With the average age of farmers in the U.S. currently at 57, it’s critical to encourage more young people to take up the plow. GROW! profiles a new crop of idealistic young farmers who have turned to the fields for a more fulfilling life, driven also by a strong desire to change how our food is grown.
Filmed on 12 different farms throughout the state of Georgia during an entire growing season, GROW! provides an honest and inspiring look at this next generation of farmers.
There is an emerging movement of young people, both women and men, who are leaving the cities to take up an agrarian life. Many are college-educated, and some are unable to find jobs in the current economic slump. Not happy with their current lives and what they see as a broken food system, they aim to fix some of the current shortcomings by growing and distributing food locally and in a more sustainable manner.
To start off, they often must borrow, rent or manage farmland in order to fulfill their dreams. Some begin as apprentices, working with experienced farmers to learn the basics before venturing out on their own.
GROW! takes an engaging and personal 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 the challenges involved in tending the land, from unpredictable weather and equipment breakdowns, to keeping their crops healthy. They also clearly present what motivates them, and what it takes to be successful as a farmer.
The film provides inspiration to all viewers to support this new crop of local and sustainable farmers through the food choices we make every day.
Reviews & Awards"Recommended. A likable exploration of a new generation of youthful organic farmers...it also presents some cautionary notes. Still, the passion these young people have for the earth and its bounty is contagious."
– Video Librarian
"Beautifully photographed and skillfully edited, this film celebrates Georgia’s small-farm movement, but it is dedicated to and has relevance for small farmers everywhere. Recommended for those who enjoyed the documentary Fresh and anyone with a general interest in the sustainable agriculture movement."
– Library Journal
"Beautifully crafted documentary... Personal commentaries offer a realistic picture of what is involved with modern-day, small-scale agriculture.... The program is nicely balanced between these personal observations and lovingly photographed visuals of the intense physical labor asked of those committed to the resurgence of individual farms."
– School Library Journal
"Well-spoken and inspiring, these individuals describe the practical aspects of starting viable businesses, and includes the reactions of friends and community members who view farming as a surprising career path… A great resource for high school students that might spark an interest in farming as a career or provoke a class discussion on sustainable food issues generally."
"Recommended for discussions about the future of agriculture, organics foods, and environmental issues in general. Good production values. An all-around pleasant film to watch."
– Educational Media Reviews Online
"Through a series of interviews with young women and men who had recently (within the last few years or months) chosen to go into organic farming, the film presents the future of small farming in Georgia. The participants reveal why they chose to go into farming, why they stay, some of the trials they face and how they see the future."
-Anthropology Review Database
“These young people are happy. Hard-working to be sure, but satisfied in their work, nourishing themselves and others, and the earth itself, with their unusual career choice to return to America’s agrarian roots — before corporations and chemicals took control of our food production.”
– Atlanta Magazine
"A paean to those who make the sustainable food movement possible... Anthony and Masterson found that along with pluck and a whole lot of knowledge about soil pH, it takes tremendous confidence and ambition to make a go of organic farming. They asked tough questions, pressing past the youthful idealism to reveal the realities of floods, bugs and finances and captured the honest answers on film."
“GROW! offers the opportunity to understand a new generation of farmer... What we get is a picture of hardworking, passionate and, yes, idealistic 20 and 30-somethings who feel called to a ‘real’ job with tangible results.”
– Civil Eats
Earth Award, Cinema Verde
Best Feature, 2012 Colorado Environmental Film Festival
Best American Documentary, Rome International Film Festival
Focus Award, Montana CINE International Film Festival
Best of Category (Food and Agricultural Issues), Montana CINE International Film Festival
Audience Choice Award, Docufest Atlanta
Best Documentary Short, Asheville Cinema Festival
Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival
Colorado Environmental Film Festival
Macon Film Festival
Savannah Film Festival
Slow Motion Food Film Festival, Nova Scotia
Wild and Scenic Film Festival