New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Dirt! The Movie – the importance of soil

Dirt! The Movie introduces viewers to dirt’s fascinating history. Four billion years of evolution have created the dirt that recycles our water, gives us food, provides us shelter, and that can be used as a source of medicine, beauty and culture.

Dirt! The Movie proves that times are changing. Brown is the new green. More than 25 renowned global visionaries in countries around the world are discovering new ways of thinking as they come together to repair this natural resource with practical, viable solutions. These participants include Paul Stamets: Mycologist; Andy Lipkis: President, Founder of TreePeople; Vandana Shiva: Physicist, Environmental Activist; Wes Jackson: President, The Land Institute; Majora Carter: Founder, Sustainable South Bronx; Alice Waters: Founder, The Edible Schoolyard; and John Todd: Biologist, Ecological Designer.

To capture these prescient people and their inspiring stories, the production team filmed in more than 20 locations, including Argentina, Brazil, India, and Kenya.

On their journey, the filmmakers found:

farmers and agronomists re-discovering sustainable agriculture

tiny villages standing up for their right to feed their families

scientists discovering connections with soil that can help reduce global warming including ways to generate electricity from soils and sediments

inmates finding inner peace and job skills in a prison horticulture program

children uncovering the secrets of soil fertility and eating from edible schoolyards.


DIRT! The Movie–directed and produced by Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow–takes you inside the wonders of the soil. It tells the story of Earth’s most valuable and underappreciated source of fertility–from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation.

The opening scenes of the film dive into the wonderment of the soil. Made from the same elements as the stars, plants and animals, and us, “dirt is very much alive.” Though, in modern industrial pursuits and clamor for both profit and natural resources, our human connection to and respect for soil has been disrupted. “Drought, climate change, even war are all directly related to the way we are treating dirt.”

DIRT! the Movie–narrated by Jaime Lee Curtis–brings to life the environmental, economic, social and political impact that the soil has. It shares the stories of experts from all over the world who study and are able to harness the beauty and power of a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with soil.

DIRT! the Movie is simply a movie about dirt. The real change lies in our notion of what dirt is. The movie teaches us: “When humans arrived 2 million years ago, everything changed for dirt. And from that moment on, the fate of dirt and humans has been intimately linked.” But more than the film and the lessons that it teaches, DIRT the Movie is a call to action.

“The only remedy for disconnecting people from the natural world is connecting them to it again.”

What we’ve destroyed, we can heal.

Visit the movie web site here and see more videos and information.