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Ripe for Change: The California Farming Method

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's All About Organics Page and our Organic Transitions Page.

  Ripe for Change, a 50-minute documentary film, gives a concise yet poignant glimpse into farming trends and traditions in California. Unfortunately, as is happening with agriculture all over the US, many family farms have been coerced into the use of toxic conventional farming methods.

 Many now embrace toxic pesticides and biotechnology, all but abandoning the natural, time-tested roots upon which their livelihoods were built in order to compete and stay afloat in the modern food industry.

  Ripe for Change examines trends in both food and politics over the last 30 years in California, asking what the real consequences might be for trading sustainable agricultural practices for those that produce large quantities of food at any cost.

Farmers With a Passion for Working the Land Share Their Stories

 One of the most riveting aspects of this film are the many interviews with farmers who have realized that their passion for farming is about more than just earning a living. From peaches to almonds to grapes for wine, these farmers have awoken to the fact that what they do on their parcel of land extends far beyond their fences and boundaries.

 Rather than viewing their farm as an isolated entity, they embrace the land as part of a larger, interconnected whole. And by choosing organic farming methods that protect and encourage biodiversity, they are directly changing their surrounding environment for the better.

 On the contrary, with every application of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and every planting of a genetically modified (GM) crop, conventional farmers are killing the natural environment little by little.

 The two conflicting worlds are showcased quite eloquently in this film, not only as they relate to farming and food, but also as they related to entire communities. As the film's synopsis explains:

     "Through the "window" of food and agriculture, Ripe for Change reveals two parallel yet contrasting views of our world. One holds that large-scale agriculture, genetic engineering, and technology promise a hunger-less future.

     The other calls for a more organic, sustainable, and locally focused style of farming that reclaims the aesthetic and nurturing qualities of food and considers the impact of agriculture on the environment, on communities, and on workers."


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