Symphony of the Soil, Screening of Documentary Feature Film

28 Sep 2015

Elga Ryan

Followed by Q&A with the director, Deborah Koons Garcia

Ballymaloe Grainstore

Shanagarry, Co. Cork

Thursday 8 October, 8pm


“Unfolding with gentle joy and an unexpected beauty, this ode to the miracle of the Earth’s topmost layer gives us a newfound respect for the ground beneath our feet.”  – New York Times Critic’s Pick
Ballymaloe Grainstore and East Cork Slow Food present Symphony of the Soil,  a documentary feature film that explores the complexity and mystery of soil, on Thursday 8 October at 8pm.  It will be followed by a question and answer session with the director, Deborah Koons Garcia.

Filmed on four continents and sharing the voices of some of the world’s most esteemed soil scientists, farmers and activists, the film portrays soil as a protagonist of our planetary story.


“Deborah Koons Garcia is one of my food heroes,” says Darina Allen. “‘Her work has helped in no small way to raise awareness of one of the most pressing challenges facing mankind – the diminishing fertility of the soil.


“We are thrilled that Deborah has chosen to show Symphony of the Soil at Ballymaloe Grainstore,” continues Darina.  “Don’t miss it – it will be life changing.”


Using a captivating mix of art and science, the 104-minute film shows that soil is a complex living organism, the foundation of life on earth.  Yet most people are soil-blind and “treat soil like dirt.” Through the knowledge and wisdom revealed in this film, we can come to respect, even revere, this miraculous substance, and appreciate that treating the soil right can help solve some of our most pressing environmental problems.


There are two Symphony of the Soil screenings in Ireland – Ballymaloe Grainstore  on 8 October and the Lighthouse Cinema in Dublin on 10 October.


2015 is the United Nations International Year of the Soils.


The film’s Irish premiere is particularly timely as Teagasc are on the cusp of launching their National Nutrient Management Planning System which will support up to 50,000 farmers in planning the long-term development of their soil.  According to Teagasc research only 11% of our Irish agricultural soil is of ‘optimum’ quality and this figure is rapidly decreasing.


The five-minute film, Potatoes with Purpose: The Story of Spuds, will be shown before the feature.


Tickets for Symphony of the Soil are €8 and may be booked on or 021-465 2531.  Pre-screening dinner in Ballymaloe House (6pm) is available for €45


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