Featured Lifestyle Travel

Organic Farms are Everywhere Documentary

April 25, 2016

24 states. 24 farms. 50 hours of footage & interviews. This is the story of the local food movement.

The documentary “Organic Farms are Everywhere” tracks the cross-country story of the local food movement made and filmed by dietitian Nicole Cormier of Wellfleet and farmer Jim Lough of Bourne.

In February 2012, Cormier and Lough took an 18 day coast-to-coast trip, stopping at one organic farm in every state along the route. Each visit was documented with candid interviews of the farmers and vivid photographs of the farm. The resulting documentary shares what the pair experienced and learned along the way.

The number-one thing we learned is how much love and passion and energy is put into the food we consume, and how important it is to know where your food comes from.

The film was partly funded by 45 Kickstarter backers back in 2012, and all of the filming and interviewing was done by Cormier and Lough. From an organic citrus farm in Louisiana to a chicken farm in Illinois, this film gives a peek into the lives of real farmers and the local food movement.

Premiere of Organic Farms are Everywhere

All of the farmers were so generous and excited to share their life and passion with us. At the end of the trip, I wasn’t ready to stop. It was so inspiring and energizing.

Four years later, we are ready to share our documentary! Our premiere was on April 21, 2016 at The Cape Cinema.

Cape Cinema  

Watch the documentary on Vimeo On Demand  {you can RENT or BUY it}

Organic Farms are Everywhere from Nicole Cormier on Vimeo.

I would love to share with you some of the highlights throughout our travels… 

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L’Hoste Citrus – Braithwaite, Louisiana 

“Down near the Gulf of Mexico, tucked next to the mighty Mississippi, is the beautiful town of Braithwaite, Louisiana. There we found our next farmer, Lester L’Hoste of L’hoste Citrus, working in his greenhouse. He immediately insisted we get on his 4-wheeler for a tour of his gorgeous organic citrus orchard. We happily agreed.”

Thirteenth Stop – Home Grown Kansas

Kansas is a Native American term, meaning southern wind, and when we arrived in Wichita, it was blowing cold. However, when we arrived at our fourteenth stop, Home Grown Kansas, Pat and Elsy invited us into their home to talk about the local food movement.

Pat and Elsy offer a variety of herbs at their stand in the Farmer’s markets and to local restaurants. When they first started, over twenty years ago, Elsy sent Pat out with a bunch of produce to sell before returning. Today, she has many relationships with local chefs and others in the community.

At Home Grown Kansas, we had a rare opportunity to discuss local and organic farming with Pat, the coordinator and manager of the Old Town Wichita Farmer’s Market.

Home Grown Kansas’ composting program relies heavily on the local economy. They work together with tree companies and landscapers, who need a place to unload their organic waste, and would otherwise have to pay to use the city dump. This is a blessing for Pat and Elsy, who would otherwise have to pay to import compost. This creates a symbiotic relationship among local businesses.

Home Grown Kansas, like many other farmers on our tour, relies partly on the generosity of their community. A local school allows them to cultivate some of their unused land.” 

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Fourteenth Stop – Laughingstalk Homestead

“We left Wichita as the stormed rolled in. Eight hours later, we found ourselves back on the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. There, at our next stop, Laughingstalk Farmstead, where we were greeted by Ross, Emily and of course Gusto, the pup.

After successfully managing a farm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, they decided to move back to Emily’s hometown to start their own farm. This is extremely important, because organic farming is not as popular in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, as it is up north. We applaud them for creating a market, which previously did not exist.

Emily and Ross, owners of Laughingstalk Farmstead in Cape Girardeau, MO. Two really cool people. They plan to collaborate with other local farms for their CSA this year, including milk and meat. We tried raw milk for the first time and will be searching for it from now on. Ross works full-time at Laughingstalk Farmstead and Emily has a part-time job at a local antique consignment shop in town. Thank you Emily, Ross and Gusto for a place to stay, a delicious burrito, our kombucha starter kit, and your hospitality.”

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Fifteenth Stop – Frontwards Farm

Just one hour away, in the rolling hills of Southern Illinois, we met our fifteenth farmers, Jason and Sarah Shoot. After touring their farm, they invited us in for some of their own homemade free-range chicken noodle soup. Jason and Sarah will have 125 chickens this year. Frontwards Farm continues to grow.

Toe, due to his bent left claw, is one of the original chickens from Frontwards Farm. Frontwards Farm had a huge greenhouse that will soon be filled with local produce. Many thanks to the Shoot Family for their tremendous hospitality. We had yet another amazing experience on our trip. Jason had us as his guests on his radio show, The Random Show! Along with being full-time parents and farmers, Jason is a political activist and a local radio DJ, and Sarah is a talented artist, as well being a local radio DJ.” 

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Sixteenth Stop – Off the Fence Farm

“Sixteenth stop, Evansville, Indiana. We always hear about family values, but one way to really put it into perspective is to spend time with the Willet Family of Off the Fence Farm. Off the Fence Farm is 4 acres, including animals and the Willet’s home. Steve Willet made his own pond in order to provide water for his plants and animals in a more sustainable way.

Their name “Off the Fence Farm” was derived from their belief that many Americans are still, “on the fence” with making decisions about their health and environment. They urge you to get “off the fence” and side with local organic farms. One of their biggest sellers are carrots. Many parents pick-up a bunch with green leaf tops for their kids at the Farmer’s Market, where they have several returning customers.”

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Seventeenth Stop – Cherry Ridge Farm

“In the historic Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, we met up with David Beebe at Cherry Ridge Farm. He has incorporated many exotic plants into his greenhouse, including this begonia. David and his son built a cute little cabin for interns to stay in while working on the farm. David, a biochemist, has created a system that using vegetable oil from local restaurants to heat his greenhouse.”

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Eighteenth Stop – Round Right Farm

Back in Appalachia, we found Sunshine and Steve Vortigern Round Right Farm in Cransville, West Virginia. They told us that their biggest problem they have is meeting the demand of more and more consumers looking for local organic food. Sunshine and Steve’s children, Isis and Xaviar, are raised on the farm and home-schooled. Isis loves to help out on the farm. Steve’s band, The Sugarfoot Stompers, play in Morgantown, WV and local venues if you’re ever in the area.”

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Nineteenth Stop – House-in-the-woods Farm

Once again, turning the compass east, we arrive at House-in-the- Woods in Adamstown, Maryland. Jim went out with Jonah, Noah and Phil to learn about morning chores. Nic waited for the coffee to brew. There was the cutest baby cow at House-in-the-woods. These were Dexters, a miniature heritage breed similar to Devons. The chickens eagerly chowed their breakfast during chores. They are also given leftover produce the farm’s gardens to enrich their diet. Phil, Ilene, Noah, and Jonah welcomed us to stay and we had Nic’s new favorite breakfast, Eggs and Kale scramble.”

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Twentieth Stop – Blackberry Meadows Farm

“Zigzagging through the Northeast on our home-stretch,  we made it to our twentieth stop, Blackberry Meadows Farm, just before sundown in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania. Blackberry Meadows was already a thriving organic farm when Jen Montgomery and Gregg Boulis purchased the farm and property with an eye to expand. Since then, they have done just that. Above is Nate, the full-time livestock manager. With over 150 chickens, farm fresh eggs are never in short supply at Blackberry Meadows. We took home a dozen.  Nate invites their CSA members to be involved in the processing of poultry. They have the option of butchering their own chicken. This is a very intimate connection with your food. 

Sheep are sheared for their wool, which Jen Montgomery spins into yarn when she can. She showed us a piece she recently made with her loom. She loves weaving, but doesn’t always have the time.”

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Twenty-Second Stop – Beltane Farms

Twenty-second stop, Beltane Farms in Lebanon, Connecticut. We made it across country and back and what a beautiful country it is, but there’s something about New England that feels like home and we were glad to be back.

When we arrived, the farm’s owner, Paul Trubey and his long-time friend, Kris, were busy constructing a new milking house for his goats. Beltane farms specializes it goat cheese and milk. Paul told us his interest in organic farming started with his love of animals and a deep commitment to treating them with care and respect.

He went on to say, a large percentage of his customers are parents seeking a healthy alternative to cow’s milk due to their child’s intolerance. He sells his products at twelve different farmer’s markets throughout the week.”

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Twenty-first Stop – Flatbrook Farm

“In this day and age, New Jersey is not well known for farming, but in the early part of the 20th century it was considered part of America’s heartland. Our twenty-first stop, Flatbrook Farm, and its owner, Brian Naftal, are determined to revive New Jersey’s status as an agricultural hot spot. Flatbrook Farm raises beef, pork and poulry. With access to hundreds of acres of rolling grassy hills, these animals have plenty of space to be themselves. This makes animals healthy, which in turn makes safe, healthy food for us to eat.”

Camino De Paz, New Mexico 

“We interviewed the students of  the Camino de Paz School and Farm, grades 6, 7, 8 and 9 about their experience. The consensus among the students of Camino de Paz is that they enjoy going to school, because they’re not indoors at a desk all day. In fact, the teachers mentioned the students are more focused after being outdoors. The farm has 4 greenhouses filled with fresh produce. Friday, the students were harvesting the greens for the Farmer’s market on Saturday. They do not use tractors at the Camino de Paz School and Farm. Instead, they use horse power to plow the fields. After the students finish their morning chores on the farm, they head indoors for class where they apply skills they learned on the farm to the classroom.” Watch a preview

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Windyview Acres – Dewey, Arizona

“Up in the high desert hills, next to the Bradshaw Mountains, our seventh stop, Windyview Acres is located in Dewey, Arizona. The farm’s owner and operator, Dana, is a true animal lover and steward of the land. It was a great pleasure to tour her elaborate farm. Dana has 25 shareholders this year. They will receive vegetables, variety of teas, cow and goat milk, chicken, duck and goose eggs, beef, poultry and even spun wool.”

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THANK YOU! to our Kickstarter Project Backers:

  • Adam Pelletier
  • James Dobson
  • Kate Sheehan
  • Inside Out Acupunture
  • Denise Joy
  • Greg Connors
  • Lisa Massari
  • Mathew Silverman
  • Ed Rand
  • Megan Bailey
  • Kelly Harju
  • Jessica Pasalacqua
  • Patricia Gadsby
  • Cathy O’Brien
  • Megan Gibbons
  • Mitra Tummino
  • Chris Leonard
  • Nicholas DiMatteo
  • Andrew Nighsander
  • Amanda Converse
  • Regina Shea
  • Lindsay Allen
  • Michael Bouvier
  • Rachael Denison
  • Sean Kaminsky
  • Bonnie Montleon
  • Ashley Tarbet
  • Stephanie Waite
  • Marylou Waite
  • Benjamin Bourgoin
  • Enid Littman
  • Ellen Scheible
  • Brian McCarthy
  • Warren McCarthy
  • Joe Faria
  • William Tucker
  • Kristen Riley
  • Jill Porter
  • Candi Keith
  • Melissa Berman
  • Stephanie Panasci
  • Rachel Gillis

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