This past Friday night Naomi, a friend, and myself went to the Byron Colby Barn to watch the movie The Real Dirt on Farmer John, which is a personal documentary or an autobiopic (is that even a genre). John Peterson is a farmer, artist, eccentric visionary who lives just outside of Rockford, IL. The film documents John's personal struggles from the deaths of his uncle and father, losing his farm in the 80's, and his hard fought rebirth back into farming. John faced prejudice, vicious rumors, and more from his rural neighbors. One gets a detailed look and feel of what rural America was like during the 80's for anyone who broke away from the norm of society.
In 1990 John Peterson returned back to what was left of his family farm. There he began farming again with the help of family and friends. However, with his return John brought a farming method that he had witnessed during his time in Mexico. A natural system that didn't degrade or sterilize the land, an organic way of farming. In the next few years John was taken by the writings of Rudolf Steiner, a philosopher and visionary from Austria, and began to introduce biodynamic farming to Angelic Organics in 1993. In that same year Angelic Organics became a Community Supported Agriculture or CSA farm. Angelic Organics has slowly grown and is now one of the largest CSAs in the United States with over 1400 families participating as shareholders.
All in all this is an entertaining and uplifting movie that shows us how one individual with the help of others can create a small food revolution in the heart of middle America.