Have you seen this movie trailer for “Dirt“? Apparently it's been out for a while, but I think it's only slowly moving around the country, as smaller budget movies often have to do to gain momentum.
The topic of dirt fascinates me.
If our dirt is void of nutrients, then the food we eat that was grown in that soil, or the animal foods we eat that ate the plants from the soil, is going to be void of nutrients.
Only organic, sustainable farming can preserve soil quality, and ultimately preserve our health. Current conventional farming practices rob the dirt of nutrients, rob us of nutrients, and rob the earth of dirt!
The following videos and links below explain more:
- Living the dream, the life of a businessman farmer (a great post from my friend, Chris, and gorgeous farm pictures!)
- Folks This Ain't Normal – Joel Salatin video on his new book
- A conventional pig farm in the 1980's – About the farm my husband grew up on
- The importance of healthy soil with Jay McCaman
- The quest for nutrient-dense food — high brix farming and gardening
- Milk comes from cows not beans
- Have you seen the other food movies I've written about?
jason and lisa says
we make compost tea almost every day actually.. look it up if you havent heard of it.. 100% natural, 100% organic, 100% homemade.. its a way to make a little compost go a very long way..not only do you multiply the enzymes and good bacteria for the soil, you have it in the form of a liquid which is taken up by the plants instantly.. it also helps to speed up the “making compost” process… we have one of those canisters that you can hook up to a hose pipe and fill it up with compost tea (made for bug spray) and it runs through the canister and sprays our tea out easily for us..check it out..
-jason and lisa-
Kelly, I could do a composting/soil building post for you.
Thank you Jeanmarie, I’d looooooooove that, just let me know when you have a chance to write it up. 🙂
Composting doesn’t have many minerals if it’s composted from food grown in demineralized soil, right? I remember Natasha Campbell McBride said ground volcanic rock was the best way to get the soil quality up, for whatever that’s worth.
[email protected] says
Thanks for sharing about this Kelly! My local library has it available, so am excited to see it.
Kelly, in addition to composting I’d like to see a post on soil building. We have composted and something is still wrong with our soil 🙁 Our cucumbers have done so bad the past 4 years or more that they are unedible. And last year we had the plants but not cucumbers at all! Our peppers did well though so I have no idea. The tomatoes are doing better than the cucumbers but worse than the peppers. Now I’ve grown all these plants for years at a different house too… so it’s not my care technique. I’m pretty sure its the soil 🙁 And I don’t know what to do.
Kelly, I would love to see a post on composting. I have printed off much and read a little bit about it, but it seems a little overwhelming trying to get the pH balance right. Unless any of you good folk could give a beginner some good pointers? I think one of the other draw-backs is coming up w/ a simple way of ‘turning’ the compost. My ideal would be one of those barrells that you could just hand-crank, but you wouldn’t be able to hold much in there and it can get pricey if you’re not very handy at making things (like myself). Looking forward to the comments on this post . . .can’t wait to see the movie! My in-laws will be starting our family garden again soon – can’t wait! I may try my hand at constructing a raised garden bed for my backyard. Happy (soon-to-be) Spring everyone!
If you are interested in composting, you should give it a shot. It’s not as ‘scientific’ as it’s sometimes made out to be…it’s natural! I live in an apartment in Chicago so it’s been challenging but I’d recommend it to anyone. You get the hang of it eventually and you just know what it needs. A little soggy/smelly/fly-attracting? Add some shredded paper, dry leaves or other dry/brown material! Smells too citrusy? Add less citrus (and in my case that’s usually a sign I should stop eating so many lemons)! Looks too dry? Add more food scraps (never have I ever had a problem with mine being too dry, but I hear some people do).
If you get in the habit of chopping your food up and adding some ‘brown’ materials at the same time as your food, it just becomes second nature. I’ve tried worm composting, outdoor barrell composting and (bought used from craigslist) a naturemill automatic composter. If we can’t get our food to the bin immediately, we got in the habit of keeping it in a bowl in the fridge.
I think the worm bins are the cheapest, especially if you make your own bin from a plastic tub, so that would be my recommendation to a beginner if you don’t want to shell out too much money (also there is no turning the worms). And I think worms are cool…it’s like I have a little worm village living under my sink!
Another option is to compost-in-situ. I am terminally lazy so it has been my method of choice for years. Sure, there’s something romantic in having designated compost piles but, really, why go to all of that work when I don’t have to? I just pile the stuff on the garden (or feed to the chickens which, in turn, becomes compost) and use gobs and gobs of wood chips. (You can find free sources for wood chips through many municipalities or, in our case, our rural electric company.) Ol’ Man Time and worms compost everything right in place. No turning. No worries about internal temps and browns:greens ratios. No wheelbarrowing across the garden. Easy peasy.
I looked for it and it is available on Netflix! I’m watching this tonight!
I had not heard of this movie. It sounds interesting. I remember years ago how I would buy starter tomato & pepper plants for my garden and never gave a thought to the soil. I just stuck them in the ground and watered them. Who knows what kind of nutrients I got out of them.
Now we compost. I understand better how we need good soil to get good plants. I grew up a city slicker, but I am trying to learn more about farming. We’ll never have a farm but I want to learn more. My goal is to grow more of my food and buy less at the grocery store. Of course that doesn’t work in the winter.
Wendy (The Local Cook) says
I just saw this at Wealthy Theater on Wednesday night. Awesome movie. Has inspired me to try composting this year 🙂