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Master Gardeners Present “Symphony Of The Soil” Film

Written by Elizabeth Gabriel –
Pitchfork in soil - image provided by Mariposa Master GardenersMARIPOSA — If you’ve seen “The Martian” you know the plot of the Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated movie (adapted from Andy Weir’s novel) features an astronaut stranded on Mars. One of the first things he does is figure out how to turn the sterile dirt of the Red Planet into life-giving soil, so he can grow food and live long enough to be rescued.

Our whole planet could be in much the same peril, except we don’t know if there is anything out there mounting a rescue mission for us. But there is help and hope. 

The 2013 documentary “Song of the Soil” explains how soil came to be, how it’s a living thing that sustains all of us, how it’s being abused, and what we can do to help.

The Mariposa Master Gardeners will present a free showing of the film from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors chambers, 5100 Bullion St., Mariposa, on Feb. 20. Please register on the website, cemariposa.ucanr.edu, or phone (209) 966-2417 so you can be informed should any changes be made.

The New York Times review of the 2013 documentary said it was not another “what you’re doing wrong” film but one that “unfolds with gentle joy and an unexpected beauty, this ode to the miracle of the Earth’s topmost layer gives us a newfound respect for the ground beneath our feet.”

Soil - photo provided by Mariposa Master GardenersIt took Earth eons to create soil from rocks and millennia for that soil to have all the things needed for abundant life.

Since man switched from being hunter-gatherers, who took the earth’s bounty and pretty much left the soil alone, to today’s intensive agriculture, the soil has suffered.  The film shows us how we can reverse the trend and how alive the “dirt” beneath us really is.

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