If you haven’t seen the hit documentary The Biggest Little Farm yet, you must do it now. The main storyline sounds familiar, there is a young couple, Molly and John, private chef and docs-series maker respectively, who one day decide to ditch their city lives in Los Angeles to return to a 'back-to-basics' life on a farm. With no experience in farming, every little triumph comes with multiple setbacks, each successful fruit attracts more pests.
However there is more to this than Molly and John, because the real protagonist here is Mother Nature. And for foodies, or anybody who wants to learn about traditional farming, the duo's eight-year quest is a revelation, a delight to watch.
Aerial view of Apricot Lane Farm, from 'The Biggest Little Farm'
Directed by one half of the couple, John Chester, the film follows the transformation of Apricot Lane Farm, a real-life operating farm just an hour outside of LA, over the course of eight years. What starts as 200 acres of dry, brown, infertile ground becomes a self-sustaining ecosystem producing over 100 different vegetables, 75 varieties of fruit, hosting 850 farm animals and thousands more wildlife guests. Every one of these species, from the visiting coyotes to the weed covering the land, plays a role in maintaining the delicate equilibrium of Apricot Lane Farm’s ecosystem.
Beautiful macro shots of nature are combined with breathtaking views of the farm, intertwined with the daily tribulations of managing a farm, like aphid infestations and the birth of new piglets.
John Chester and farm dog, from 'The Biggest Little Farm'
A successful biodynamic farm takes years of hard work, and much of it is achieved by trial-and-error, as you see in the film. A holistic approach takes into account the purpose of every animal, plant, pest and even poop, everything playing a part in the life cycle. Each biodynamic farm and its microclimate is unique.
With all the current talk of climate change and monoculture farms destroying the earth, you will walk out of this film feeling hopeful. This little farm is guaranteed to move you.
Check it out now, at The Biggest Little Farm