The story of the youngster leaving the farm, abandoning a lifestyle that has been in their family for generations and moving to the city is not a new one. And it is still happening, now more than ever, on an increasingly alarming scale.
Did you know that within ten years, up to seventy five percent of farmers are expected to retire? How will this affect the food landscape? Are there enough young people going into farming to replace them? How will our food be grown and managed?
These and more questions are examined in the thought provoking documentary, To Make a Farm, screening at the Royal Theatre in Toronto on, June 21, perhaps fittingly, the first day of summer.
Named one of the most popular Canadian films at the Vancouver International Film Festival, To Make A Farm has also been screened to favourable reviews at the Big Sky Documentary Festival in Montana, the Santa Cruz Film Festival, and Available Light Film Festival in Whitehorse, Yukon.
The films examines the lives of five young people who are reversing the trend; despite having no background in this difficult profession, they have given up their lives in the city and have become small-scale farmers, facing challenges and set-backs on an almost daily basis, learning the ropes, adapting to the demands of this most important and demanding discipline.
One of the subjects of the Film, Tarrah Young of Neustadt, Ontario will be at the Toronto screening. Tarrah and her husband Nathan were motivated by environmental concerns to become small scale farmers, and have found the experience to be challenging, rewarding and deeply personal, requiring what Tarrah describes as an almost spiritual dedication to the land and animals. With fellow panelists, director producer Steve Suderman and Audrey Macdonald, a second generation farmer born in Jamaica and incubating at FarmStart’s McVean property, Tarrah will be part of a panel discussion after the show, discussing the film, answering questions and engaging the audience with their “getting started” stories and their hopes for the future.
Here are a few preview clips from this important and captivating documentary. Tickets for the evening are $12.00 in advance and can be purchased online, $13.00 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the screening begins at 6:50.