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Having read every book by Michael Pollan and thus dreamt of sipping local whole milk in a shed of my own building, foraging for mushrooms with a pithy fungal specialist, and baring witness to seasonal procession of rotating crops and farm animals dutifully parading from one space to another in a fine display of natural harmony, my interest in the local greenmarket has evolved from curiosity about food to a fascination with farming. To be fair, I came upon Taggart Siegel's documentary, "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" (2006) with a particular interest in profile-based documentary filmmaking; that said, the subject matter was extra motivation to track the film down. Farmer John Peterson inherited his land from honest, hardworking parents and, having befriended some unlikely mates in college, transformed it into a 1960's artsy hippie haven. The documentary delineates his relationship with the land itself, the work of being a farmer, the desire to be an artist, and the neighbours who later branded him a devil worshipper, along with his struggle to hold onto the farm and the relationships that came and went in a very natural rotation of characters. Despite my urban fascination with rural drama, John Peterson's story is worth exploring in both a poetic and a political sense, with particular attention given to the current trend in local community, and what it takes to co-exist and work together.

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