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Kiss The Ground


Then, we started with an on-the-ground garden project. We did not want to start a community garden where people pay to have plots, so we created space where anyone could volunteer and then all the food grown is donated to homeless people. Now, we have transitioned to teaching the homeless population. For homeless youth, we offer an internship job training program that gives them a paid stipend, gardening knowledge, and something for their resume. The goal is to create more people with training in soil based landscaping or edible gardening so healthy soil can be the base of growing cities. Our first media piece was The Soil Story. From there, we expanded into creating a documentary, which is where most of our energy has gone recently.




Kiss the Ground



A lot of (no pun intended) ground is covered in this documentary, giving the viewer plenty to think about, even if the documentary at times focuses on celebrities. While there's really no reason to have Jason Mraz singing an original number that extols the virtues of diversifying your garden, and the presence of Woody Harrelson often seems superfluous, Kiss the Ground also shows activists who aren't celebrities who are devoting their lives to solving these problems. It's a thoughtful documentary that clearly shows what good can be done, collectively and individually, if we have the will to make it happen.


Join the EECP for its inaugural "Screen on the Green." Come rain or shine, they will be screening "Kiss the Ground" to start a conversation around farming practices and what can be done to make agricultural production more ethical and more productive for the planet's long-term health. The film will be enjoyed in the Serpentine Garden of the Founder's Garden (or the Ballroom if it's raining) so bring blankets and movie snacks! Popcorn and snacks, as well as seating, will be provided for those who wish to forgo the ground.


In fact, newly minted movie stars, Ray Archuleta and Gabe Brown, make their living from the ground, teaching other farmers how to successfully transition to regenerative agriculture in order to restore healthy food, soil, farms and profits.


Either way, shifting the typical diet in such a way is a certain win for humanity and all life on Earth, and thus something that not only should have been made clearer in Kiss the ground, but something that everyone reading should strongly consider.


And we've kind of fooled ourselves all these years with these petroleum based products and fake chemical versions of things. And so we really need these urban spaces, these urban gardens and urban farms in order to help us recognize, "Oh, this is where this comes from. This is what it's supposed to taste like. This is what a plant looks like when it's growing. These are the things that I can really relish and are really good for my body." And I will also say to the point that this movie brings up, we really need a living canopy over every square inch of ground on this planet. We need gardens on our roofs. We need trees, overhanging our driveways and our streets.


We need all kinds of living plants covering everything that's not ocean. So, and the ocean has its own version of living plants. This is really critical to the survival of the planet. That everybody needs to go out right now, and if you have a little patch of ground, and even if it's concrete right now, you need to put some planters in there and start growing some plants. And if it's lawn, you need to rip out the grass and grow something more interesting because there's just a lot of biodiversity that we need. And we can do that in cities. We don't have to leave it to the farmers to do all those things.


It's like taking a bunch of people from the city and taking them out to an apple orchard and having them pick their own apples. So unless they really experience that, they just don't quite get it. And so, I applaud Carrie's initiative with urbans and Karen's "Kiss The Ground" film, because it starts to touch on that in different ways. I think one of the things that struck me the most was just the fact that by using all these different types of chemicals on the ground, that you don't have soil anymore. You just have dirt. That's like dust, and I don't like dusting things. And so that's part of the problem, but it's just that simple. When you remove nature, it goes to dirt.


Michael Kotutwa Johnson:You know, I was down in Scottsdale recently and I got to see the old, the architect, his name was Soleri, and I got to look at his original that he built down there and this is going to get to agriculture, believe it or not. And so he had this idea of building these houses, like halfway under the ground, in this desert environment. And he was taking full advantage of what nature was giving him and just by his observations. And so those houses were off the charts. Energy efficient, nice and cool in the and 120 degree weather. That's kind of what it is. And so I don't know the man generally since passed away, but our way of doing things right now is to just go out and sit there and observe about what's going on.


I mean, that sounds kind of crazy, but before I even put something on the field or start open something up, I kind of sit there and see what it gives me. For example, I'm able to tell if we're going to have a drought or not just by looking at the types of fauna that's on the ground in the springtime. That tells me exactly how deep I got a plant. How much moisture I have in my soil. I don't need modern technology to do that. I mean, modern technology is great if it's used properly. I'm a full fan of all that stuff, but when it comes to nature, nature is its own modern technology. And so these ecosystems that we're a part of just take a little while for us to see what they have to offer us.


Carrie Vaughn:Well, I mean, there's so many different things to think about. Like, I don't know, here in Washington, D.C., most of the schools around here have gardens. So that would be one way to start. And they're not big gardens. It's a four by eight wooden box with some compost in it and growing some food. So that's an easy way to start, or even like a planter in the window in the classroom. Just that experience of getting seeds to germinate and watching them grow and having the kids participate, having them pull the radish out of the ground. That's a way to start. And then maybe for older kids you might think about, "Okay, what does our campus look like? What can we do to increase the root mass in the soil? So can we grow some more trees? Can we have more forest? Can we have a food forest? Maybe we don't need quite as much space for the baseball field and the soccer field and the whatever else we're doing out there. Maybe we also want a little space for growing something."


Maybe you could take the time to think with the kids about, a lot of times we don't pay attention to what's growing under the soil. And this film does such a great job of paying attention to that. So when you look at a tree, you see how big the tree is above the ground. Well, it is exactly that big below ground as well. And then in addition to the roots that the tree has created underground, it also has relationships with mycorrhizal fungi and all kinds of other things that are creating more carbon channels in the ground to connect trees to one another and to get the tree to access more minerals and water and things like that.


So as we learn about that, then the kids can think about, "Okay, well, so if I can look around at what's above ground, let's imagine how much carbon is being stored below ground. And can we increase that?" Because if our goal here is to increase percentage of organic matter in the soil from, let's say 1% to 4%, which is what we need to do in order to save our climate chaos, then gosh, there's so many simple things that we can do even in our own schoolyard. And that can include like, okay, "Well, instead of cutting down that tree, why don't we plant more?" You know, something like that.


Angela Roberts:Well, thank you, unfortunately, that is all the time that we have tonight. I would like for everyone to join me in thanking tonight's speakers, Karen, Michael, and Carrie, as well as all of our friends at "Kiss The ground". A special thanks to our donors, our volunteers, and to you for making tonight's program possible, as well as our partners who help us reach, educate, and empower people all over the world. If you want to keep up with us and our programs, make sure to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and check out our upcoming events on our webpage. Links for both of those are in the Q&A. You'll also see a link to a survey in the Q&A, and we hope that you'll take a moment to respond. We read every response and we really appreciate your feedback. That's how we learn and grow. Again, thank you to our participants and to you, the audience and happy Earth Day.


Right now, soil might be the last thing on your mind. But in a moment when the future of our planet and humankind is at stake, nothing may be more important than regenerating the ground beneath us. Documentary film "Kiss The Ground" reveals how soil could be the key to our climate crisis.


After his success, he joined Sidecar, a ridesharing company before Lyft and Uber. He was part of the team of onboarding new drivers quickly. They performed background and criminal checks using a safe and automated process. After that, he worked on the user growth and worked closely with the marketing team to scale the business. Once again, the company was sold, but this time it was bought by the automotive giant G.M., not a huge tech company.


One of the more poignant scenes in Kiss the Ground is when they show NASA footage displaying the amount of carbon circulating in the atmosphere during our springtime tilling season vs. summer when the plants come up and draw down that carbon. The difference is irrefutable. Also, chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers used on crops not only hurt the environment by leaching toxic chemicals into our groundwater, air, food, animals, wildlife and more, they also degrade the soil by killing off all its beneficial microbes. 041b061a72


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