In a recent acting performance, Nick Offerman played the role of the ground to give us the dirt on … dirt. Well, soil, to be more accurate.
“Friends, it’s time for more sexy soil talk,” Offerman wrote in the caption of an Instagram video, posted as a collaboration between him (@nickofferman) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (@nrdc_org). In the video, Offerman’s face peeks out from the soil, and he begins to speak.
“Hey down here, it’s me, the ground,” he begins. “Now look, I don’t like to make a fuss. I’ve grown accustomed to people walking all over me … but generations of chemicals and tilling have left me spent and lifeless, dried out flaky like dust in the wind.”
Offerman, as the soil, explains that planting cover crops between harvests protects the ground, helps make the soil healthy again, and can, as he says, “literally bring me back to life.”
He explains that when soil is healthy, it can help slow Earth’s rising temperature by sucking carbon from the atmosphere.
The video ends with him saying, “When you plant cover crops, you make soil happy,” followed by the tagline, “Don’t treat soil like dirt.”
The caption next to the video further states: “Regenerative farming is key to fixing food nutrition and climate change. There’s no better place to start than with nurturing our soil.”
An NRDC blog accompanying the video explains that it is part of its campaign to promote cover crops in the next Farm Bill — a bill that funds critical agricultural programs, including crop insurance, conservation, and nutrition assistance.
As touched on by Offerman, unhealthy soil doesn’t absorb as much carbon as healthy soil. Further, standard agricultural practices greatly degrade soil because when soil is prepared for planting, it exposes the carbon-rich material and releases the planet-warming gas into the air.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture explains that cover crops are added to a crop rotation between two commodity or forage crops. They are a seasonal soil cover that provides various benefits, such as increased soil moisture capacity, improved nutrient cycling, and weed suppression.
Beyond benefiting the farm and its soil, cover crops provide public benefits by reducing sediment loss, nutrient runoff and leaching, reducing flooding, and storing carbon in the soil.
Race to Resilience reports that over 50% of agricultural soils are degraded. Sustainable regenerative farming practices — like cover crops and carbon farming — positively impact the ecosystem and climate.
Offerman, who grew up on a farm in Illinois, is using his celebrity for good, and the video’s comment section was filled with praise.
“I never thought I’d see celebrities stanning for cover crops. THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPYYYYY!” said one
“Retired soil scientist here, preach it bro,” lauded another.
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