State of Canadian family farm explored in new documentary
By Marg Land
March 4, 2009, Holland Marsh, Ont. – A new Canadian documentary explores how the food we eat is produced, the current state of the family farm, as well as themes related to the 100-Mile Diet and the perils of globalized food production.
A Growing Season follows vegetable farmer John Gorzo Jr. and his family over eight months in the Holland Marsh, located less than an hour north of Toronto, Ont.
The tough nature of farming is graphically demonstrated in A Growing Season as Gorzo at one point mentions how vendors are calling him to cover bills with money he doesn’t have. At one point, the farmer laments that the current marketplace doesn’t provide today’s farmers with adequate compensation.
“It’s getting tough out there for farmers to make a decent living,” he says.
Co-directors Robert Waldeck and Paul Eichhorn tagged along as John prepared to seed the new season’s crop and they were there in late fall as the farmer sees another growing season come to a close. Eichhorn says they were able to capture a very intimate portrait of a farmer’s life thanks to Gorzo’s candid nature.
“John opened up to us and told us his true feelings about being a farmer,” explains Eichhorn. “As the months went by, we clearly could see the strain on John’s face about how things were going. It really offers viewers to chance to see first-hand the challenges facing farmers today.”
Waldeck adds it was hard to believe anyone would persevere considering the forces farmers currently face.
“From tractors breaking down to a hot, dry summer to extreme fatigue, John just kept on going through it all,” recalls Waldeck, who was behind the camera for the shoot. “It was remarkable to watch him keep it all together even though the final outcome of this growing season was totally uncertain.”
The documentary, approximately 50-minutes in length, offers a stark view of farming, quite unlike the quaint one most people have in their heads. The process of producing the food we eat every day is a challenge that few of us could ever imagine. John Gorzo Jr.’s farm story demonstrates that it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to produce what we eat each and every day.
A Growing Season will be screened at numerous venues across North America over the coming months. The documentary became available around the world via the web site Gremolata.com in January 2009. The entire documentary can be viewed chapter by chapter in the site’s TV area.
For more information, visit www.agrowingseason.com.