the public)
  • Opportunities to Collaborate widget: Land stewards can share ways they want to collaborate and other users can send a message to connect and offer their support
Each operation can specify exactly what they’re open to connecting about.
  • Group Display Names: Group admins can specify the nouns that are specific to their operation, so that the UI for their farm can specify that they are a “Ranch” led by a “Ranch Manager”.
  • Message all [Farm] Moderators: Users can send a group message to all farm moderators from the Opportunities to Collaborate widget. This feature is currently available only for Farm Groups, though we plan on extending this to the broader Hylo community soon.

As a part of this work, we added oAuth 2.0-based “Sign On with Hylo,” so Hylo can become an authentication provider for OpenTEAM’s ecosystem of platforms. Any website can now integrate with Hylo for Single Sign-On user authentication.

Group Explorer

Discover farms near you with the Group Explorer

The Group Explorer is a directory of public groups on Hylo, which allows users to find relevant groups through searching relevant keywords. Access it by opening the top left navigation and clicking “Public Groups.”

Users can sort groups by Group Name, Member Count, and by those nearest to them. There is a tab dedicated to Farms, with options to filter by Farm Type, Operation, and Land Management techniques. Use this tab to discover nearby farms, find producers growing specific crops or with expertise in different skills, and get involved in your local food system.

Please Note: As of May 2022, we’ve *just* launched these features, so the Farms tab in the Group Explorer is not yet full of farms. For now, we’ve populated it with a few example “DEMO” farms to illustrate this feature. Over the coming months, as OpenTEAM and other producer networks onboard their members, there will be more and more real farms to check out.

Location and Mapping

Showing Native Territories in the Bay Area alongside farms nearby.

We’ve greatly enhanced Hylo’s map functionality to better support bioregional coordination. Folks can now create a place-based post by clicking directly on the map. And we are thrilled to announce that our map can now display Indigenous territories as a layer using data from native-land.ca! Other features include:

  • Location obfuscation: moderators can obfuscate the group’s location on the map. Options are precise (show exact location), near (show location offset by a slight amount) or region (don’t show a location on the map at all, shows only city, region & country).
  • Additional map base layers, including satellite and street view.
  • Group maps also display descendent Groups
  • Hide/show Groups on the map
  • Sort map drawer posts by post date
  • Map parameters (including center location and zoom) are included in the URL, allowing users to copy and share an exact map URL
  • Tabs in the map drawer to see Groups and Members on the map separately from Posts
  • Searching for and jumping to a point location (like an address) on the map

General Usability

We made significant improvements on the user experience, Hylo’s load time, and incorporated better security practices in the sign-up flow. See a list of general updates below:

  • Implemented a new sign-up and registration flow that includes email verification, password confirmation
  • Users can deactivate or delete their account in their Settings
  • Text formatting added to Post Editor for bolded and italicized text
Highlight text to access text formatting tools in posts.
  • Line break handling between post editor and display for posts, comments, and messages
  • Improvements to the Messages experience
  • Allow for editing/deleting sub-comments on other people’s comments
  • Group leaders can now embed a video on their About page using a URL
  • Moderators can adjust their display names in their Group Settings
  • Display timezone for date-times in requests, offers and resources
  • Users can specify locations for people, groups and posts as coordinates

Our Process

Hylo is developed through relationship-driven design. These new tools are the result of an intentional multi-stakeholder co-creation process, and a lot of listening to folks doing the work of regeneration in their communities and in the soil.


We started with a Collabathon from July — September 2021 that brought together growers, technologists, and community organizers from OpenTEAM, Regen Network, Regen Foundation, and many other partner groups, to express the needs of people involved in regenerative agriculture, and how community tools can help meet them. We published our findings here, which became the basis of the features we’re launching today.

Land Steward Listening Sessions

Stakeholders in the Collabathon encouraged us to connect with more producers directly, listen to their needs, and get their input in co-design sessions. In March 2022, we gathered with cohorts of farmers and ranchers to hear about their experiences, and desires for a community platform. Here are some of the main things producers are asking for:

  • Easy-to-use tools that save time, enter data once use many times, data sovereignty
  • Access to mentorship & learning opportunities
  • Access to equipment & resource sharing
  • Market access & supply chain development — finding purchasers to buy regenerative products, finding collaborators to create cooperatives and joint ventures

We will share a deeper synthesis of our process and findings in an upcoming blog post. For now, we’ve already incorporated much of this feedback into the features we’re launching, and we look forward to more input and iteration in partnership with land stewards as they join Hylo this year.

OpenTEAM Onboarding and Testing

Next comes a period of onboarding producer networks and testing these features. OpenTEAM is running a pilot program this year that will offer Hylo and other open source tools to producer networks, with a plan to onboard 800+ producers to the platform from across 4 different networks.

Regen Network and Foundation are both beginning to use Hylo, and a number of other producer networks are joining Hylo this year: Black Farmers Rising has already onboarded dozens of BIPOC California producers to their Hylo group, and Regeneration Canada has launched their network on Hylo as well.

We’re exploring partnership with several other producer networks. These tools are for any producer network and everyone who would like to nurture a regenerative local food system in your own bioregion. Please reach out if you would like to be part of the emerging ecosystem of producer networks coordinating on Hylo! Get in touch by contacting Hylo’s Stakeholder Advocate, Krisha at krisha@terran.io.

With Gratitude

It has been a wonderful year of growth for Hylo and we want to thank OpenTEAM, Regen Network, and our community for all your support!

As we roll out this massive release, we’re still testing and adjusting things. If you notice anything off as you start exploring these features, please let us know! Drop us a note on Hylo via Feedback and Support. Thanks!



Clare Politano
Terran Collective

Software engineer & bioregional organizer building regenerative technology for collective governance @hylo @terrancollectiv.