The Real Dirt…

…on Farmer John.

I thought Netflix had delivered us a documentary about a Midwestern farmer, his life, and how he lost most of his family farm in the 80s farm crisis and then regained it. Wonderful home movies and photos of farm life in mid-century. Painful and heartbreaking losses, financial and personal.

Image of a family farm near Stockbridge, Wisconsin, United States

Image via Wikipedia

Oh. No.

First of all, Farmer John is…quirky. He sometimes drives tractors wearing funny hats and feather boas. He once hosted large numbers of hippies on his farm, letting them do their artistic thing while he raised hogs and soybeans. He talks a lot about his feelings. Much more than I expected from someone who essentially looks like a Norwegian Bachelor Farmer from Lake Wobegon. And the DVD featured a music video of him and his girlfriend dressed up in bee costumes.

Then, about 2/3 of the way through the film, he dropped the bomb. The Biodynamics bomb.

I had no idea he was a BD farmer! So unexpected, so delightful! I accused my husband of springing this on me as a sneaky surprise, but he claims total innocence.

Evidently Farmer John’s farm, Angelic Organics, has one of the largest CSAs in the US. The man loves his farm, loves farming, loves crops and animals and the whole shebang. His story of how he came to learn about biodynamics is fascinating!

So, I know the film has been out since 2005, but it was new to me. I recommend it. If you live near Chicago, check out the CSA!

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Filed under Anthroposophy, Food, movies, Silliness and Mayhem

9 responses to “The Real Dirt…

  1. Hey thanks for the review – I haven’t seen this one yet.

    I’m Kellan, btw – nice to meet you. See you soon.

  2. I love documentaries and this sounds like one I would really enjoy. I would love to learn more about biodynamic farming.

  3. I would love this!! Thanks… I’m putting this on my to-watch list.

  4. Kellan: Welcome! Thanks for stopping by.

    Dawn: He doesn’t talk a whole lot about biodynamics in the film, but check the link to his story in my post for a bit more. I tried to find a BD farm near you on the US biodynamics website, but only saw one near Seattle, Rivendell Ranch in Hoquiam.

  5. wow, how amazing to shop at a biodynamic CSA. If we ever get to the States for our road trip (one day!) he will be on our must visit list, he sounds so cool.

  6. This is a great movie, I tried showing it for a fund-raiser for our farmers’ market, but the farm bureau decided they couldn’t sponsor such a movie (the naked woman at the beginning and apparently there is someone smoking a joint, but I didn’t see that. They said there are also too many safety violations….) Oh Well, I tried.

  7. Lisa Anne: Somehow I knew you had seen this one 🙂 How funny, there is so little “objectionable” stuff in it. Yes, there’s a nude woman, looks like she’s covered in mud, at the beginning for about 8 seconds. I didn’t see the joint smoking, but there are certainly a lot of hippie-type people in the middle section. As for safety violations…there was one old home movie of a bunch of kids riding in the bucket of a front loader or some such implement!

  8. I love that film. We own the DVD. We live only an hour north of Angelic, and were able to go on a field trip and tour there about a month ago. Great place!!! They also have great classes/workshops. 🙂

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