HEALTHY SOIL CHANGES EVERYTHING: KISS THE GROUND with FINIAN MAKEPEACE
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When you get right down to it – most plant and therefore planetary health starts from the ground up in some fashion. This week we talk with a group called Kiss the Ground about our own reverence for and the importance of the health of our soils.
The 13th century Persian poet, Rumi, famously wrote: "Let the beauty you love be what you do, there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” This week we’re speaking about this both figuratively and literally with Finian Makepeace, of Kiss the Ground – an organization, a book, a movement and mindset.
“Changing the view is really important here - for us to grasp the potential of regeneration,
and to see hope in a degenerated, desertified place, we need to comprehend how EPIC
this system really is and how it works, if 95% of us say that a plant or tree comes
from the soil, we are largely mistaking ourselves and putting a barrier between us and
what’s possible with regeneration.” - Finian Makepeace, Co-Founder Kiss the Ground
After several life experiences that fundamentally altered their own sense of both urgency about our environment as well as hope for the possibility of meaningful action, in 2013, Ryland Engelhart and Finian Makepeace took Rumi's words to heart and founded Kiss the Ground. Named in honor of the abovementioned poem- Kiss the Ground works to restore soils worldwide by promoting and developing models that accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture - large scale and home scale.
Ryland Engelhart, owner of Cafe Gratitude, heard about soil as a solution to climate change from Graeme Sait, a farming educator, at a conference in New Zealand. Ryland learned that building healthy soil has the miraculous ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and knew in his heart it was a story that had to be shared with the world.
"Healthy soil has the miraculous ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and it’s not just carbon storage; the ways that soil stands to positively impact lives of billions worldwide are tangible and immediate: Clean water. Healthy food. Drought resistance. Restored habitats."
Finian’s commitment to the work started with one painful and cautionary foreshadowing dream. In our conversation, Finian describes a much needed ideological shift in our mindsets as the human species and explains regenerative as the ideal and sustainable as we currently view it. They’re very different and this difference is important, especially if what we want is to make a difference. Kiss the Ground's mission is to see humanity living regeneratively. The group ardently believes and educates for a shift in mindset and understanding. They articulate their belief that “together we can solve the greatest challenge of our time – climate change. The science and technology exist, now it’s up to all of us to bring our hearts, our will and our action."
The concept behind their work on an agricultural level is also known as climate farming. A very good article on the topic appeared in the 2017 fall issue of Permaculture North America, the concept is also covered in significant way in the new book edited by Paul Hawken entitled “Drawdown” (Penguin Books, 2017).
This month, November 2017, “Kiss the Ground: How the food you eat can reverse climate change, heal your body and ultimately save our world” by Josh Tickell is out from Simon & Schuster.
Kiss the Ground works to restore soils worldwide by promoting and developing models that accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture.