“The Need to Grow” is a documentary that centers around the urgent issue of topsoil depletion. According to the UN, we have fewer than 60 years left of healthy topsoil left if we continue business as usual. This film did a great job of breaking down this issue for people that might be unfamiliar with our current degenerative practices of feeding the planet. Something I learned was how ALIVE soil is when it’s healthy; there can be 6 Billion microbes in 1 tablespoon of soil. All of this life is essential to storing carbon, preventing erosion and regenerating life. In our current agricultural system, we sacrifice life for the sake of profit through mass production using monocultures. Food that is grown on “dead dirt,” as the film refers to it, needs tons of chemical fertilizers and pesticides just to create subpar food. They touch on a concept of design called Permaculture and how important it is to create closed-loop systems. One amazing closed-loop system mentioned in the film is The Green Power House (GPH). Michael Smith, the creator of the GPH, talks about the use of organic waste to create biochar. Taking waste that would normally go to landfills, he can grow bananas year-round in Montana AND power 100 homes! 

This film is different than other environmental documentaries because it offers so many ways to become involved in preserving our soils. With the ideas and action steps this film provides, anyone can start making changes to save the soil right now. “The Need to Grow” talks about food security and how your local area can develop food security by starting a community garden and using it to educate others and empower them to garden. Wherever one finds themselves they can garden, whether in an apartment window or an acre of land, every little bit matters. The crew of “The Need to Grow” also interviews a young lady in GirlScouts who shared how she pressured Girl Scouts of America to get GMOs out of the cookies and how she started a seed library in her school. Regardless of your age, this film gives everyone the inspiration to get started. 

I highly recommend this film. If you are interested, you can watch the film here

If you feel as inspired as I did after watching this film please fill out to the Regenerative Agriculture Committee’s sign-up sheet so we can get you looped in to save the soil!

by Jenna Lozano