Global Warming. Climate Change. GMOs.

Most of us feel hopeless when we’re reminded of these issues. We hear so many stories it’s hard to know the truth. The real stories seem to get lost in translation. Have we so greatly lost touch with the planet, we don’t even remember the simple basics of the Earth? The solution to reverse climate change is right under our feet.

Ryland Engelhart and Finian Makepeace co-founded Kiss The Ground two years ago to remind us of the importance of soil. Kiss the Ground tells a story that’s making a profound impact. The Soil Story is a short 4 minute piece that was released this August and Kiss the Ground documentary will premiere in early 2017. Kiss the Ground’s mission: to advocate and inspire the restoration of soil worldwide (no easy feat). Their story reveals how soil protection can help solve the climate crisis.

Ryland—chief inspiration Officer (CIO)  at Cafe Gratitude, leader in the awakening of love, friendliest guy in Venice—started this conversation about soil after he attended a conference in New Zealand about the state of the world’s soil. So much negativity filled the panel (except for Graeme Sait), instead of leaving hopeless – he left feeling inspired from Graeme’s presentation. Once he discovered that the solution was so simple—balance the levels of carbon through soil restoration—it’s all in the ground.


Kiss the Ground declares that the problem and solution are just a matter of balance. The issue is that there’s too much carbon in the atmosphere, and if we can regain healthy soil, it’ll be a real game changer. The way we manage land and think about the problem needs to change -no more chemicals or destroying the land! Kiss the Ground is pioneering a new way of living and thinking. They are constantly campaigning, attending conferences, petitioning, trying to get laws and bills passed, filming, educating, and inspiring people—working locally and globally to share the soil story by reframing a complex message into something digestible.

Ryland’s enthusiasm, passion and love transcends through all his work at Kiss the Ground. Once a week, homeless at risk youth come to the Kiss the Ground Garden in Venice to learn about the origins of food (they’re also involved in a culinary program so comes back full circle). This is a space for community to gather and learn about the power of healthy soil.

As Ryland walked around the property showing us the greenhouse, compost area, and outdoor pizza oven, we felt compelled to do something. And we can. Ryland shared what we can all do as individuals to help the soil on a small and large scale- vote with our wallets, consume consciously, compost, and also help your city get with the program and implement a composting system! At the end of our conversation, Ryland literally got on his knees and kissed the ground. We think there are lots of people who are as passionate as Ryland – and Kiss the Ground is inspiring more everyday.


To learn more, check out Kiss The Ground and stay connected with them through instagram. Ryland’s parents also happen to be Matthew and Terces Engelhart, the creators of Cafe Gratitude and owners of Be Love Farm in Northern CA, both of which are Poppy & Seed favorites.

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