Getting down and dirty

Last night I finally got around to watching “Dirt! The Movie“. As it’s name suggests the movie is all about dirt. Soil. The stuff of life.  I’m not saying that lightly – soil really is immeasurably important to all life on earth, and this movie goes a long way to explaining how and why.

I have known about the importance of soil for some time thanks to my parents adventures in organic farming, so the beginning of this movie felt a little slow to me and in all honesty I didn’t enjoy their little animations of sad micro-organisms. Nevertheless, once past all the bits I knew, and faced with examples of the mass destruction of our soil due to the clearly flawed approach of modern agriculture, deforestation and mining, I was fully hooked. Commentary from inspiring environmentalists like Wangari Maathai and Vandana Shiva add weight to those of expert gardeners, organic farmers, natural builders, arborists and even photographers from around the world who have seen and experienced first hand the importance of soil.

While the film makes a very clear point about how we ignore, abuse, and destroy our soil, it isn’t all doom and gloom. The movie ends on a positive note by showcasing a number of initiatives that aim to reconnect people to the soil, to restore degraded areas and to utilise our land in more sustainable manner.

If you are in any way concerned about understanding our human interaction with natural resources, or even if you’re just a keen gardener, this movie is a must-watch.