Young adults say to their parents, “I’m going to be a farmer.” Reactions range from “That’s nice, honey. You go through whatever phases you need to” to “I paid for your college education so you could be a farmer?”
The film “Grow!” opens with a woman saying, “To put your hands in the earth, to watch things grow right before your eyes every day; it’s pretty amazing.” It opens with several young folks singing the praises of a way to live.
It could be that the crop most vital to our collective future is farmers. We, literally, need millions of them. Will the personable and idealistic men and women in “Grow!” last, sweating the endless list of tasks? Will the glow of their tangible devotions fade after years of weather that doesn’t cooperate and tractors that break down and markets that need cultivation and business numbers that must be crunched?
Farming must be seen as a business, these back-to-the-earth entrepreneurs discover. It all has to add up, and yet it can’t really be about the money. Vital to the arithmetic are farm owners who want to keep farms productive with retirement looming in their lives. Without landowners sharing the land, these twenty-something kids wouldn’t have the most fundamental piece of their vision.
Farming is tough. Farming is fundamental. Farming is at a grass roots crossroad. The examples in the film “Grow!” need to be familiar food for thought, and like fresh vegetables, this film tastes good and is good for you.