In 1979 our family visited the USA and I was intrigued by the immense range of products on the shelf of the supermarkets, almost all coming with additives of one sort or another. I didn't enjoy much of what I could find to eat or drink while I was there (the 'orange plastic' cheese, the watery honey and especially the 'milk with vitamins A-Z') but didn't give it much thought either (hey I was 9!).
Two years later I saw a film called "Bitter Harvest" about a farmer struggling with contamination on his farm and subsequent contamination of consumers who used the farm produce. The end result was the total loss of the dairy herd.
At the same time that this film was circulating there was another documentary of the same title being produced by a film student that was documenting the slowly failing farm of a young farmer named John Peterson. Footage from that film makes up part of a new documentary of collapse and resurrection of a family farm - one based on principles of organic and later biodynamic production.
While studying agriculture and animal husbandry at high school I was fortunate to be introduced to the concept of minimising or eliminating the use of pesticides wherever possible.
Organic and biodynamic farming methods have gained a lot more credibility since I studied and are becoming the preferred approach for many producers of high quality vegetables and animals for consumption.
The Perth Slow Food Convivium is a local driving force bringing together producers and consumers end encouraging quality and biodiversity as well as supporting education through the Kitchen Garden program.
They are holding a fundraising evening where the documentary "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" will be shown (read about the film here). It chronicles 25 years in the life of John Peterson and even better, Farmer John will be there to give a little presentation at the start of the movie. Local producers have been invited to do tastings and a glass of wine is included in the price of $16.00.
Everyone who books to go along will receive a free Slow Food Goodies bag to take home and there will be a raffle of a Slow Food Producers Hamper on the night.
You can download the booking sheet for the movie night here: Farmer John Movie
Date: Friday 2nd November 2007
Time: 8 pm but be there from 7.00 pm for tastings and a glass of wine (6.30pm set-up for producers)
Venue: Astor Cinema
Cnr Beaufort & Walcott Sts, Mt Lawley
Costs: $16.00 members & non members
Get yer wellies on and get along.