Film: Symphony of the Soil

No-Till Farming

No-Till Farming

by Catherine Haug, March 29, 2012

(photo, right, of no-till farming, from Fairfax Co. Virginia)

From the OCA’s March 29, 2012 newsletter:

“Symphony of the Soil is director/producer Deborah Koons Garcia’s follow-up to the Future of Food, the best documentary on genetic engineering. This new film makes the case that returning to soil-enriching organic agriculture is the only way for humanity to reverse and survive the triple crisis that faces us: peak oil, global climate change, and the toxification of our environment.”

To view a clip, purchase a DVD, or join their Soil Community, go to

More than a film

This is more than a film, it is a Project to improve the quality of the earth’s soil, so that it can continue to sustain us through future generations. On their Issues webpage, they direct you to learn more about the following:

  • Biochar
  • Biodynamic Ag
  • Biofuels
  • Biowaste
  • Climate Change
  • Dead Zones
  • Dry Farming
  • GMOs
  • Know your Farmer, Know your Food
  • Local Food Initiatives
  • No-Till Farming (see below)
  • Organic Agriculture
  • Transition Towns
  • U.S. Farm Bill

No-Till Farming

I’ll use No-Till Farming as an example. On that page, they say,

“No-Till (also known as low-till or direct-planting) farming is an agricultural practice that significantly reduce tillage (and therefore lowers soil disturbance). No-Till farms design crop rotations that allow them to plant directly into the plant refuse from the last crop. The benefits of No-Till include increased soil moisture retention, little soil ecosystem disturbance, and a higher concentration of organic matter.”

When my Dad was a young man in Scobey MT in the early 1920s, he was the Daniels County Extension Agent. In that capacity, he taught local farmers about two techniques that could conserve and improve their soil: strip farming and no-till farming. For those, like his brothers who practiced strip farming, it saved them from the damage of the dust-bowl years, something of which Dad was very proud. But farmers were more reluctant to give up tilling, as they could not imagine a time when their soil would not be as rich as it was then.

But now the time has come for all of us, not just farmers, to take steps to conserve and enrich our soil. The future of humanity depends upon it.

For More on No-Till

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