If there was a way to eat food without damaging the planet, would you do it?

There’s so much bad news about our planet, and sometimes it seems like our environment is in an uncontrollable downward spiral. However, as it turns out, there’s a simple solution to healing our planet – and it starts with the soil under our feet.

Modern agricultural practices are not designed for betterment of the soil, and damaged soil releases carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere, leading to a whole host of environmental problems. We can fix a lot of our climate issues by starting with the soil, giving us the possibility of reversing global warming over the next generation. To cure our climate, we need to cure our soil, and a new documentary is shedding light on this crucial issue.

Narrated by Woody Harrelson, “Kiss the Ground” is a full-length documentary that uncovers an alternative approach to farming called regenerative agriculture. This sustainable approach enables us to much better balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies and feed the world. Now streaming on Netflix, Kiss the Ground unpacks the ways in which our soil holds the key to combatting climate change and preserving the planet.

Most climate change documentaries leave you feeling powerless, paralysed, depressed and wanting to give up. This one is hopeful. Through it we learn about land regeneration and the importance of storing carbon in our soils, and how to replace efficient systems with resilient systems.

Why do we need soil carbon?

Soil carbon is leached from the earth by current unsustainable land management and agricultural practices, as well as the extended dry periods we often experience in Australia.  Without carbon and critical microbes, soil deteriorates into simple dirt with very little benefit to anyone or anything.

Soil carbon sequestration is the process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and stored in the soil. The process is primarily carried out by plants through photosynthesis, or through chemical reactions in the soil.

Carbon sequestration effectively reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thus reducing dangerous global climate change. It slows the accumulation in the ocean and atmosphere of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels. Soil structure, health and function are dramatically improved by maintaining higher levels of organic carbon in the soil. Plus, healthy soil allows for people to be fed by improving productivity and the nutritional value of foods growing in it.

The challenges of building and maintaining soil carbon

It’s clear that we need to seek out opportunities to bring carbon back into our soils where it belongs. This can often be a challenge in Australia’s often-arid conditions and dry climate.

More sustainable farming, grazing and water-retention practices will all up build carbon in the soil – but these are of course, often a challenge to implement.

How we can achieve greater carbon levels in the soil?

Biosequestration is using plants, trees and techniques of raising and farming to capture carbon and store it in the soil. There are many carbon capture solutions such as composting, afforestation, conservation agriculture, tree intercropping, seaweed farming, eating a plant-rich diet, managed grazing, forest conservation, farmland restoration, and indigenous land management – just to name a few. All of them are necessary parts of a greater process of helping our systems become more resilient and sustainable. Appropriate land management is necessary to increase and retain significant levels of carbon in our depleted soils.

Where compost fits in

Compost is a crucial component to achieving what is advocated in this documentary. When used together with other carbon-friendly farming practices, composting can help build and maintain soil carbon, in a way that will last for years.

The benefits of compost

Compost can improve:

  • Soil structure
  • Soil quality
  • Soil productivity
  • Soil depth
  • Plant growth
  • Nutrient availability
  • The amount of water available to plants
  • The amount of carbon in the soil
  • Crop quality and production
  • The soil’s ability to moderate against unexpected fluctuations in moisture levels and temperature

The use of a quality compost will also decrease the level of fertiliser and water inputs needed in crop production.

NuGrow’s contribution

Of course, this all meshes perfectly with NuGrow’s circular economy philosophy and emphasis on revegetation and regeneration. Composting is a big part of what we offer here at NuGrow, with all of our products designed to improve soil fertility and micro-life, and enhance growth rates and yields. We convert waste streams into high grade composts, premium soils and soil conditioners that are used to improve the quality of soil across a wide range of civil, commercial, agricultural and landscape applications across the state. What this adds up to is a commitment to curing our soil and a significant contribution to storing carbon in our soils, thus doing our bit to combat climate change – something we’re justifiably proud of.

You can find out more about our compost products here.

Watch the documentary

The Kiss the Ground documentary also includes an exclusive live Q&A with Gisele Bundchen, Woody Harrelson and Ian Somerhalder, plus the filmmakers, famers and activities behind the regenerative movement.

You can find out more about the Kiss the Ground movement here or watch the documentary on Netflix here.

So, it is possible to produce our food without damaging the planet – and we all have a role to play in doing so. Get in contact with us if you’d like to find out how we can help you do just that.