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Sustainable the Documentary  RSS feed

 
Michael Newby
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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Directed by Matt Wechsler and Annie Speicher

Summary:

From the film's website:
"A vital investigation of the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the agricultural issues we face — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use — to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. Sustainable is a film about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations.

The narrative of the film focuses on Marty Travis, a seventh-generation farmer in central Illinois who watched his land and community fall victim to the pressures of big agribusiness. Determined to create a proud legacy for his son, Marty transforms his profitless wasteland and pioneers the sustainable food movement in Chicago"

Sustainable gives hope that not all is lost when it comes to agriculture.  While hundreds of millions of acres of land are being farmed in ways that depend greatly on massive external inputs and still degrade the land, there are more and more farmers realizing that they can can have profitable, diversified farms without those inputs and they're improving their soil as they do it. 

Where To Get It:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Sustainable Food Film Website

Related Threads:

Permaculture, Sustainability, and Polyculture thead
What is Permaculture?
Sepp Holzer

Related Podcasts:
Keys to Building Healthy Soils pt. 1
Keys to Building Healthy Soils pt. 2
Mark Vander Meer on Soils
 
Michael Newby
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
134
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
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I give this film a 10 out of 10 acorns.

As of 3/18/17 this film is on Netflix if you have it - I highly encourage people to watch it!

Wow, what an inspiring film!  Instead of railing against what big agriculture is doing wrong without presenting any solutions, Sustainable shows a group of farmers who have found their solution and are more than happy to share it with everyone. 

The film mostly focuses on seventh generation farmer Marty Travis and the group of farmers that he works with to supply food to various restaraunts in Chicago.  What I personally liked the most about this film was the sense of peace you got from the various farmers in the film which seemed like such a contrast to the stressed out, almost haggard sense I get from my exposure to a lot of the 'conventional agriculture' guys.  While none of these farmers would deny that the life includes lots of hard work, you can see the joy in their eyes as they talk about the different things they are doing on the farm, about the amazingly nutritious and tasty food they are producing.  The resiliancy that these polyculture using farms have seems to allow the farmers to really enjoy their lives as stewards of the land.  Nowhere did I see that pained, stressed look that I see in conventional farmer's faces when they're worried that the commodity price might drop or that one disease is going to wipe out their entire crop. 

I believe that the farms featured in the film and others like them will provide a legacy of good food, increasing soil health, and profitable family enterprises vs. the big ag legacy of degraded soils, non-nutritious food, and ever growing debt cycles.  I can't wait to hear Paul do a podcast review! (hint hint)
 
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