Inspire Your Community
Share the inspirational message and lessons of The Biggest Little Farm with your school, workplace, or organization! Encourage your community to see it now in a theater near you. You can also sign up a group to see The Biggest Little Farm in theaters and receive our discussion guide and educational curriculum to continue learning how you can contribute to the balance of our planet.
Visit a Farm
Visit a working farm and see where your food is grown! Learning about farming practices and traditions is essential in helping us understand the food choices we make and how we fit into the natural ecosystem. Or, take it one step further and actually learn to farm! Get your hands dirty and learn from farmers who are working with the land in a way that inspires you. You can volunteer on farms all over the world through the organization Worldwide Opportunities in Organic Farming (WWOOF).
Support Local Farmers
Buy your food from local farmer’s markets, farm stands, farm-to-table restaurants, and grocery stores offering produce from small and family farms! While it may sometimes be more expensive, be curious about the farming practices they use. How do we value healthier soil, more nutrient-dense food, and supporting a local food economy? We get to make that choice with our forks at least three times each day.
If there’s one thing you do… Compost! Just like John and Molly’s farm, composting is a way to cycle the finite nutrients back into a valuable soil amendment, instead of throwing it into the trash. The benefits are endless--reduces reliance on synthetic fertilizers, diverts methane from landfills, improves soil’s water retention capacity, and of course, builds the crucial microbiology in your own backyard ecosystem.
Don’t have a backyard or a garden? Many cities now have programs to compost food waste. Get in touch with your local municipality’s waste management department to learn more about what composting options are available in your community. If programs don’t yet exist near you, encourage your local city council and mayor’s office to start a composting program.
Learn About Regenerative Agriculture
Regenerative agriculture improves the land and resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them. It’s a holistic method of farming that builds soil fertility and requires the enhancement of your farm’s biodiversity while producing more nutrient-rich food. Learn more about regenerative agriculture from one of the movement’s greatest pioneers, The Rodale Institute, or check out Kiss the Ground, a California-based nonprofit working to educate and advocate for regenerative agriculture.
Learn from Mentors
Along with Alan York, John and Molly have had many mentors as they’ve built Apricot Lane Farms, and never cease being students of farming. Some of their most influential mentors have been Wendell Berry, Gabe Brown, Jerry Brunetti, Jim Gerrish, Mary Oliver, Joel Salatin, and Allan Savory. All of their books, and many others line their office shelves. If you have an interest in learning more about this way of farming, here’s John and Molly’s recommended Resources & Reading list below.
Resources and Reading List
As to not overwhelm your curiosity, below is only a small starter list of books that inspired us in the beginning. It’s easy to drown in the endless perspectives on how to farm and the conflicting advice one might get from different consultants. The method one chooses to farm is deeply personal and must resonate from within. These writers and farmers below might help inform your personal perspective.
I don’t know much for sure but I do know that farming is first and foremost an art and a way of seeing, everything else after that is just work. Stay curious. ~ John Chester
A few of the broader perspectives that inspired the “lens” we use to see our farm:
Wendel Berry - “It All Turns on Affection”, “The Way of Ignorance”, “The Unsettling of America”
Kristin Ohlson - “The Soil Will Save Us”
Joel Salatin - “Folks this aint normal”, Polyface Farms
Integrating the farm within an ecosystem:
Jerry Brunetti - “The Farm as Ecosystem”
Alan Savory - Holistic Management, Savory Institute
Will Harris - Whiteoak Pastures
The Infinite Wonder of Soil:
Gabe Brown - Cover cropping large scale systems, “Dirt To Soil”
Ray Archuleta - Soil Health, Cover Crops
Paul Stamets- All things Fungi, 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World
Jeff Lowenfels – “Teaming with Microbes/Nutrients/Fungi”
Sir Albert Howard
Nutrition, Food & Farm to Table:
Michael Pollan- “Omnivores Dilemma”
Lierre Keith - “The Vegetarian Myth”
Sally Fallon- Traditional Foods, “Nourishing Traditions”
*Apricot Lane Farms is certified Organic, Biodynamic and currently piloting Regenerative Organic Certifications. While we do not believe certification to be a requirement in order to qualify you as a conscientious steward of the land it does help to guide you towards methods and connect you with resources. Here are the ones we are actively involved with.