They Never Gave Up
Many people have plans or ideas about what they would love to do. Seldom do those dreams come true. But that’s not the case with John Chester and his wife Molly as this intriguing documentary, The Biggest Little Farm, unveils.
The Chesters picked 200 acres of land in California’s Ventura County to start their farm and named it Apricot Lane Farms. After basing their plan on farms from early days, they begin to gather about 200 animals that would be part of the farm once it’s completed in the way they imagine it should be.
However, they soon realize they don’t have the right size of proper land to create the farm they have in mind. Luckily there are neighbors who come to help and share advice about the equipment they will need. Then they are introduced to Alan, a nearby neighbor who becomes a friend eager to help them.
Some efforts come easy while others are things John and Molly couldn’t imagine -- like the drought that causes unexpected fires or the coyotes that show up at night to eat the animals.
In addition to the steadfastness of how hard the couple and others work to complete their task, there are funny moments throughout the film, including 12 little piglets trying to feed on mother at the same time. But John and Molly and their faithful dog continue on with their dream and chores to take care of lambs, the big pig, ladybugs, chickens, bees, vegetables, food, worms, water problems and more.
It’s surprising that Emmy-winning director John Chester also serves as the director and cinematographer while bringing his character to life on screen. He has created a rare and beautiful film. The Biggest Little Farm is exciting and keeps viewers mystified to all he and Molly accomplished. This special documentary offers a lesson that dreams do come true.
Apricot Lane is one of only 66 farms in California to be certified biodynamic by Demeter U.S., the oldest agricultural certification program in the world.
(Released by Neon and rated “PG” for mild thematic elements.)
Review also printed in San Diego’s East County Gazette.