Activities & Experiments

Cuddle Up to a Good Documentary

Virtual

All audiences

Free

Many of us have a bit of extra time on our hands these days. Sometimes that time is best spent sitting in your favorite spot on the couch, cuddling up with your pet, person, or blanket (no judgement) and watching something stimulating.

We asked our Horticulture and Research Staff to recommend their favorite climate change and plant-related documentaries, video lectures or talks to add to your watch-list this Earth Day.

Symphony of the Soil, (2012) Documentary. Written and directed by Deborah Koons

“Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil’s key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.”

The Need to Grow, (2019) Documentary. Executive produced and narrated by Rosario Dawson

“In a race against the end of farmable soil, three individuals fight for change in the industry of agricultural food production, calling for a revolution. “The Need to GROW” delivers alarming evidence on the importance of healthy soil — revealing not only the potential of localized food production working with nature, but our opportunity as individuals to help regenerate our planet’s dying soils and participate in the restoration of the Earth.”

Last Call for the Bayou, (2019), 5-part miniseries directed and edited by Dominic Gill

“Last Call For The Bayou is a 5-part digital mini-series that looks at what it is like to confront the reality of climate change today. The Mississippi Delta is the fastest disappearing land on the planet, presently. It is losing a football field an hour of land either through subsidence, traumatic loss via storms, wetland erosion or sea level rise. There are many factors which contribute to the loss almost all of which are the result of societal decisions. Whether it is the oil and gas extraction, the over engineering of our greatest river, or our total carbon output — Louisiana’s wetlands are the canary in a coal mine for the land loss that will be experienced in coastal communities worldwide.”

Our Planet, (2019), 8-episode documentary series streaming on Netflix and narrated by Sir David Attenborough

BBC’s Life on Earth (1979), Episode 12 Life in the Trees. Written and presented by Sir David Attenborough

Fantastic Fungi: The Magic Beneath Us, (2019) Documentary. Directed and produced by Louie Schwartzberg

“Fantastic Fungi, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, is a consciousness-shifting film that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet. Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists like Paul Stamets, best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and others, we become aware of the beauty, intelligence and solutions the fungi kingdom offers us in response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges.”

The Private Life of Plants, (1995) 6-part documentary series written and presented by Sir David Attenborough

Sustainable, (2016) A documentary by Matt Weschler and Annie Speicher

“A vital investigation of the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the agricultural issues we face — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use — to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. Sustainable is a film about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations.”

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