God Made Dirt & Dirt Don’t Hurt
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Today, it’s looking more like Christmas than almost-April. We’ve received quite a bit of snow in the last few days and it’s making me long for spring more than ever. In honor of that first real spring day that’s sure to come (eventually), let’s talk about what is sitting quietly beneath all that pretty white stuff…

DIRT.

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Last week I watched the documentary Dirt: The Movie, based on the book by William Bryant Logan. It’s a fabulous compilation of scientists, farmers, and thinkers all coming together and talking about the unassuming, unsung element that is below our feet.

If you think dirt is a boring subject, you’ll be surprised at just how quickly you’ll be drawn into this documentary. You’ll meet a wine expert who actually tastes the soils of the vineyards he visits; you’ll be introduced to physicist/activist/farmer Vandana Shiva, who works to save seeds in India; you’ll hear from a man who runs a horticulture job-training program for inmates at NYC Riker’s Island prison. You’ll also meet a contracting company who uses mud for their building projects, and you’ll see mycologist Paul Stamets’ tromping around in the forest.

Harvard professor Peter Girguis says,

“What we often call dirt, you know, the stuff you are trying to wash off our car or wash off our driveways, are really these soils and sediments that are vital to keeping our biosphere healthy, which is all about keeping the plants and animals and ourselves alive. Soils and sediments are really more like a living skin on the earth, and they are the stewards of our planet.”

If you’re looking for an meaningful and easy-to-understand way to learn more about soil and its interconnectedness with our lives, I highly recommend watching Dirt.

 

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About Brie Aronson

Brie Aronson came to Polyface from southern California. During college, she was diagnosed with food allergies and had to begin asking about the source of every single thing she put in her mouth. This led to an interest in all things food and she sought out a way to learn how it can be produced ethically and sustainably. Her desire is to help people shift their focus from counting calories, being intimidated by their kitchens, and being disconnected from the land to one that experiences the life-giving enjoyment of food. Having completed the internship in summer 2010, she now assists with the buying clubs and sales building, leads school tours of the farm, and will be the summer 2012 farm cook.
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6 Responses to God Made Dirt & Dirt Don’t Hurt

  1. Tasha says:

    “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt”, Amen and amen! And it is perfect for little boys to play in! And little girls too 🙂
    We will be checking into the movie. Thanks!

  2. Sounds interesting! I’ll check it out!

  3. Tammie says:

    We take our soil for granted because it is everywhere, but try growing fruits and vegetables in bad soil and we soon realize how important it is. Dirt is truly a gift from God and we should it as such. Thanks for bringing this important subject up.

  4. Donna says:

    Thanks so much for this recommendation! We are studying geology – rocks, types of soil and dirt this month for home school!! This will be a wonderful addition!

  5. Leilani says:

    We live on property that has been in the family for 40 years. My father-in-law was not a farmer but he did till two areas of the pasture every year for peanut and collard patches (and who knows what else). He tilled and he planted, and he tilled and he planted, and nothing else, you get the picture. The effects of the loss of topsoil is astounding. The rest of our pasture though not as nice as Polyface’s are pretty nice, the two areas that were plowed for years are barren sand pits. We are slowly working on bringing balance back to these areas.

  6. Elizabeth Moon Gabet says:

    This is a great movie! I loved it so much I had to purchase it and watch it periodically as I pick up on something else each time I see it. Dirt is indeed the the ecstatic skin of the earth very much alive and waiting for us to have a co-creative relationship with it (read books by Joel, Will Allen, Wes Jackson, and others) so we, the animals, plants, minerals, etc. can thrive together on this beautiful blue green planet. The interview with William Bryant Logan inspired me to get his book, Dirt, The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, which I highly recommend also. Be sure you watch all of the extras, added features, etc.