A Movie Review of The Biggest Little Farm


| 7/15/2019 10:59:00 AM


When a good friend told me The Biggest Little Farm was right up my alley, I knew I had to see this movie. This documentary about one couple's dream to leave the big city and buy a farm is compelling on many levels. This is a love story about two people that rescue a dog named Todd. There is also a storyline on how traditional farming works when given a chance, and there's a storyline on toughing it out when things go wrong.

 

Molly (a personal chef and food blogger) and John (a cameraman) leave the city with their dog and through creative financing, buy a 200+-acre farm 40 miles outside of Los Angeles. With the help of Alan York, a soil, plant, and biodynamic consultant, John and Molly start a long rehabilitation of an avocado and lemon farm that was practically dead. They blow through the first year's budget in just six months laying out the design, putting in infrastructure, planning types of crops, and animals for the farm.

Starting out during one of the worst droughts the area had ever experienced seemed hopeless, yet it was under these conditions that success would mean even more. To rebuild a farm that looked almost desert-like and turn it into a healthy, productive farm seemed impossible to most. The soil was so dried out and compacted; a shovel couldn't penetrate the surface. By introducing bio-organisms, animals, water saving contours, and cover crops, they rebuilt the soil to a state that would support dozens of types of plants.

 



While monoculture farms dotted the surrounding area, Apricot Lane Farm was willing to show that a biodynamic, traditional farming approach could work better. They succeeded without using chemicals against insects and guns against coyotes-except once. When the soil was healthy enough to sustain the more than 70 varieties of stone fruit, and a vegetable garden, the plan slowly became a reality.



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