A new documentary that captures the energy and independence of a fresh crop of young farmers.

It’s not just ‘Old MacDonald’ on the farm anymore. All across the U.S. there is a growing movement of educated young people who are leaving the cities to take up an agrarian life. Armed with college degrees, some are unable to find jobs in the current economic slump. Fed up with corporate America and its influence on a broken food system, they aim to solve some of the current system’s inequities by growing clean, fair food. Mostly landless, they borrow, rent or manage farmland in order to fulfill their dreams of doing something meaningful with their lives.

GROW! takes a look at this new generation of sustainable farmers through the eyes, hearts and minds of 20 passionate, idealistic and fiercely independent young growers. In the film they speak of both the joys and challenges involved in tending the land.

Filmed on 12 farms throughout the state of Georgia during an entire growing season, GROW! provides an honest and inspiring look at this next generation of farmers.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
filmmakers Anthony and Masterson

The husband and wife photography/filmmaking team known as Anthony-Masterson has been documenting young, organic and sustainable farmers in Georgia since they moved to Atlanta from LA in 2005. “As subjects, we’re drawn to them because of their dignity, passion, intelligence and dedication to growing clean, fair food.” GROW! is Anthony-Masterson’s first feature length film.

INSPIRED? TAKE ACTION!

So what can you do to support young farmers?

  1. Small scale farming requires a lot of physical work. Volunteer to work on a farm for a day! Some farms are even able to offer work/share options - Get paid with good fresh food - Or at least enjoy some fresh air, sunshine and the satisfaction of doing something real.
  2. One of the biggest challenges for anyone getting into farming is access to land. If you have some land or know of someone who does, see if you can connect the dots for someone who wants to grow food, with someone who has land. If you live in the city, remember that you can grow a lot of food on a vacant lot!
  3. Three of the most important decisions you make each day are breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try to spend a good portion of your food dollars on fresh food grown close to you. Join a CSA, shop at a Farmers Market, support restaurants and grocery stores in your area that get their food from local farmers. If the restaurants and grocery stores in your community don't source their food locally, ask them why not… and keep asking until they do.
  4. Be an advocate for healthy food sourced locally to be served in the schools in your community -join up with the nationwide Farm to School program. If you're in college, find out about The Real Food Challenge - a student run organization that advocates for just and sustainable food in campus dining halls all across the U.S. Make a difference!
  5. Strive for a more democratic and sustainable food and farm economy! Get involved in politics on a local, statewide or national level. Vote for politicians that support Americans right to good, clean and fair food.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  1. Do you know of any farmers who are growing food in your community? What are some of the challenges they face on a daily basis? What could you do to help them? If you don't know any farmers, how could you go about finding some?
  2. Have you ever been to a Farmers Market? If so, share some of the positive experiences that you've had there. How does shopping at a Farmers Market impact your community's economy? Besides the economy, how else can Farmers Markets have a positive effect on the community?
  3. Do you think that food that is grown on a small scale, without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is healthier for you and the planet? If your answer is yes, are you willing to spend a little more money for it? Which costs more - a visit to the doctor or purchasing a week's worth of wholesome fresh food directly from the person who grows it?
  4. Why are so many college educated young people taking up farming? Three of the female farmers in the movie were planning on becoming doctors, what character traits do you think farmers and doctors have in common?
  5. What does CSA stand for? How does it work? How does it benefit the farmer? Would you ever consider participating in a CSA? What benefits would there be for you?

Film Quotes

"GROW! is a story that does not seek to convince the moviegoer of any particular viewpoint, but instead offers the opportunity to understand a new generation of farmer and why they seek to live a lifestyle removed from the hustle and bustle of the corporate world." – Kate Hoppe, Civil Eats

"The obvious risk of a documentary featuring 20 insanely earnest and hard-working young farmers in Georgia is that it had better be really good … it does not disappoint. GROW! is a no-frills documentary that succeeds entirely because of its subjects." – Dave Loos, Missoula Independent