Any business conversation with pro vertical farmers inevitably turns to labor; how to build and train the best team is a universal challenge. It’s especially pressing in an industry where 80% of indoor farmers are new to the practice.
"Academics and corporates alike, such as our Contain vendors at CropKing and AmHydro, have developed online educational courses for aspiring pro growers," says Isa Herman. During last year’s lockdown, Contain started thinking a little earlier. "We know from the indoor farmers we interact with every day that most fell in love with farming by growing at home first. So, we collaborated with Singapore family office ID Capital to create Rooted. It encourages the curious to become cultivators," Isa affirms.
Rooted Global is an urban farming platform dedicated to helping corporate employees learn to grow food at home, it’s a fresh take on corporate wellness. The company works with large corporations - including Danone, Dole and a tech major. Rooted delivers the kit that cultivators need to get growing right to their doors, and adds online stories and hangouts to help them along the way.
Rooted host Nadia with Amy Kong of Archisen
The reason that Rooted is so engaging, according to Isa, is in part because we developed the platform on microlearning principles. "We assume that most cultivators will catch an episode whilst waiting for the MTR or a bus."
Microlearning can be defined as “bite-sized” training that is intended to be more captivating and less onerous than traditional learning styles. Our Rooted episodes are short, simple, and interactive, and they take cultivators from “never opened a seed packet” to “I’ve got this”. Isa adds, "We film them across the world so that cultivators get not just instructions, but a sense of how different cultures and experts relate to veggies."
Rooted host Nadia with Chef Teo Yeow Siang
But why is microlearning gaining traction? Studies on microlearning show a myriad of benefits that are supported by neuroscience.
According to a study from the Journal of Applied Psychology, microlearning makes the transfer of information 17% more efficient than long-form training and increases engagement by 50%. This is logical, considering that microlearning videos are often the duration of the natural human attention span, which range from 3 to 7 minutes1.
As opposed to long-form teaching methods, microlearning mimics the media we consume on a daily basis. As we scroll through social media and online news, we process information in the same bite-sized pieces that we see in microlearning. We find it intuitive to follow this format, given that it is comfortable and familiar to most people nowadays.
"Rooted is the first global urban farming training platform to take this approach and we’re glad to be contributing a little to the journey to farming for new cultivators," says Isa.