How Does It Grow? (HDIG) aims to provide “agriculture literacy” education by examining at one crop at a time through videos, cookbooks, and a supplementary curriculum to be used in schools. HDIG cites agriculture illiteracy, the lack of knowledge about how crops are grown and produced, as a major factor in consumers choosing processed foods. The HDIG website states, “We are so divorced from our food sources that we have lost some of the fundamental tools that help us choose between healthy, natural foods and the glut of processed junk that lines our grocery aisles.”
HDIG, founded by journalists Nicole Controneo Jolly and Mark Jolly, emerged from a realization that Nicole made when she attended a picnic. A fellow picnicker turned down her offer of cherries because he did not like them. After Nicole persuaded him to try them, they realized that his dislike for the fruit stemmed from a lack of knowledge; the cherries that he tried years before were out of season while these cherries were picked at the height of the growing season.
The HDIG website explains, “Before her very eyes, Nicole watched this man’s world expand: a negative food memory replaced by a new, revelatory sensation.”
HDIG videos will be available soon and will be presented in episode format with each episode focused on a specific crop. The Field to Farm Cookbook, a children’s cookbook, and the HDIG curriculum are also in development with plans to be released shortly.