Growing Our Own Food: The Biointensive Method

En Nuestos Manos (In Our Hands)

Directed by Matt Anderson (2020)

Spanish with English subtitles

Film Review

This is a very beautifully made film, in nine episodes, about the Biointensive alternative to industrial agriculture.

Episode 1 concerns the history of  Biointensive organic farming, described as an amalgam of the Biodynamic and French Intensive methods. The current approach incorporates indigenous farming methods from all over the world. The documentary features interviews with the late English master gardener Alan Chadwick, who began experimenting with this approach in Santa Cruz in 1972 and with John Jeavons, who founded Ecology Action after studying with Chadwick. Ecology Action has gone on to train thousands of farmers from around the world in Biointensive farming.

The first episodes features Biointensive farmers working to restore Xochimilco, the UN heritage site in Mexico City that has been seriously degraded by industrial farming. In my favorite part of Episode 1, the filmmakers visit an ancient Inca irrigation system in Peru where maize (corn) was first domesticated.

Episode 2 provides detailed instructions on how to prepare a garden bed through double digging. Loosening the soil is essential to provide air to the microbes that assist plants in taking up nutrients. This episode profiles Biointensive farmers in Oaxaca Mexico.

Episode 3 provides detailed instructions on how to build an effective compost pile. It profiles farmers from Oaxaca and from the G BIACK project in Kenya that trains farmers throughout Kenya in drought resistant methods developed by their ancestors

As of January 1, all 9 episodes are available on YouTube

2 thoughts on “Growing Our Own Food: The Biointensive Method

  1. Excellent and inspiring video. I watched the whole thing, the first episode, even though it’s after 3 AM here. I’ve already commented on your re-blog of Bobby Kennedy’s take on Bill Gates. Please keep up the good work and the thought-provoking finds.


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