Movie Review: 'Biggest Little Farm'

By: 
Diana Lejins

“The Biggest Little Farm” is a delightful, down-to-earth (so to speak) cinematic surprise. This uplifting home-grown true-life documentary continuously amazes and is replete with drama, action, humor and full of heartwarming tug-at-your-heartstrings anecdotes.

Born from a dream of creating a nature-friendly farm, Molly Chester and her husband, John Chester, embark on a formidable journey with their rescue dog Todd. Beginning with sticks and stones and naked earth, devoid of nutrients and water, this dedicated couple cultivates a virtual modern-day Garden of Eden. The story follows them through their incredible eight-year odyssey documenting a miraculous transformation.

Together, they acquire a 130-acre parcel in Moorpark California, just 40 miles north of Los Angeles ... always focusing on their primary goal of complementing their farm with nature and biodiversity. Soon to follow are Emma the pig and her 17 piglets, a variety of chickens and ducks, goats, sheep, several Highland cattle, a Swiss dairy cow called Maggie, two Great Pyrenees dogs and various other captivating critters. The acreage eventually is populated with over 75 varieties of fruit trees--cherries, peaches, plums, apricots along with avocado and citrus trees and a cornucopia of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.

As with any novel venture, there are numerous obstacles to overcome. Emma the pig becomes deathly ill, predators raid the chickens and ducks, a toxic algae blooms in the pond and wind storms, drought and wildfires devastate the land. The couple soon learns the reality of tending to the birds and the bees. But, after eight years their efforts begin to pay off as the farm evolves into a tentative harmony with nature.

John Chester is a professional Emmy-award-winning filmmaker by trade. His exquisite cinematography and down-home narration elevated the film to a whole new level as it captured rave reviews at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival screening.

This biggest little farm garnered the name Apricot Lane Farms and has grown from a sparsely vegetated piece of infertile land to a 214-acre lush, self-sustaining, biodiverse garden paradise. Currently 60 employees are engaged in planting, harvesting and then selling their certified organic produce to eager buyers from around the world. It is now home to over 850 animals and 10,000 orchard trees.

For nature lovers and environmentalists, this 92-minute inspiring movie is a “must-see.” And, the rest of the world “should” see it for the heartfelt message and vital blueprint to living in harmony with the planet.

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