Evolution of Organic has been included in Transitions Film Festival's 2018 program of international documentaries featuring inspirational change-makers. In 82 minutes, writer, director and producer Mark Kitchell has brilliantly captured and curated the evolution of organics in California, USA. He's broken it into acts which are narrated by award-winning actress Frances McDormand - the first being Origins of Organic - chronicling origins of California's organic movement in 1960s; it has some brilliant footage of the time and the people, including 'eccentric master gardener' and revolutionary change-maker Alan Chadwick and his teachings of Rudolf Steiner's biodynamic philosophy.
My favourite quote is from one of California's organic elders Amigo Bob Cantisano of Peaceful Valley Farm, where he passionately explains "we're the group that put the culture back in agriculture" - so true. The documentary showcases the organic techniques of composting, planting cover crops, natural pest control using beneficial insects, biodynamic preparations and the art of observation.
Izzy Martin of Californian Agrarian Action Project is featured throughout, as she explains the legalities of the implementation of organic certification and US organic foods production act of 1990 and the challenges key stakeholders were faced with, in order to ethically and viably promote and sell organic produce commercially (cue some ingenious ads from the time of commercial breakthrough in the late 80s).
The final act is titled Expanding Organic and documents the endless options for ethically and organically grown produce, including the opportunities for landholders to be provided with practical and financial support with startup via organic farm incubators which in turn safeguards and further expands organics for future generations.
No stone's left unturned - you'll see urban farms/community gardens growing food for their neighbourhoods using organic principles, organic fibre/eco fashion and aquaculture.
There's a great segment on carbon farming, featuring Straus Family Creamery's methane digester - which digests and separates cow manure, diverting the solids to compost and liquid methane to powering the dairy.
Adelaide's Transitions Film Festival will screen Evolution of Organic in Mercury Cinema, at 7pm on Thursday, 24 May 2018 and will be followed by a panel discussion with guest speakers Graham Brookman (joint Managing Director of The Food Forest); Christy Spier (Urban Sustainability Coordinator AMLR's NRM) and Dr Keri Chiveralls (Head of Program and Discipline Leader of Permaculture Design at CQUniversity).