After years of talking with farmers on the Farm Aid hotline, I’ve learned that the story of a farm is deeply personal and takes more than a few minutes to tell. But if you look at my notes, you start to see some threads in common; dusty black and white memories of rides on the tractor with Dad, Mom’s vegetable garden, inheriting the farm, worrying about how to keep the legacy alive, threats from developers, trying something new for the first time, loss, victory and delicious homegrown food.
The film The Real Dirt on Farmer John tells this story in a wonderfully personal and quirky way. The film has won 30 awards and has received accolades from people like Al Gore that called the film “unbelievably special” and Alice Waters who named Farmer John “ a charming, wonderful and important movie.” If you want to understand the story of the American farm past to present, with some wild twists along the way, go see this movie! It opens in New York theaters on June 22. For a full list of showings click here.
Farm Aid is also a funder of the non-profit Angelic Organics Learning Center that John Peterson founded on his farm. At the Learning Center, new generations of farmers and eaters are carrying on the work of creating sustainable food systems, growing delicious food and spreading the story of the family farm.