We are finally down to the wire, and heading out east tomorrow morning. The team will be spending two weeks in North Carolina for principal photography on “The Wheat Movie” project. We have a lot of outstanding shoots lined up, and plenty of support from the great people of Asheville. With all their support, we are excited and confident in jumping in and getting rolling!
Our first week will be in and around Asheville, where we will be visiting farmers, millers, bakers, and organizations working to support a local grain economy. Top of the list is a visit with Jennifer Lapidus from the North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project and Carolina Ground. They are rigging up their new mill, and we are excited to be there to see this piece of the puzzle come together. We will also be visiting a few bakeries, including Farm & Sparrow, an artisan bakery that features its own local, heirloom loaf, McEntire’s Pride. Later in the week we will explore where this bread comes from by visiting the loaf’s namesake, John McEntire, an organic farmer growing some very special grains, including Turkey Red wheat and Heirloom Dent corn, which has been grown by his family for generations. The week will wrap up as we attend the NC-Grown Bread Wheat: From Field to Hearth event in Raleigh and the Saturday farmers’ market in Asheville.
The following week, we’ll be joined by talented cinematographer and filmmaker Will Lyons as we traverse the state to visit Looking Back Farm, a father-son operation not only growing wheat but helping build a broader infrastructure for organic grains by building an on-farm organic seed-cleaning facility and a portable animal feed mill. Later in the week we will learn about the new strains of organic wheat developed by Dr. David Marshall at the USDA Agricultural Research Service. We will also visit with the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) to explore the role changes in the tobacco industry have played in driving farmers to look for alternative crops, and discuss with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association the importance of supporting initiatives for local grain.
Throughout the next two weeks, we will be meeting other bakers, millers, and perhaps most importantly consumers, to better understand this movement for organic and heirloom bread wheat. It is our hope that in telling their stories, we will illuminate a larger national movement for local food economies and share both the challenges and rewards for participating in innovative efforts for sustainable, community-based agricultural localism.
At this early stage, we would like to thank Cully Gallagher in Minneapolis; Jason Joseffer in San Francisco, Nick Hunter at Hazen Hunter Photography; Will Lyons at BeHeardFilms; Sabrina Hilario at Flying Pig Studio; Travis Williams at Stewards: Stories and perspectives on American agriculture; Brent Manning at Riverbend Malthouse; Arthur Ircink from Wisconsin Foodie; our comrades at Food First, and John Assalian and the Viewstream crew for their support and assistance. Again, with all this collaboration, we are ready to hit the wheat!
More to come…