Jun 14, 2021 | Information, Movie of the Month

THE NEED TO GROW, is this month’s film. The 90-minute film is available free on Google by clicking here.

Part of what made this such a fascinating film, for me, was the range of experts, from a young Girl Scout to an oncologist/chef in Southern California, to a multi-talented “mad scientist”’ in Montana. Each of them driven to have influence – on their own – in their own community. Each of them created multiple dramatic results, though not without frustration and setbacks.

Like Kiss the Ground, The Need to Grow spends a lot of time focusing on the science behind the difference between dirt and soil. Their clearest distinction is dirt has no nutrient value for plants to access while one handful of healthy soil has more microorganisms than there are people on the planet. Chemicals kill microorganisms that plants, and people, need to thrive.

You might ask, why should we care about food and soils. After all, every town and city has grocery stores to keep us fed, doesn’t it? Cities, on average, have a four day food supply in their stores. We’ve seen what happens to food transportation when there is an earthquake, snowstorm, widespread fires or massive quarantine. As the film bluntly points out, “Total security is when you know how to grow your own food.”

The movie clearly points out that no single big plan will save our soil, environment, and our health. Instead, it will take many small, individual solutions to lead to a shift in what really matters to us, as consumers, which will ultimately lead to a shift in policies and practices. The alternative is sobering.

As consumers we can vote with our pocketbook for the kind of food we want. As gardeners we can go our little bit to grow some of our own food, and to protect and reinvigorate the soil we have available to steward. As individuals we can help teach others, especially children the joy of working in the soil.