If you could watch an entire head of lettuce grow in a matter of minutes, would it give you new perspective on how our food is produced? If you knew it took 160 days to grow a carrot, would it change the way you think about the produce you eat? Digital Farm Collective (DFC) was conceived by fourth-generation farmer and artist Matthew Moore in response to shifting global climate and agricultural trends. While the global population rapidly rises, the number of farmers continues to drop, and we face a dwindling resource of agricultural knowledge. Even so, we live in promising times where people are increasingly curious about where their food comes from and the impact their food choices make. DFC’s mission is to broaden the understanding of how food grows and preserve growing practices by telling the story of cultivated crops using video and digital media in schools and public spaces.
Working with growers and educators, we document cultivated crops around the globe by collecting time-lapse footage, interviews with farmers, and scientific and practical data about produce as it grows from seed to harvest. This content is compiled, edited, and packaged for use in an online “Living Library” that preserves agricultural practices from all over the world.
In addition to building the Living Library, we have developed two educational programs, Seedlings and Lifecycles. These programs use time-lapse videos and new media tools in schools and public spaces to reconnect people to food growth cycles and bridge the gap between farmers and consumers. We leverage strategic partnerships in these efforts to expand our reach and hone in on specific initiatives such as eliminating food waste, teaching growing practices, advocating fresh produce, and encouraging healthy eating.
DFC is unique in that we operate at the nexus of storytelling, science, and art, filling a gap in contemporary exchanges on issues of food, agriculture, and resiliency. DFC is part of a growing international effort to raise public awareness about the source of food, agricultural sustainability, and the impact of climate change on farming. We work to ensure that future generations have access to the firsthand growing knowledge that has been accrued for centuries and to inspire stewardship of the food that we eat.