Sustainable living student Kim Strubell
With the help of Charity Seeds, families are growing corn and beans in Kenya
Kenyan children helping to transport seedlings to the farm
Growing local vegetables such as tree collards in Kenya
Kim Strubell — Providing Food Security to Families in Developing Countries
MUM student Kim Strubell has practiced the Transcendental Meditation® technique for over 40 years and has had many careers, including construction and furniture sales. During a business trip to Panama in 2006, Kim witnessed the environmental devastation of corporate influence among the indigenous population. He decided to turn his attention to sustainability and return to school.
Kim enrolled in MUM’s sustainable living program and, after receiving his undergraduate degree in 2015, continued with the master’s program. “The sustainable living program is excellent,” said Kim. “The professors are the most important part. We had some teachers that gave us world-class education. This program is for change-makers.”
Kim has been busy applying what he has learned in class. With the help of his son Garrett, he has built an off-the-grid, zero net energy home that is surrounded by a small organic farm. Six years ago, Kim funded a nonprofit organization called Charity Seeds, along with MUM alumna Christina Ring. They are helping small-scale famers become self-reliant through sustainable growing methods so that they can feed their families.
Kim is partnering with John Jeavons’ organization that trains teachers in John’s Grow Biointensive Sustainable Mini-Farming methods. These teachers recruit the farmers and Charity Seeds provides them with seeds and trains them how to save their seeds at the end of the growing season. Over the past six years, they have helped install 12,000 small farms in Kenya and Uganda. In addition, in those two countries, they are now building gardens and food forests around schools and teaching children how to grow their own food.
As his thesis project, Kim is opening up a new Charity Seeds hub in Ecuador. In addition to teaching farmers how to grow food sustainably, his organization is also planning to support local artists, who turn seeds into jewelry, by selling their hand-made products online. “We will make sure the whole process is sustainable and benefits their lives,” said Kim. The project is also planning to offer internship possibilities for MUM students in permaculture and biodynamic agriculture.