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DIRT!

THE MOVIE :

Dirt! The Movie is a film that outlines the historical and current relationship between
humans and the soil. It provides some humor to otherwise very serious issues about land
management and the need to shift attention to the health of our soil.

Answer each of the following questions as completely as possible, using the movie to find the
answers.
1. Where did all the elements in dirt first come from? (linked to 5.1)

2. Why is it stated that dirt is alive? (5.1)

3. Justify the phrase that soils are the most precious of the common goods.(5.1)

4. Choose and quote a comment from the video that shows that soils work as a system.
Justify your choice.(5.1)

5. Miguel Altieri, an entomologist from UC Berkley stated that life would be condemned
if we didnt take care of the layer of soil. How deep did he say that layer is?(5.1)

6. Explain how a small lens of soil leftover from the glaciers can result in a large old
growth forest with the aid of fungus mycelium .(5.1)(5.3)

7. How do plants interact with dirt (i.e. sugars, water, minerals, etc.)? (5.1)

8. How are asphalt and concrete related the flow of water into the soil? (5.3)

9. Explain the relationship between dirt, desertification and conflict. (5.3)

10. How did monoculture (the growing of one type of plant) and tilling result in the Dust
Bowl in the Midwest (1930s)? (5.3)
11. How much topsoil have we lost in the last 100 years? (5.3)

12. How do pesticides affect soil fertility? (5.3)

13. Why does deforestation occur in tropical rain forests in connection to food production
systems (5.2)? What is the effect of such deforestation on soils? (5.3)

14. Why do farmers feel they are being forced to buy chemical fertilizers and pesticides?
(5.2)

15. How are slums related to soil? (5.2)

16. What is "agroecology"? Why is it considered to be better than current farming


methods? (5.3)

17. Why is root diversity (having plants with different root lengths) important for healthy
soil? (5.3)

18. How does "community shared agriculture" (CSA) work? How is it related to soil? (5.2)

19. What are the benefits of planting green roofs in connection to soil management?
(5.3)

20. How does composting work (including the use of liquid fish waste)? (5.3)
21. What does Wangari Maathai (the lady with the yellow bandana) mean when she says
we should "be like the hummingbird" when it comes to how we treat dirt?

CONCLUSION:

On the basis of this video, choose any ONE of the following BIG QUESTIONS and answer it
with an essay style:

-TO WHAT EXTENT CAN FOOD PRODUCTION BECOME MORE SUSTAINABLE?

-TO WHAT EXTENT ARE OUR SOLUTIONS TO SOIL DEGRADATION MOSTLY AIMED AT
PREVENTION, LIMITATION OR RESTORATION?