019 - Kiss the Ground with Finian Makepeace

The Passion of a Soil Advocate on Regenerative Agriculture and Building Soil Carbon

Today we talk to Finian Makepeace, a Co-Founder of Kiss The Ground. He is a recording artist, activist and self-taught soil advocate who has a passion to change the world. He strives to make the world a more peaceful and harmonious place for humans and all of nature. Join us as he shares a bit about his background, and why he is passionate about advocating for regenerative agriculture and building soil carbon. 

He shares with us about how healthy soil creates delicious and nutritious food, and how composting is a simple way to get started in building soil carbon.



Check out Kiss the Ground online:





For the speaker training Finian mentions:

Contact Michelle via Email at speakertraining@kisstheground.com


Show Notes



- there are things in our lives that set us up for our big epiphanies

- grew up with lots of exposure to the natural world, mother was an avid gardener

- considered himself in the top bracket of people in level of understanding climate change

- influenced by hearing Graham Sait speak & share much he didn’t know

- concluded that if he didn’t know, that most people would know even less

- resolved that he (along with others) would get the message out to people, and thus Kiss the Ground was born

- Finian’s parents encouraged critical thought, gave him the chance to find answers for himself

- his schooling (home-based, then heavily nature-focused) favoured gaining experiential knowledge, which gave him confidence as an adult to become a self-taught soil scientist



Kiss the Ground

- director of storytelling, media, and communications at Kiss the Ground

- brand new speaker training course happening now, wanted to help other people become advocates also

- course is about 70% content, 30% training on speaking

- giving people the tools to articulate the Big Idea

- the Big Idea: the difference between degenerative, sustainable, and regenerative

- this is NOT a sustainability movement, it’s a regenerative movement

- a new way of interacting with nature in all arenas of life



Sustainability vs Regeneration

- sustainability = cessation of harm to the world, while regeneration is far more than that = makes everything better

- you don’t need to make people feel bad about doing harm (sustainability) before introducing them to regeneration

- help them see how much better everything will work in their favour through regenerative practices

- people are motivated ultimately by pleasure, so show them that and they will move towards it



Current Projects

- Kiss The Ground book came out in November 2017

- Kiss The Ground movie coming out soon, with Exec. Producer Leonardo DiCaprio. Woody Harrelson as narrator. 

- launched a new blog, looking for writers to contribute.

- speaker training with Kiss The Ground.



Our Microbiome & the Soil

- our taste buds are designed to increase our consumption of things that are really good for us

- in the last 150 years, we’ve had access to whatever we want, and fake flavours that trick our taste buds into eating more

- good news: research is showing that food that tastes better has better content for us, and is most likely grown using better soil practices

- rhizosphere : the tip of plant root systems, where sugars are leaked out to feed microbial communities, and in that process, the plant is getting to take those minerals and fortify itself

- reverse this process, and you basically have the human gut

- as if we have roots inside us, or plants have a stomach under the ground!

- number-wise, we have many more microbes than human cells in our bodies

- who’s actually in charge: us, the plant, or the microbes??



Other Influences & Inspirations

- David Montgomery’s book: The Hidden Half of Nature 

- his wife -Anne Biklé built soil in their backyard, we can build soil much quicker than used to be commonly thought

- in the 70s, Carl Sagan’s ex-wife -Lynn Margulis was doing research on mutualism: two things coming together, and both becoming better as a result

- in the U.S., this mutualism research opposed by “competitive theory” i.e. survival of the fittest

- Dr Alan Williams: soil building research



Getting Practical 

- compost at home

- watch 2 Youtube videos and become an expert on home composting, it’s not rocket science

- keep compost container in your freezer: eliminates stinkiness, mess, and fruit flies

- want an equal nitrogen to carbon ratio

- food scraps are very high in nitrogen

- keep a browns bin right next to your compost bin: leaves, newspaper, other carbon-based materials

- intersperse browns with your frozen compost scraps, shuffle together, water twice a month

- because scraps are frozen, it’s not gross at all

- become a first time parent to epic compost!

- look for ways to source products made using regenerative practices

- ask farmers their practices

- ask local chefs where they get their produce: best growing practices equals best-tasting food



Final Thoughts

- nature wants to be regenerative

- instead of just doing less harm, we can actively restore vitality

- life is designed to move in the direction of regeneration, and it’s not that much work to help it and watch it grow exponentially

- being probiotic = living regeneratively