Islands' Sounder


A different kind of symphony comes to Lopez Island

January 8, 2013 · 3:33 PM

by Michele Heller

Special to the Sounder

Every one of us has a relationship with the magical stuff underfoot whether we know it or not – some call it dirt, some call it soil. Mostly, unless we consider ourselves farmers or gardeners, we don’t think of it much at all. And yet, the condition of soil and how it is treated, globally and locally, is highly influential in determining the quality of the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and even the rate at which climate change will impact our lives.

This humble substance known as soil has been aptly called “the foundation of civilization” and is the subject of a new feature-length film “Symphony of the Soil” by Deborah Koons Garcia. Drawing from ancient knowledge and current scientific understanding, the film is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance of soil and why it is important to life on earth.

This 104-minute documentary is ultimately the story of community; it describes in fascinating detail the hidden world that helps define our existence as it supports the systems in nature upon which we rely.

This subject is timely as we enter the new year, and as we are increasingly aware of the challenges and opportunities of this millennium. The power of community is a theme that is gaining energy and finding expression through the victory of GMO-Free San Juans  and the SWAP initiatives. These grass roots movements have become institutions of our islands, and such efforts are gaining momentum.

The films co-sponsors include more than 20 entities such as Food Masters and FEAST, as well as other citizen-initiative groups, nonprofit and county organizations, businesses, farms, and individuals; all coming together to participate in this event to strengthen ties and combine efforts on behalf of the islands’ interest in sustainability and resilience.

“The Symphony of the Soil” is a film that lifts the spirits and provides inspiration, through magnificent cinematography, lucid scientific understanding and heartfelt story telling. As the message of the film unfolds, it brings into focus a powerful tool for use in our local community and beyond – awareness on a deeper level, of a resource that is precious, mysterious and potent. Its power lies, in part, in the model it represents – thriving, effective and sustainable community in action.

Still wondering why should anyone want to see a film about soil? Find out for yourself: bring a potluck dish, your own utensils, and be ready to celebrate GMO-Free San Juans and SWAP on Jan. 13 at Lopez Center for Community and the Arts. Potluck starts at 4 p.m., film starts at 4:45 p.m., optional discussion follows. Presented by Lopez Locavores film series. For more information and for a list of co-sponsors visit www.lopezlocavores.org or 468-3618.

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