We’ve been anticipating the release of the new Kiss the Ground documentary on Netflix (out now) for months. And, although, like most documentaries, it may not be as easy to slip into as a few of the more binge-able series or movies on the platform, we urge you to take the time to watch.
Kiss the Ground is a story about Regenerative Agriculture, a topic we’ve explored here and there on the site, but that Sundance Award-winning filmmakers, Josh and Rebecca Tickell and their cast of top celebrities, farmers, doctors and environmental pros dive into full-board.
According to Kiss the Ground, “Regenerative Agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services. It aims to capture carbon in the soil and aboveground biomass (plants), reversing current global trends of atmospheric accumulation and climate change. At the same time, it offers increased yields, resilience to climate instability, and higher health and vitality for farming and ranching communities.”
In other words, Regenerative Ag is about saving our soil. Amidst so many heated arguments about our planet, global warming and the industries that contribute to it, our food system and the economy that surrounds it, could it be that the simple solutions to most of our most modern ecological woes are right down in the dirt?
“There are more microbes in a teaspoon of healthy soil
than there are people on the planet!”
The documentary argues that Regenerative Agriculture could reverse global warming and address many of our biggest economic, healthcare and farming issues in one fell swoop. The arguments are compelling, hopeful and darn right practical-sounding.
We’d love to hear your opinion on the documentary and about Regenerative Agriculture as a whole. As wellness lovers, we’re hopeful about a philosophy like this one that promises to address and correct so many modern ecological ills without damaging the economy. We’re struggling to find holes that need poking, but sure they’re there. We’d love to hear from you. — watch the doc and leave your comment below.
To give you a taste of what Regenerative Ag is all about here are 4 principles (among many) from Kiss The Ground’s site that explain more about the approach. Many of them are in alignment with environmentalist, Paul Hawken’s plan in his book, Drawdown which, like the doc, relates much of “global warming” to soil degradation, modern farming practices and the mismanagement of our land. As dire as that all sounds, the term regenerative means “the process of renewal, restoration, and growth” and is used here as hopefully as it sounds. These are key terms you’ll learn more about in the doc…
Increase “Carbon Drawdown” | Food can be grown in ways that build healthy soil and draw carbon out of the atmosphere (sequester carbon). Remember photosynthesis? Plants use the energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) and water into oxygen and carbohydrates (sugars). Plants then release some of these sugars into the soil to feed microorganisms. In turn, the microorganisms make otherwise inaccessible nutrients available for plants!
More carbon in the soil = less carbon in the air!
INCREASE BIODIVERSITY | Growing a diversity of plants — especially on farms — helps cultivate nutrient dense soil, increase soil carbon, and reduce the risk of pests and diseases (Read: reduce the need for chemical pesticides).
recreate ANIMAL INTEGRATION | Remember Old MacDonald? He had all kinds of animals on his farm, but most farms today have none! Including animals in the farming system closes the “nutrient loop” and reduces the need for imported fertilizers (As in, the animals make their own!). Deciding which are the right species of animals to incorporate depends on each farm’s unique ecosystem and climate.
keep ROOTS growing deep | Keeping living roots in the ground year-round (or for as long as possible) provides a steady source of food for organisms in the soil. In turn, soil microorganisms help prevent soil erosion, increase water infiltration rates, and provide plants with key nutrients.
We have to admit, that these four points might not sound as exciting as they truly are without more context. To that point, we urge you to give Kiss The Ground a mindful watch.