Farming Film Series

Heroes in the Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia region are serving up this vision for a sustainable future. They are changing the landscape and with it the future of farming.

Farming Film Series

We are excited to host (online) a series of films that highlight farms, nonprofits, and community members on a mission to change the way we think and act about food. The films are executive produced by the Prince Charitable Trusts and the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University, and created by Aditi Desai and Vanina Harel. View or download the films below.

Why these films?

Agricultural land is scarce, and development and urbanization are encroaching upon what little is left. At one time, a cornucopia of food was grown in close proximity to our homes.. But now, much of the foods we eat on a daily basis travel great distances to reach our grocery store shelves and ultimately our plates. Is this the future of food?

The creators of Farming for the Future believe there is another way forward -- one that is based on a set of essential ingredients to help ensure a sustainable farming and food future.

  • Land access to grow food.
  • New farmers passionate about local, sustainable food production.
  • Educators to teach the community about the cultural history of food.
  • Activists to inspire youth to eat and grow food locally and sustainably.

Want to do your part? Host a screening. Download a screening guide that includes discussion questions, ideas for supporting the sustainable agriculture movement, and more. 

Collard greens are more than a simple side dish. Michael Twitty shares the African-American cultural history of this leafy green. Gail Taylor a grower with Three Part Harmony Farm, honors her ancestors and nourishes her community by cultivating this nutritious vegetable. Rebecca Lemos-Otero and Lola Bloom of City Blossoms teach youth to get their hands dirty by growing delicious collard greens from seeds. 

The Culture of Collards from Aditi Desai on Vimeo.

Tony Newcomb dreamed of farming and his partner Hiu followed him from Ohio to northern Virginia to rent land and start a farm. With Tony’s passing in 1984, Hiu continues to sow the seeds of their collective dream into its fifth decade at Potomac Vegetable Farms with her daughter Hana Newcomb and friend Ellen Polishuk.

50 Years of Farming: For Love & Vegetables from Aditi Desai on Vimeo.

What do you do when the next generation does not want to take over the family farm? How do you keep that land in production? These are the questions at the heart of Cliff Miller’s journey to find stewards to care for the land he loves. He finds those persons in Mike and Molly Peterson of Heritage Hollow Farms and Rachel Bynum and Eric Plaksin of Waterpenny Farm.

Farming for the Future from Aditi Desai on Vimeo.

If you enjoyed the Farming for the Future film series, you may also wish to screen When Mickey Came to Town, a 30-minute film about a campaign, waged more than twenty years ago, to stop The Walt Disney Company from building an American history themed park in the historic countryside of the Virginia Piedmont.

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The Farming for The Future film series is made possible through generous funding by the Prince Charitable Trusts. Chris Palmer and the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University provided integral leadership and support in producing these films with alumnae Aditi Desai and Vanina Harel. Many thanks to all of the participants including The Piedmont Environmental Council, Mount Vernon Farm, Heritage Hollow Farms, Waterpenny Farm, Potomac Vegetable Farms, Michael Twitty, Three Part Harmony Farm, and City Blossoms.

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