London, 17 May: Symphony of the Soil UK premiere

I am a soil lover.

Some see soil as dirty.

What does that say about our relationship with the world?

Love soil – our lives depend on it.

I am proud to be promoting the Symphony of the Soil UK film premiere on 17 May 2012.

With specially-composed music from a Hollywood great, and original animation, Symphony of the Soil is a multi-media film. Read its roll-call of expert interviewees soil scientists, farmers and campaigners including Dr Vandana Shiva.

Organico, the Mediterranean organic food company, is sponsoring the invitation-only premiere. Do Like Organico on Facebook for the chance to win tickets to this exclusive event.

Director and filmmaker, Deborah Koons Garcia (above) will be  talking about Symphony of the Soil with the Soil Association’s Helen Browning OBE and organic farmer.

In 2006, I organised the London premiere of Deborah Koons Garcia’s film documentary The Future of Food. It examined the corporate domination of our food system, sounding the alarm on GM patents, and exposed revolving-door politics between biotetch executives and the US administration.

The Future of Food helped spearhead the US real food movement, currently calling for GM labelling in California.

Deborah Koons Garcia says  that Symphony of the Soil is a positive film because we can all do something, such as make compost or support organic farms.

“I am making a positive film, science presented in an artistic manner [so] that people will fall in love with [soil] and become part of the soil community – because we are anyway. We rise up from it and we go back to it. So we’re part of it and when we are responsible members of the soil community, we give back to it, it gives back to us. …

“When people see this film they’ll actually become even more committed to a positive relationship with soil.”

As I am writing this blog, I hear BBC radio news announce: “Half of Britain is in drought.”

I shout to the radio: “Go organic!”

Organic soils retain more water than non-organic soils, according to long-term research.

If we put back what we take out, the soil can nurture us.

“We don’t grow plants. We grow healthy soil – and the soil grows the plants,” says a grower in the film.

Symphony of the Soil illuminates the complex dynamic relationship between soil life plants – “a dialogue of nutrients.”

It is all common sense. You have to put back what you take out otherwise soil becomes barren.

So why not listen to our common sense?

Follow the money.

Dr Hans Herren co-chaired the IASSTD 400-strong scientific review of agriculture which found that what the world needs now is small-scale ecological farming.

Interviewed in the Symphony of the Soil, Herren says of organic farming:

“…but it does not fill the pockets of the few. It only feeds the consumer and the farmer.”

Symphony of the Soil is a beautiful and moving film – shows how clever and intricate and subtle nature is.

But it will also made me angry and sad because there is so much needless destruction of this natural precious resource.

17 responses to “London, 17 May: Symphony of the Soil UK premiere

  1. Very pleased to be coming along to this event being a keen gardener and allotmenter who likes to follow the organic principles too!


  2. it sounds great – I always feel very grateful to the people who make these things happen. I love soil too – too much perhaps. When I was little I used to eat it but when I got older I realised that I wasn’t supposed to! Now I just love to keep it healthy and free of artificial fertilizers.


  3. Laura, delighted you are coming! Let me know if you need any more info.

    Grace, made me laugh. But maybe the child’s instinct is right? Apparently, the best way to know if soil is healthy is to smell it.


  4. “Some see soil as dirty.
    What does that say about our relationship with the world?”
    I love this!


  5. A hook for the film? Organic soil prevents drought, says filmmaker Deborah Coones.

    A very important point, and this sounds like a great film. Thanks for doing this, Elisabeth.


  6. Would love to have gone but I’m already booked for a concert in Bristol. Shame. I looked at their website and it looks very good. Have a great evening.


  7. Looks totally amazing – I will be there if I can be!


  8. Really excited to be coming along. I used to eat soil as a child too (and I still sometimes do – especially when i go home and I smell the ‘just rained’ smell after a storm). How lucky to come from a place where we are quite far behind most of the world that our farming is pretty much organic! I am excited about this.


  9. Dudzai, so glad you came! Yes, Britain’s food culture is sadly impoverished over centuries – due to the Enclosures movement (when common land was taken from the people) and the Industrial Revolution where people left the countryside for city poverty and food dependency. I am not saying life was idyllic on the past (obviously!) but countries such as France and Italy which industrialised later have a stronger food culture. Where is the place you come from?


    • I am originally from Zimbabwe and moved over here when we were still known as “the breadbasket of Africa”. I’m a big believer in the land being able to look after itself and spent part of my gap year in Uganda teaching communities on Mout Elgon how to make pesticides etc. from the plants around them. Sustainable, integrated organic farming is really good.


      • Hi Dudzai

        Thank you for letting me know. Just those words about Zimbabwe when it was “still known as the breadbasket of Africa” encouraged me to find out more. I like the sound of the “land being able to look after itself”. I guess it is only when humans start cultivating it, that we need to take care, making sure we put back what we take out. Making pesticides from plants? This also sounds interesting! I hope you return and share more, and/or point us to some more information…

        As a words/ideas person, I admire those who do practical things to nourish the land! But I hope I can help by passing on information…like a worm or soil bacteria digesting compost to hopefully make humus….



  10. I heard what a great success it was for you and for Organico. Hurrah for back to the soil


    • Thank you, Geraldine.

      I know you would have been at the premiere if you could have!

      Thanks for coming to the 2006 UK premiere of Deborah Garcia’s film, The Future of Food which helped expose the efforts of GM seed companies such as Monsanto to grab the patents on life forms.

      Thanks for all your support, always.



  11. Pingback: Home Grown Seasonal Salad with a Mint, Oregano & Lime dressing

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