Brookford Almanac is a year in the complex and beautiful life of first-generation American farmers. A young couple is living their dream of raising a family on a farm in New Hampshire, but with their lease set to expire, the future is uncertain. This is a film about old and new rituals, physical labor, land ethics and what comes next for American farming.
***NEW GIFT! SIGNED 12x18 Print by photographer Julian Russell for $75 pledge. To read the full story about the photograph & print visit our blog!***
Meet Luke and Catarina Mahoney. Neither grew up on a farm, but now they are living their dream of raising a family on an organic dairy tucked deep in the bend of a country road in Rollinsford, New Hampshire. Farming is not what Luke and Catarina’s parents expected them to do. They are part of a new generation of farmers that grew up in cities and suburbs and are drawn to the land—to farming—by their own desire for a connection to the land, not by their family’s expectations.
The story of young first-generation farmers is timely and important. Luke and Catarina are producing healthy food and feeding families, and they have become a vital part of seacoast New Hampshire’s food community. As they raise their crops, they are also raising interest in a new kind of food economy, and for those who find themselves drawn to the land, a new way of making a living. Now is an important moment to document the young farmers’ movement. This isn’t the story of saving the proverbial dying family farm. It is the story of beginnings. It is the story about pioneering a new way of life in the face of countless obstacles: limited land access, rising debt, arduous physical labor. It is also the story of national and global issues that necessarily intersect with the life of a farm: food security, obesity, “big agriculture,” and peak oil.
Alice Waters has famously said, “Learning to make the right choices about food is the single most important key to environmental awareness — for ourselves, and especially for our children.” Making food personal, making it local, and helping people, especially children, to learn where it comes from and how it is grown helps everyone to make the right choices about how we feed ourselves.
I have been filming at Brookford Farm for over a year now and I will continue to film into the next growing season. The film is primarily shot in an observational, vérité style and focuses on the daily life, struggles and activities of the farm.
The film will have an original score composed by Julian Russell. Julian composed the music for our last film, Borderland, as well as for the Sundance award-winning documentary Ballot Measure 9. A sample of the soundtrack can be heard in the video above.
The production of the film is at an important juncture. Luke and Catarina's lease at Brookford Farm is not being renewed and so they have begun the difficult task of looking for a new farm. Your support will help us continue to film through the next growing season so that we can tell this important story which includes the crucial issue of land access and security for first-generation farmers. In late 2011 we will begin post-production and editing of the film.
From the Portsmouth Herald.
- (30 days)