Scientists still do not fully understand the complex microbial webs and their symbiotic relationships in soil, but they are beginning to grasp how microbes – fungi and bacteria – are able to capture and cycle nutrients in the food chain. This is potentially of profound significance. Our current industrial methods of agriculture 'mine' the soil – denuding it of nutrients and compensating by adding (petroleum based) chemicals to boost fertility.
What if we could learn to capture bioproductivity faster than even a rainforest and apply these lesson not only to agrarian farming, but to pasture, pigs, sugarcane, poultry, bananas and horticulture. What if, instead of working with antibiotics to kill potentially harmful bacteria, we could work probiotically, harnessing beneficial living cultures? The short answer is that we can.
One criticism of permaculture and agro-ecology is that it is still largely anecdotal and we do not have evidence-based data to prove that we can feed the world. This film opens the door to soil science and then explains why bioproductivity has the potential to be vastly more efficient and economic than fossil fuel based agriculture. It explains why soil systems are crashing worldwide and what we have to do about it. It then presents a case for permaculture/agro-ecology.
There are case studies of living soils in many types of agriculture with explanations about balancing microbes, remineralising the soil, bio-fertilisers (compost teas on a big scale) and their beneficial effects. These include increased drought resistance, higher yields and nutrients (present in the end product), greater biodiversity, and even cases where farms have been saved from bankruptcy.
The basis of continued healthy human life on this planet is healthy soil. This film is the A to Z on the subject. Want a revolution in consciousness? It starts under your feet.
This review first appeared in Permaculture Magazine issue 75
Check out this excellent explanation of biological farming and microbial balancing (fixing the soil biologically) from the DVD.