Posts

How to Save the World? The Answer Is in the Soil

Author: Valentina Valentini

There is a big difference between dirt and soil,” filmmaker and activist Rob Herring says. “Dirt is lifeless. Soil is life.”

The Need to GROW is a new documentary about an age-old matter—soil. And although soil science is relatively young and unbelievably complex, it’s been a life source for millions of years. With somewhere around six billion microorganisms in a mere tablespoon of soil, these are galactic ecosystems which scientists are just starting to understand.

These systems evolved over millions of years to optimize delivery of nutrients to plants, hold water in the ground and store carbon in our soils,” explains Herring, who made the film with creative partner Ryan Wirick. “Literally our air, food and water all rely on healthy soil. However, it’s estimated we’re losing 75 billion tons of soil every year. At this rate, the UN estimates that we have 60 years left of farmable topsoil. Not enough people are talking about this.”

KEEP READING ON GOOD

Remembering The Seeds Of Freedom

Author: Alice Cunningham 

In America’s early days, the nation’s founders required a potent symbol to communicate the concept of freedom. In colonial Boston, the symbol that became synonymous with freedom was an elm tree.

The Liberty Tree, as it came to be known, was a gathering place for advocates for freedom. Though eventually cut down by opponents, its symbolic resonance only grew, gracing flags and pins, with elms being planted throughout the new nation.

This week following Independence Day, and throughout this summer, I hope that we can all remember the Liberty Tree and why it was such a powerful symbol. And, why the growth that it promises may continue to resonate as we undertake a new struggle for freedom.

The struggle we now face is no less a campaign for self-determination than the American Revolution. Much like the Revolution, what is at stake is personal freedom and the ability to choose your own destiny.

It is a struggle over the freedom to choose what you can grow and eat; each of us is involved, whether we know it or not. The right to choose seems basic. Indeed, you may assume that farmers have the ability to save and exchange seed that they are growing our food with, but you would be wrong.

Seeds are a gift of nature, the result of centuries of labor by farmers worldwide who have conserved heirloom seeds and thousands of natural varieties. But over the past few decades, legislation restricting access to seeds helped diminish small farmers’ holdings and have established industrial agriculture as globally dominant.