The Soil Solution Film Preview

if someone just walked up to the soil and said oh that’s just some dirt it would be like looking at the ocean and saying oh look at that big bucket of water soil is a super organism meaning that uh… it’s alive it’s teeming with life teeming with diversity
much similar to our own bodies know i mean your own body seventy
percent of the cells of your body are actually bacteria theoretically we’re more bacteria than
we are even human worldwatch calls soil the quiet crisis
of the twenty first century so we are uh… unbeknownst to the vast majority
of people seriously eroding not only losing
soil to erosion that’s the most visible thing but we’re actually losing
organic matter or killing organic matter in the soil and for people who don’t know, just imagine that you’re a microorganism
or an earthworm living in the soil and someone dumps millions of pounds of either fertilizer which intuitively might not seem like a bad
thing meaning it several chemicals dumps you know intense concentrations of these
three chemicals on your and then pours herbicides and pesticides on which our
biocides, they are designed to kill things anybody hear that think we’re gonna end up
with more ganic matter in the soil so we’re killing organic matter in the soil
and we’re losing it due to mechanical losses, soil erosion and ummm most of the consensus reports are losing
about a half a percent a year globally so this is not an insignificant
thing as soon as you start killing the organisms with
these inorganic fertilizers with these salts with these toxic chemicals you just go
downhill faster. You destroy more and more of the biology more and more quickly until you’re really in a system that you have no choice but to use those inorganic fertilizers you
have to and you start to see effects on water quality because all of those inorganic
fertilizers are highly leachable we start seeing rivers and lakes and
streams having horrible problems and we have no good water to drink or it starts costing an incredible amount
of money to buy the drinking water that tastes ok so it’s having far reaching consequences
in our whole society human health is definitely very much involved. Well
animal health is involved if the plants that you’re eating don’t contain the nutrients to keep
your animals healthy to keep you healthy our health is suffering so can we reverse all of this process
how do you make those organisms and get them
back into the soil and it’s fairly simple we go back to what was described
in the roman empire and we make a really good compost that’s
got all these organisms in it our early results show that the very thin layer of
compost which i spread with that machine the compost spreader improved biomass and and that all these
benefits there’s no downside to it so now i’m very excited about making my own
compost these wood chips were all from
triming the roads coming in. So i’d chip the woody debris from road maintenance cow manure right now we’re importing it, but
over time if we develop our dairy idea thsi is a great place to take
cow manure or wood chips and then all the weeds that we harvest, and the coyote bush
things like that that are rich in nitrogen and combine them and create compost which is a soil amendment which we can then put it back out on the
landscape up until now the the sad truth is i actually used to take the
weed seeds to the dump and i would call the
dump and say that I have a noxious weed load and then they would dig a pit and then we
would bury them this is a much better solution in terms
of taking nutrients that i grew on my ranch and putting them back into the system so
now we’re talking about new nutrient management rather than externalizing a problem and burning fossil fuels doing it by being good stewards of the land increasing our organic matter in our soil we’re producing more food we’re producing more
grass and we’re sequestering carbon at the same time so this is fava beans and what I’m showing is see all these little nodgels this one in particular right here I smash that, and all the pink stuff and stuff these are nitrogen fixing nodgels, meaning that they are fixing atmospheric nitrogen and making it plant available nitrogen so all those little nodules working to pull atmospheres nitrogen and make it plant available so this is what we want to see this is why you want to plant a cover crop and fava beans are known as one
of the successful cover crop species carbon on and in the soil is the key to water. If we’re interested in water we have to be interested in carbon and soil carbon is in effect the keystone of
all of our ecosystem services that come from land from terrestrial our terrestrial biosphere so that is why the life in the soil is so important and why mulch is so key because mulch isn’t just holding moisture it’s also sequestering carbon and and converting helping plants convert co2 into
humus and um and also creating the conditions for
all kinds of teeming communities of microorganisms that
maintain stability it’s key, and once you learn this stuff you
never wants to spray that stuff on the land again I love that expression the universe beneath our
feet and it just brings to mind looking up into the night sky and seeing
countless stars and there’s a whole world out there that’s just unimaginably big so to are the microbes in the soil food web beneath our feet everywhere we walk on soil in every teaspoon are billions of interacting and inter
relating microbes and they are the source and creation of fertility in
soil they are what allow plants to grow so clearly if there was no soil food web in my mind we would not have plants if we had no plants that wouldn’t just knock out the vegetarians in the world
it would knock out all of us including the cows and the pigs and the goats and the chickens too every person has to realize that the way they’re
living is either taking something out or taking less out or actually putting
something back so whether it be promoting soil fertility by eating organic food or just a little composting yourself at home or growing a little
something all these little things i think it does relate to each person
you know and ultimately if you go all the way to climate change and the issue of carbon sequestration in the soil which i think there’s an amazing next
chapter in people’s awareness of the soil you can see that anything you do that
increases soil fertility is actually a small piece of reversing climate change
and i think there is general uh… hope that um if enough of the world moves in an organic direction and we begin adding more organic matter the soil it actually could make a measurable difference in the trajectory of climate change
which is a big thing to say but it’s also a real beautiful prospect i think i think right now the
opportunity to learn are manifold there everywhere there are opportunities everywhere
you know thirty years ago it wasn’t so easy to find a place to learn this stuff but today there are agro agriculture forestry departments in
almost every every ag or were forestry school there are permaculture institutes all over the
planet there’s organic farming happening everywhere virtually every country has an organic farming movement so the opportunities are significant community gardens everywhere, farmers markets everywhere many many many opportunities to engage anywhere there’s a piece of ground any where there is a piece of ground you have the potential to engage in this process, so go for it!

Bernard Jenkins


  1. Very interesting, good ideas and actions pity only a few views for such an important subject.

  2. The film is done! We will be selling it soon at our website Sustainable World Media.com. Can't wait to share The Soil Solution with the world. 🙂

  3. Soil is alive! There are billions of living organisms in the universe beneath our feet. 

  4. I believe that the soil needs to be treated with respect because any kind of chemicals that you put on the soil will not brake down and ended up either in the food or in the water. Therefore finding organic solutions like manure, mulch or other micro organisms, and of course plants those will help with bringing back an equilibrium in to that living organisms

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