RURAL ACTION: Writer and director John Chester also stars in The Biggest Little Farm, a documentary about a couple moving to the city to a rural environment.
RURAL ACTION: Writer and director John Chester also stars in The Biggest Little Farm, a documentary about a couple moving to the city to a rural environment.

Film chronicles incredible farming adventures

THE Biggest Little Farm is a new film that follows a couple who moves from the city to a farm.

The two dreamers, and a dog, embark on an odyssey to bring harmony to their lives and the land.

When the barking of their beloved dog Todd leads to an eviction notice from their tiny Los Angeles apartment, John and Molly Chester make a choice that takes them out of the city and onto 200 acres in the foothills of Ventura County, naively endeavouring to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature.

The land they've chosen, however, is utterly depleted of nutrients and suffering from a brutal drought.

The film chronicles eight years of daunting work and idealism as they attempt to create the

utopia they seek, planting 10,000 orchard trees and over 200 different crops, and bringing in animals of every kind - including an unforgettable pig named Emma and her best friend, Greasy the rooster.

When the farm's ecosystem finally begins to reawaken, so does the Chester's' hope - but as their plan to create perfect harmony takes a series of wild turns, they realise that to survive they will have to reach a far greater understanding of the intricacies and wisdom of nature, and of life itself.

 

 

John Chester said the most surprising and unexpected thing that he witnessed over the course of the filming period was the return of the wildlife to the area.

"And then watching that wildlife become integrated into the needs of the farm. It's just absolutely mind blowing," he said.

Mr Chester said he hoped the film finds its way to younger viewers.

"While the film might contain some intense scenes, the story is very much for them too," he said.

"And then I hope that all the viewers will see that a collaboration with nature offers infinite possibilities. Those possibilities that have evolved to perfection over billions of years of evolution. They've never stopped working for us, maybe we've just been too distracted from seeing them. I don't want anyone to feel like this film is trying to promote a way, or the only way, to farm. I do hope that it inspires the viewer to trust that nature has the answers for us. And those answers won't all come at once."

• At Palace Cinemas Byron Bay, 108 Jonson St, this Sunday 3pm and 4pm. Both screenings will feature a Q&A session discussing regenerative farming practices with local resident and 2040 director, Damon Gameau. Other sessions available.


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