The documentary film on the recurring subject of regenerative farming, COMMON GROUND, rolls out in theaters across America starting Wednesday, Sept. 27 and features the narration of actors and activists Jason Momoa, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Rosario Dawson and Laura Dern alongside North Dakota regenerative farmer Gabe Brown.
The elegantly photographed and empowering film highlights the information and tools needed to alter food and agricultural systems by working with nature and employing the principles of regenerative farming. Research has shown that increased production of healthier crops that are chemical-free with more calories per acre than the chemical-laden GMO crops at a lower cost of production, and the added benefit of healthier soil, retains more water and stores carbon from the atmosphere than chemically-laden soils.
Created by Ojai-based filmmakers Josh and Rebecca Tickell, who also produced Kiss The Ground, On Sacred Ground about events behind the Dakota Access Pipeline and Regenerate Ojai, the couple continues their healthy soil crusade in the latest film that shows that regenerative agriculture is firmly rooted in traditional ecological knowledge. Much of what’s called “regenerative agriculture” has been practiced by indigenous people and in Europe for generations. The film takes a deep dive into the agricultural history of the United States, how the food we eat has changed, and an encouraging approach to regeneration.
According to the Tickells, their series on soil is an urgent call to action and a plan for how to save the future, heal the climate, and fix a broken food system — all through regenerative agriculture. It’s meant to be a vehicle to teach farmers how to convert to the regenerative format. The movement is an effort to build climate and economic resilience in farming communities by encouraging a diversity of crops that can better withstand pests, droughts, hurricanes and flooding.
A long list of experts who also appear in the doc includes Certified Professional Soil Scientist with the Soil Science Society of America Ray Archuleta; president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group, Ken Cook; and noted cardiologist Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian.
There are proven results that by using cover crops, improved crop rotation and animal grazing, regenerative agriculture grows soil carbon and decreases the effects of climate change — and is more profitable in the end. With proper management, regenerative agriculture can build both organic soil carbon and nitrogen stocks — tightening up the problematic nitrogen cycle in the current agricultural system and reducing the need for costly fertilizer from abroad. The moral of the story is that a healthy future lies in the healthy soil beneath our feet.
Common Ground comes to Santa Monica on Friday, Oct. 6, through Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Laemmle Monica Film Center.
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