In a world of environmental and agricultural destruction from large corporate farming, what does future of local food and farming look like? This beautifully photographed documentary explores the lives of five young people who have decided to become small-scale farmers. Named one of the ten most popular Canadian films at the Vancouver International Film Festival. A FilmBuff Presentation.
I wasn't sure what to make of this film when I downloaded it but I really loved it. I am a self proclaimed foodie and backyard farmer. I was impressed to see the current generation willing to get their hands dirty and work. Farming is work, hard work. But, it also is incredibly rewarding. The film was very accurate in showing the realities of dealing with animals and farming. Hit home with me. I think the biggest mistake we have made is removing ourselves from how our food is produced and where it is produced. No one seems to really care. I do.
"Farming challenges me in all sorts of different ways. I felt like I was becoming human - learning to use my head, my heart and my hands all at the same time. It was making me into a whole person and I didn't realize I was so fragmented before I started farming. " Nathan Carey, Green Being Farm
That quote from the movie really resonated with me. As my wife and I work to build our small farm I have had those same feelings but had yet to articulate them as well. Whether you work a small garden, farm or want to be closer to your food, you'll likely find this movie educational, entertaining and motivational.
Good job done by Steven Suderman. From my farmer's perspective, anybody who has the love of the soil and animals in their blood will enjoy and be inspired by this documentary. There is a lot of heartbreak and struggle to grow plants and animals for food. It is not Disney World out here. I do hope the young people in this story stay with it. There is nothing more heartbreaking than to send your beloved animals to slaughter or watch the weather or disease destroy crops, but that makes one appreciate the successes more. We never can slaughter our own stock. It is just not in us, so we trade off and do something in return for the service like haul manure, help with chores, or pay for the service outright. I never want to know if that is "Brownie or Guss" in my freezer. I could not help but bawl when those piggies had to go. Anyhow, these young people show the true spirit of what it takes to make it. We are rooting for their success.
My grandfather homesteaded in the Dakotas, made it through the Depression and created a successful family farm/ranch operation. My Uncle continued to work the land and continued its success. This new breed farmers in this documentary touched me deeply on a personal level. I love the land my family farmed and spent time on the prairies during summers putting up hay and harvesting wheat, flax, oats, barley or whatever Uncle had seeded in. That time gave me a healthy work ethic that is reflected by the commitment and love these young people demonstrate and embrace. This is a lovely and touching film.
This was a beautiful look at the challenges of small farming. It takes you through a year from early spring through harvest with all the tribulations between. I think the narrative does a really great job of balancing the idealism and romance of the farm with the reality that it's labor intensive, consuming, and susceptible to all sorts of weather, blight, infestation, problems. There are moments in this film that I think I'll remember for a long time for their poignancy (mostly the woman rubbing the belly of one of her pigs before they're sent off to slaughter, she asks why she should deprive herself of a relationship with her animals just because they're fated to die.) Gorgeous stuff.
This was of interest to me since I grew up on a farm of sorts (my father grew alfalfa for dairy farms but we had animals raised for our table). These people had not the advantage of the experience but found their calling. As one said, there is a lot to be said when you had this experience and would not recommend it to anyone who has romantic ideas about life on a farm. It can be a brutal and sobering awakening for the uninitiated and definitely not for the soft or faint of heart. You've got to love what you do or you may never make it through that first season. That said, I found this film at times hard to follow as it jumps from one farm to the other. I did find the candid comments enlightening as these are not your normal "city folk" with money to burn turning farms into a hobby. It's hard work when your office is right outside your door and you cannot call in sick. One thing I did see missing is their interaction with their neighbors. Despite the fact that you may love making it on your own, there will be times when you may need help. In a farming community, that help is invaluable. But this takes place in Canada. Maybe they do things differently than they do here in the States.
I thought this would be a documentary more along the lines of Food, Inc. The filmmaker here simply follows at intervals over a growing season three different farms, or more accurately, the young people struggling to make these farms work. He does some interviews with a more traditional farmer who comments on the effect of the industrial agriculture companies in general and Monsanto specifically, but these segments don't really tell the viewer anything not already known (unless this is his very first exposure to the issues surrounding the food system in North America). The story, three stories really, looks fairly intimately at the farmers pitted against the industry giants--trying to conscientiously produce real food and stay afloat financially. The central figures, these 5 farmers, come across as earnest and personable, ultimately very likable.
I too have surpressed a child hood profession or should I say a God ordained profession.. It has been following me for 20+years and I shunned it because society says you should. The trades are about to come back with a vengeance.. the dirty jobs by mike rowe are coming back. You can't have a society that is all degreed and no tradesmen and you cant have it vice versa. Is there a balance in America??? Trades men service people and those with degrees. Not everyone is suppose to be college educated..... who is making the clothes farming building or carpentry please next time don't make fun of the person who wants to be a tradesman it is in the end what built this country and others for that matter.