About The Know How It Grows Project

Know How It Grows

Conscientiousness and              Compassion in Our Consuming

“One cannot level one’s moral lance at every evil in the universe. There are just too many of them. But you can do something, and the difference between doing something and doing nothing is everything.”

–Daniel Berrigan

Know How It Grows is a grassroots consumer project founded in northeast Ohio. It began as a reaction to deceptive labeling in the packaging of animal products. Once upon a time we intended to support humane farm practices by buying only “Free Range” and “Organic”, but we were dismayed to learn that these labels are in fact no guarantee against cruel farming practices.

Our aim, then, is to bypass the packaging altogether, by growing our own and/or buying directly from the farms, where we can see with our own eyes what goes into food production. We do primary research the grassroots way, by talking to farmers and visiting their farms, then talking to each other and talking to you. We have indeed found small family operations that employ compassionate practices, and we have established them as the direct suppliers of much of our food needs. Through this collective effort, we acknowledge that eating is a political act, and we cast the power of our food-dollar vote in favor of the humane farmer.

Of course, there is a drawback in the driving that it requires (which still does not compare with the long-distance transport involved in getting products onto grocery store shelves). Some of these farms may be accessible to us via bicycle tour, but many are not. Our happy compromise is to offset the fossil fuels we burn by making it a social occasion, and bringing friends along. The more, the merrier!

If you do not live in northeast Ohio, we encourage you to start your own local Know How It Grows group. You can look at our listings on the state and national levels, or you can research alternative food options for your area. Below are some of the questions that we asked farmers and artisans, to help you get started. Whenever you discover a humane farm in your area, please send us your feedback, so we can include the information in our listings. We ask that you conduct true primary research, involving your own eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, and heart. Go out and see the farm before reporting your findings to us.

If you do live in northeast Ohio, you can join us! That is, grab a bunch of friends and drive out to the places that will soon be listed locally under our Humane Farms, Artisans, and Venues pages. You may even start to see flyers in your neighborhood coffee house, announcing our next trip.

These are some important questions that we asked farmers and artisans:

Please check out our upcoming list of recommended humane farms, restaurants, artisans, and venues. We have a working list now, but we are committed to talking to farmers and visiting their farms before posting them, so that we can see with our own eyes how the animals are treated. You can see listings beginning to trickle onto the website now, and we will continue to grow slowly from here.

We also plan to make the website fully accessible to Deaf people by providing ASL video versions of the text. We invite translators for other U.S minority languages to become contributors.

(Sorry, ASL is under construction right now.)

Please save this website in your favorites and check back with us often. 

Take good care until then!


  1. jndryden said

    I like that phrase, “eating is a political act.” You should create t-shirts, bumper stickers, posters, and artwork with that slogan on it!

  2. walt turner said

    So much good work – thank you! I have changed the way i eat because of you! Although no longer in Ohio (FL now) i do buy all raw local fruits and veggies at the local farmers market and i’m blessed to have organic and natural foods produced in quantity here, year round (to save on the CO footprint) — it makes doing the right thing even easier. Sadly my diet still still has some seafood (my location has me eating more seafood than birds or mammals) and i haven’t been able to go totally vegetarian yet (sorry) — but everything i read makes me more cognizant of this fault and i’m working to improve. Please Keep it up, my heart feels good to know you are doing so well.

    Chris(tine) you are and will always be my personal hero!

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: