A 501(c)(3) non-profit citizen’s organization dedicated to thoughtful planning and policies for sustainable growth, stewardship of our natural, cultural and historical resources and the protection of the rural character of our region.
The film Unbroken Ground explores four areas of agriculture that aim to change our relationship to the land and oceans. Most of our food is produced using methods that reduce biodiversity, decimate soil and contribute to climate change. We believe our food can and should be a part of the solution to the environmental crisis – grown, harvested and produced in ways that restore our land, water and wildlife. The film tells the story of four groups that are pioneers in the fields of regenerative agriculture, regenerative grazing, diversified crop development and restorative fishing.
Enjoy this full length feature and join us in finding a solution to the environmental crisis through food!
The Land Institute is a non-profit research, education, and policy organization dedicated to sustainable agriculture based in Salina, Kansas, United States. Their goal is to develop an agricultural system based on perennial crops that “has the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops”
Lindsey Lunsford gathers peppers at TULIP’s community garden. Photo by Wil Sands.
For decades, the U.S. Department of Agriculture discriminated against Black farmers, excluding them from farm loans and assistance. Meanwhile, racist violence in the South targeted land-owning Black farmers, whose very existence threatened the sharecropping system. These factors led to the loss of about 14 million acres of Black-owned rural land—an area nearly the size of West Virginia.
In 1982, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights extrapolated the statistics on land loss and predicted the extinction of the Black farmer by the year 2000.
They were wrong. While the situation is still dire, with Black farmers comprising only about 1 percent of the industry, we have not disappeared. After more than a century of decline, the number of Black farmers is on the rise.
These farmers are not just growing food, either. The ones you’ll meet here rely on survival strategies inherited from their ancestors, such as collectivism and commitment to social change. They infuse popular education, activism, and collective ownership into their work.
Ohlson argues that the rise of agriculture has actually diminished our understanding of the rich and delicate ecosystem just below the ground. She indicts industrial agriculture in particular, as harsh practices like tilling our farmlands and saturating the ground with synthetic fertilizers have led to a swift and steady decline in soil health. The effects on our climate have been staggering. “The world’s soils have lost up to 80 billions tons of carbon…[and] land misuse accounts for 30 percent of the carbon emissions entering the atmosphere,” Olson writes.
“What we do with our urban green matters, whether it’s in our yards or our parks or even our highway median strips,” she writes. Indeed, the soil can only save us if we start building a world where healthy plants can take root, no matter where they are.