10 Feb Why you should watch “The Biggest Little Farm”
What can I say about The Biggest Little Farm? It was inspiring, it was challenging, it was beautifully filmed. It helped me see the food I eat and the way it is produced in a whole new light. It followed the ups and downs of John & Molly Chester, owners of Apricot Lane Farms, as they went from being urban dwellers to the owners of a 130-acre farm and sought to farm “in harmony with nature”.
There were ups and downs in their journey, and the movie didn’t skimp on showing the hardships – but at the end, it didn’t leave me feeling discouraged or fearful. Instead, it left me feeling empowered. I didn’t feel like I had to immediately change everything, but I knew I could start changing some things.
I think I can say without exaggeration that watching The Biggest Little Farm has made a life-changing impact on our lives. Until this movie, we had no idea what regenerative farming was. I didn’t know that there are people all around the world who are farming in a way that actually builds soil & environmental health naturally, rather than depleting it and then trying to stick a bandaid over it. I learned that this way of growing & raising our food is actually achievable, even on small scales for individual families who may not be wanting to make a livelihood out of farming.
The movie led me to do tons of research and begin to follow regenerative farms and homesteaders. It first led me to this TEDtalk by Allan Savory, and then I found through recommendations of friends, books by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms and Gabe Brown of Brown’s Ranch, and influencers like Justin Rhodes. I continued with a dive into social media research and found farms like Primal Pastures, White Oak Pastures, Alderspring Ranch, and countless more. I hope to write follow up posts on some of the things I’ve learned from these people/farms.
Outside of what I found, there is substantial research that regenerative farming naturally produces more nutrient dense foods using zero or low artificial inputs (think: synthetic fertilizers), which is better for the consumer’s overall health. For more info, check out this article “Is Grassfed Meat and Dairy Better for Human and Environmental Health?” from the National Institute of Health.
Through the various levels of research I was doing, I began to realize that the goals of regenerative farming, holistic livestock management, soil health, permaculture, being “beyond organic”, and all of the things surrounding it, seemed to actually fall in line with what God called man to in Genesis 1 – to partner with Him in the dominion of all creation. It also seems to be an echo of God’s promise to “heal the land” if His people seek him (2 Chronicles 7:14).
All these things brought a new level of passion and excitement to my life. I had always admired people who could “live off the land”, people who raised and grew things (I can probably attribute that in part to my love of Little House on the Prairie series as a little girl). But learning about regenerative agriculture took my passion to the next level. This was something I wanted to be a part of.
If nothing else, I’d say spend a couple hours watching The Biggest Little Farm because it’s uplifting and heartwarming. It gives you a new perspective of the people who work hard to feed us. The cinematography is breathtaking (John Chester, the owner of the farm, used to produce nature documentaries). It’s real, and it’s genuine.
PS I watched this with the whole family. All of our boys loved it, especially my nature- & animal-loving 7 year old.
PPS I cry every time I watch the movie and I just cried watching the trailer below. Not sure if that’s normal!
Image courtesy of The Biggest Little Farm.