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PGA Green: "Symphony of the Soil" Panel

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Symphony of the Soil is a documentary feature film that was brought to PGA Green screening committee co-chair Ahuvi Goldin's attention by PGA Green Committee member Jane Evans- Head of Physical Production at DreamWorks Studios. Goldin produced the informative PGA screening and panel event.

Symphony of the Soil explores the complexity and mystery of soil and was filmed on four continents, sharing the voices of some of the world's most esteemed soil scientists, farmers and activists.  The film portrays soil as the protagonist of our planetary story.

Using a captivating mix of art and science, the film shows that soil is a complex living organism, the foundation of life on earth.  Yet most people are soil-blind and "treat soil like dirt."  Through the knowledge and wisdom shared by this film, we can come to respect, even revere, this miraculous substance, and appreciate that treating the soil right can help solve some of our most pressing environmental problems. 

The film was followed by an informative and exciting panel discussion including:

  • Big-picture ideas regarding soil and climate change, water use, health and a variety of other topics that support the case for treating soil with care.
  • How soil science is increasingly cutting-edge and relevant.  Because of advanced technology like electron microscopes and satellite images, we can examine this diverse material in ever greater detail.
  • Various wholesome farming practices such as composting, cover crops - particularly the value of legumes to replenish nitrogen to the soil - and crop rotation, as well as the latest science about the dangerous environmental and health effects of the toxic chemicals and nitrates so prevalent in industrial farming today.  A variety of other topics such as biofuels, genetic engineering and overuse of nitrogen, as well as the crucial role soil plays in sequestering carbon.
  • Design and implementation of solutions to water challenges that are good for both farmers and people who eat the food that farmers grow.  This work focuses on the importance of protecting natural resources so that future generations can carry on farming business and promote food that is safe, healthy, and sustainable.

The panel was moderated by our PGA Green Committee member Dan Halperin and included: 

  • Woody Clark - PGA Green Committee member, PhD Qualitative Economist
  • Deborah Koons Garcia of Lily Films - Producer/Director of Symphony of the Soil
  • Norma Bonilla - Founder of Soilove, certified soil activist
  • Claire O'Connor - Attorney, Agricultural Water Policy Analyst representing the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Producer/Director Deborah Koons Garcia came in from San Francisco specifically to attend the panel discussion and was so impressed with the event she joined the guild.  Thank you to the PGA Green Committee for putting together such a wonderful event.

*photo courtesy of Jane Evans 

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