Rebuilding Communities Around Agriculture

How We Grow Communities: Rebuilding Ourselves Around Agriculture

Directed by Haley Thompson and Tomas Zaccarellow (2018)

Film Review

“Make Tomorrow You Take an Active Role in Your Food System”

This documentary concerns the growing movement to bring more young people into organic agriculture and permaculture. There is already growing inclination on the part of American young people to enter farming. I’m sure this relates in large part to high youth unemployment from the 2008 global financial crash. The average age of farmers in industrial agriculture is 58.

Focusing mainly on a small farming/tourist community in the Colorado Rockies, the film highlights a number of promising initiatives (being copied in other states) to expand the local food movement. These include programs to teach children about healthy soil and eating through school-based organic gardens; an Earth Keepers Day Camp; grassroots climate justice initiatives to facilitate rapid transition to renewable energy; lease options for young people who can’t afford their own land; partnerships between farmers and local chefs; and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) schemes in which local residents support farmers by subscribing to a share of their crops. By covering their operating and living expenses up front, the latter saves young farmers from incurring crippling levels of debt.

The most innovative program presented  is the national Slow Money Club. The latter enables baby boomers with savings to provide interest-free loans to newbie organic farmers. In 2018, the program issued $50 million in loans to 516 small farm enterprises.

The full film can be viewed free with your public library card on Kanopy. Type “Kanopy” and the name of you library into your search engine.