“Kiss The Ground”: One For The Watchlist

“Kiss The Ground”: One For The Watchlist

With an audience score of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes and massive popularity on Netflix, the full-length documentary “Kiss the Ground” sheds light on the regenerative agriculture approach for farmers and the general public alike.

If you haven’t watched it yet, add it to your list! 

Narrated by Woody Harrelson, the documentary reveals how regenerative agriculture has the potential to balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world. 

It all started with Graeme Sait 

Interestingly enough, Zylem and “Kiss The Ground” share a similar source of inspiration. In the early days, Zylem founder Justin Platt had a serendipitous meeting with Graeme Sait of Nutri-Tech Solutions (NTS) that cemented his resolve to develop a business around our concept of: ‘Soil Health, Plant Health for Human Health’. In 2005, Graeme Sait conducted his first series of soil health seminars in South Africa, hosted by Zylem.

In 2013, Kiss The Ground non-profit organisation co-founder, Ryland Engelhart, was invited to a conference in New Zealand to participate in a panel where experts explored whether humans could sustain life on Earth. It was here that Graeme Sait introduced Ryland to the concept of regenerative agriculture and the idea that if we could pull enough carbon out of the atmosphere and sequester it in soil, we could stabilise the climate.

After this life-changing encounter, Engelhart along with co-founders, Finian Makepeace and Lauren Tucker, gathered friends, neighbours and colleagues into Engelhart’s living room every week to figure out how to build public awareness and change the global narrative around soil as a solution to so many of humanity’s problems.

“They have done amazing work in spreading the word around the world,” Sait says.

Look down, look underneath

Zylem Managing Director Justin Platt feels that the documentary’s cover image of the tree and roots says it all. “The world sees the above-ground tree, with little consideration that this is simply the result of the relationship between the below-ground roots and soil. Gabe Brown, Ray Archuleta and Alan Savory highlighted what it takes to feed the world, but not at the expense of the soil – regenerative agriculture!” 

Justin refers to two “factories” of plant life, and thus life on Earth:

  1. The above-ground part of the tree houses (in the form of chlorophyll) the most efficient factory in the world – photosynthesis. Although 95% of the raw materials on which this “factory” is dependent are the freely available carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, water and sunlight, the crucial +/- 5% comprise minerals from the soil. The efficiency with which these minerals are made available to the plant is inextricably associated with a complex relationship between soil microbes and root hairs.
  2. The interface of root hair and soil is known as the rhizosphere, which is the second-most important (but lesser-known) factory.

Kiss The Ground highlights what is required to maximise the efficiency of the rhizosphere (the dynamic area governed by complex interactions between plants and the organisms that are in close association with the root), which they refer to as regenerative agriculture. This delicate rhizosphere interface is compromised by inorganic fertilisers and pesticides, which is DEGENERATIVE agriculture.

Another issue highlighted by the film is the importance of ensuring that every centimetre of ground has something growing in it (whether it be a farm, park or garden of any size). Anyone watching the movie will be horrified to see the clouds of dust and dirt disappearing into the atmosphere while the ploughs do their thing.

It’s not too late to start on your soil health journey.

Get in touch with the Zylem team to find out more about our soil health solutions. Contact us on 033 347 2893 or send your enquiry to admin@zylemsa.co.za.

Find out more about “Kiss The Ground“.

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