the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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what kind of farming will we have in the next century??

Seriously, we really want to know, and so do these film makers. Specifically, they’re focussing on the chicken industry, asking, if chicken is America’s favorite meat, generating more than $30 billion a year in revenue, but who benefits from this multi-billion dollar industry?

Spoiler alert! It’s not the farmers. This is a story that we hadn’t heard yet of the greed of large industrial ag companies, and it’s absolutely repulsive.


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community so sweet

Riding yesterday’s coattails: another jovial video that’s part of the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension office‘s Growing Maine series. This time around, Ed and Pat Jillison of Jillison’s Sugar House in Sabattus Village, ME, will convince you that farming really does and really can create warmth and community.


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these border collies melt my stoneheart

This short documentary out of the UMaine Extension office may appear jut to be another movie about sheep, but don’t be fooled; it’s actually the most heartwarming dog movie since Homeward Bound! (Or, we should say, at least for agricultural geeks…) Featuring: Doreen and John Simmons, Gwen, and Bea of Stoneheart Farm in South Paris, Maine.


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documentary: the hand that feeds

The Hand That Feeds trailer from Robin Blotnick, a film on reforming the food system by organizing from the ground up for fair wages, fair working conditions, and collective bargaining rights. This is a rare story in which workers, with tenacity beyond imagination, are actually able to defeat the giant. It is also a good reminder that food justice work in the United Staes should be inherently intertwined with immigration reform.


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Modified is a gorgeous and deeply personal feature-length documentary that delves into the labyrinth of asking why, if they are labelled in 64 other world counties, are genetically modified organisms (GMOs)– not labeled on food products in Canada and the United States.

Film maker Aube Giroux (the mastermind behind Kitchen Vignettes) has entirely self-produced the film up until this point and has launched a kickstarted to cover the post-production costs. I don’t know about you, but I want to see this movie! Let’s make it happen!

 


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peachy

I first came across David Mas Masumoto’s memoir Epitaph for a Peach a few years ago, lucky enough be required to read it in a lit class. In sympathetic prose Matsumoto describes learning the hard, slow way–by trial and sometimes devastating error–how to maintain a viable business for his family’s organic fussy stunningly delicious peaches.

Now, whenever I eat a peach, the farmer’s reverent descriptions of the fruit run in the sticky fragrant juice down my wrists. The floral, heady sweetness of a summer’s harvest have become no less compelling for Masumoto, who is the third generation in a Japanese family’s American tale of running their peach farm in central California.

And the good news is! : Throughout May,  PBS is screening the story of his daughter Nakiko’s homecoming to the family farm. A year-in-the-life is marked by the changing seasons and beginnings of a changing of hands as Nakiko prepares to step into her father’s boots.

Check your local PBS Station for show times (they vary by location) or find them listed on the Masumotos’ website HERE.


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help the best climate movie of the year get out and get us together 

This movie. Speaks directly to the heart of climate change resistance.  It takes you to the brink of despair and then builds you back up. I cried. I danced. In fact, the whole audience danced, standing up out of their seats. And you will too.  Trust me.

Now, filmmaker Josh Fox (of Gasland) is touring the country, stopping in 100 cities, many of them threatened by fracking, mountain top removal, and pipeline construction to help unite small grassroots movements.

There is ONE DAY left to donate to the Kickstarter that Funds the tour, which you can do here! Josh is still $25000 from his goal, so boost, boost, boost!


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new documentary on wendell berry premiers at SXSW festival

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The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berrypremiered yesterday at SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin. The film spans four seasons; revolving around Berry; his muse of Henry County, Kentucky; and this pivotal contemporary moment in agrarian America. Barbara J. King did a great piece on the film yesterday for NPR, ripe with great Wendell Berry quotes and some contextual food for thought, all of which you can read here.

I scoured the internet for a trailer like a hungry squash bug but to no avail. So I watched every video of Wendell Berry reading his poetry that I could find on Vimeo (wondering if this is how normal people felt about news of the new Star Wars movie), and finally did find a video on the film’s new kickstarted page, which I have happily embedded for you below:

No news yet on where the film will show after SXSW, but you find our more and follow the latest news here.


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GOOD DIRT premier @ BAM, april 10

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GOOD DIRT is a multimedia performance based on real stories from six diverse farm families in the Hudson Valley. Written by Jeremy Davidson and directed by Mary Stuart Masterson of Storyhorse Documentary Theater, GOOD DIRT illustrates the fragility of our agricultural heritage and inspires the audience to rebuild what’s been lost. 

APRIL 10, 2016 // PREMIER
Show starts at 4pm // at the BAM Fisher (Fishman Space)
Cocktail reception at 6pm // at BAM Lepercq Space, 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

The proceeds from this event go to support the work of our good friends at the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Buy tickets here!


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occupy the farm, last minute holiday gift

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OCCUPY THE FARM tells the story of a community’s fight to save public land for urban farming. When 200 farmers march to the gates of the last farmland in the urban East Bay near Oakland, they don’t carry signs protesting University of California’s plans to build a shopping center. Instead, they carry tents, tools and 15,000 seedlings. They clip the padlock off the gate and march onto the fields. What happens next will change the fate of the land and introduce a new strategy for activism.

Show your support by buying one of these bandannas for yourself or a friend! Designed by farmer, Kris Daum. Silk screened on large, cotton bandanas. Ink won’t run. $20 via pay pal. Some colors in limited supply. Farmer elves standing by. Follow this link!


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a land built by gravity

Oregon-based young farmer and photographer Nolan Caldish takes beautiful photographs, often pertaining to agricultural subjects. Several of the projects up on his website, both independent and commissioned feature vegetables, fruits, and land use issues. The three images above come the from “A Land Built By Gravity,” which explores America with stark realism, the intersection of the land and its people. Give it a peek!