“The Biggest Little Farm” is a documentary about a farm that was started by a couple north of Los Angeles after their adopted dog from a local animal shelter wouldn’t stop barking in their apartment.
John Chester was a nature videographer in Hollywood and Molly Chester was a chef who believed in the maxim that to ensure you have the best tasting and healthiest food, you need to know where it comes from. Molly had a crazy idea to start a farm for her cooking and her dog to have a place to roam, after their landlord threatened to evict them if their dog didn’t stop barking.
The farm Molly envisioned was a return to traditional farming. They met a man named Allan with a grand plan of diversification of crops, raising sheep, cows, chickens, and pigs, and to create a sustainable ecosystem fueled by a rich, thriving soil.
The movie, directed by John Chester, is a fascinating retelling of the ecosystem of farming and how each part of the farm attracts outside insects, birds, rodents, snakes, all the way up to the coyote at the top of the food chain and how things can be adjusted to create a healthy balance for each part to flourish.
It is a very beautiful film with lots of amazing slow-motion shots of wildlife up close and in action. It is also a challenge to the current norms of farming relying on technology and science to improve yields, but leads to an inferior quality of food that ultimately hurts the consumer. Finally, there is an element of sustainability and dealing with climate change in how returning to a balanced ecosystem approach, embodied in traditional farming methods, could lead to a world with better health in all aspects of the environment.
I definitely recommend you see this movie!