Year in Review, Kiss the Ground

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December 31, 2016

We began over three years ago meeting every week in Ryland’s living room, inspired by an idea: soil is life. If we choose to take care of it, then we will have a future on this planet.

If we put soil health at the center of our agricultural and land management practices, we can take carbon out of the atmosphere, potentially enough to balance our climate.  The food movement can become the climate change movement and we can all stand for a healthy future by investing in the soil.

There are so many ways to forward this movement, simply purchase food from local farmers caring for the soil, work with food product companies and restaurants to change their purchasing habits, compost, grow lettuce in your backyard, lobby for governmental funds for farmers to transition their soil health practices, help revolutionize crop insurance, or share with our youth (or your neighbor) the importance of caring for the soil – whatever you do, it will make a difference.

The truth is we need to massively transition the way we do agriculture and stop emitting carbon as fast as we can. Some scientists predict we need to do it in 10-20 years for the viability of life on planet earth to continue.

At Kiss the Ground this reality doesn’t scare us, because we fundamentally believe in our mission statement: We can do this! 

Our vision is monumental, and, we’re all excited to work toward the future that lives in so many of our hearts. Our vision is for a new view to emerge, where we are reverent of our interconnectedness with nature. Where humanity lives regeneratively and our planet is restored, balanced, and abundant.

This year we focused on the Kiss the Ground documentary which will be completed in 2017. We worked with Life Lab to create a curriculum for seventh graders to go with the The Soil Story video, which will be released in Spring 2017. We created a team (writer, graphic designer, filmmaker, editor) who shares stories onlineeach week of people working with nature to heal the soil and provides ways we can all take action. We continued to work with the homeless at our community garden in Venice, CA, and we founded an internship/job training/gardening program for homeless youth, launching in January 2017.  We spent time with advisors looking deeply at what the most impactful actions we can take are and crafted powerful plans for 2017. We participated in important discussions and decision making with our soil health allies all over the world. We spoke at many conferences sharing the opportunity of soil health: Summit at Sea, Deepak Chopra’s Sages and Scientists, National Heirloom Festival, Provender Alliance, UCLA, UC San Diego to name a few. We added to our incredible list of advisors and welcomed Billy Rose, Michael Gargano, Gareth Asten, Amanda Bacon and Laurie Benenson to our Board of Directors.

It’s been a big planning year and now we’re excited to take more action in 2017.

Our 2017 plans:

  • Create a purchasing guide: How to eat for the climate
  • Release our Soil Story Curriculum for 7th graders
  • Pilot two groups of homeless youth in a 12 week job-training internship at our garden
  • Grow our social media following and continue to release weekly videos on healthy soil and regenerative agriculture
  • Release three video campaigns (like the Soil Story): What is Regenerative Agriculture?, We are Nature, and The Compost Story
  • Develop a program to transition acres from conventional to regenerative agriculture
  • Secure distribution and finish our full length movie, called Kiss the Ground

We are raising money to complete our plans in 2017.  Give HERE – you can choose a one time donation or to give monthly. Your donation is tax deductible, and every bit counts; whether it’s $10,000 or $1.

Your voice and actions are equally important. Share The Soil Story with a friend, ask someone you know to join our email list, follow us on social media @kissthegroundca, or email us your story of how you work with nature to heal soil and we’ll share it with our network.

As you reflect this holiday season on the past year, rest, recuperate, and envision your 2017.  Ask yourself: what way can you “kiss the ground” this year? 

The video below is of two seven year olds, my son, Isaiah, and his best friend, Andrik. We asked them about the difference between soil and dirt. This one minute video gives me more hope for the future than anything else. 

It’s possible; we can do this!


Lauren Tucker
Executive Director
Kiss the Ground