05/13/2013 12:29 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Symphony of the Soil: An Interview with Deborah Koons Garcia

Deborah Koons Garcia's exceptional new film, Symphony of the Soil, pays loving homage to the beauty and the wondrous mystery of soil, celebrating not just the incredible soil diversity filmed on four of the world's continents, it also rejoices in the knowledge of leading scientists, and farmers whose careers have been devoted to better understanding this profoundly essential living medium.

Garcia's protagonist is the soil itself; not only does it embody life as comprised of billions of bacteria, and other living organisms that break down matter into organic nutrients, soil provides a living substrate upon which plants can grow. In contrast to dirt, which is without life, and must be supplanted with fertilizers and other chemical inputs as a viable medium for plants to grow, the abundance of soil on our planet also enables more complex forms of life to exist, and to thrive.

Soil--we are told--is extremely rare in the universe.

Symphony of the Soil is a joyous excursion into the scientific realm, presenting a level of understanding of just how vital and unique a role soil plays in supporting planetary life. Garcia takes us on a global journey to see how different soils are formed in nature, helping to reveal some of the mysteries and interesting properties that define the various soil types.

Most remarkable of all, is how much fun this film is to watch, and to appreciate that the world of soil can be such a fascinating character onto itself. For so ubiquitous an entity around us, most of us know, so precious little about it.

At least, until we watch the film.

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