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The Biggest Little Farm

A couple wishes to do their bit for a better global future by starting an organic farm in California. They have a rocky road ahead.


Once there was a chef called Molly and an animal photographer called John and they both dreamt of having a meaningful life on an organic farm, a kind of Noah‘s Ark, where all the animals and plants in the world would live together. Then the two adopt animal shelter dog Toddy and he barks so much that they‘re thrown out of their small city apartment, and that‘s when Molly and John decide to follow their dream…

In THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM Molly and John Chester show how the idyllic Apricot Lane farm in California became a reality in the span of 7 years. First the two acquired sponsors, though the financial details remain very vague. Then they built a system with the help of Alan Yorke, an expert in organic farming, and planted every square centimeter in crop rotation. First the soil has to rest. Then animals are added. Ducks, chickens, sheep, Emma the pig. Diversification is Allan‘s motto, the goal is a self-regenerating micro eco-system. Some setbacks follow the initial phase: wild birds eat almost all of the fruit crop, snails become a plague, and coyotes eat the chickens. Unlike traditional farmers, the Chesters have to find an organic solution. Organic farming is like surfing, Alan said. THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM isn‘t a real documentary, the glossy production is missing critical distance, and at 80 acres the farm is a lot bigger than the self-sufficient dreams of the beginning of the film. Apricot Lane Farm is a professionally managed organic business, and the film is surely part of its marketing. Despite this, THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM conveys how farming that aims at an ecological balance looks like in a credible way. It‘s notwonder when the first wild owls (also good against meerkats) settle in the farm.

Toni Ohms

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: The Biggest Little Farm
USA 2018, 91 min
Language: English
Genre: Documentary
Director: John Chester
Author: John Chester, Mark Monroe
Montage: Amy Overbeck
Music: Jeff Beal
Distributor: Prokino
Release: 11.07.2019


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