Soil health – watch and learn

“Kiss the Ground” summary: Kiss the Ground discussed the topic of climate change and how the Earth’s soil is able to draw tons of atmospheric carbon out of the air. It goes deep into the ways tilling, pesticides, and other industrialized farming techniques can damage the soil, killing all of the microorganisms that are vital to carbon absorption. It emphasizes the simplicity and necessity of pursuing a regenerative agricultural society by showing global efforts and political triumphs/failures.

Review: Before this movie, I had felt extremely overwhelmed by the idea that in 2080, our agricultural land might be even more endangered, but afterward, it did give me a sense of hope. The movie was necessarily dramatic and encouraged people to take the steps to improve our planet. There was a segment on Markegaurd, a farm local to half-moon bay that is sustainably growing their livestock. It was amazing because my family almost exclusively buys our meat from this farm. My family has always been bent on eating well and only buying things from sustainable companies, and it was really lovely to see that it might actually make a difference to try. It also gave me a lot more understanding of how the US government works and how tax subsidies are used within meat and produce production. 

“The Biggest Little Farm” summary: A couple (plus their dog) move from their apartment in LA to a large expanse of farmland in Ventura County. Their goal is to create a diverse farm that is coexistent with nature and its surroundings. Although the land is completely dry from a terrible drought, the people are able to transform it into an abundance of life. There are many complications that they face, however, they are able to continue on their quest and eventually build a sustainable farm that gives back rather than takes.

Review: This movie definitely gives you a sense of hope and pride. The fact that two people who lived in a tiny apartment were able to rejuvenate this dead land and create a functioning, sustainable farm was incredible. It showed the difficulties and triumphs that the couple had to go through. It was fulfilling to watch and definitely heartwarming. I think that the cinematography definitely helped capture the tone and innocence of the film, which improved the connection that the watcher was able to make.

By Teen Docent, Madeleine Chen