Monday, April 29, 2019

The Biggest Little Farm: Transforms Land Into a “Farmville” Reality

By José Alberto Hermosillo

“The Biggest Little Farm” is a captivating, environmentally inspiring, and organically stimulating documentary about all the excitement of running a farm successfully in California. A total winner!

Facing eviction from their tiny urban apartment in Santa Monica, California, John and Molly Chester needed a new place to live in, a backyard where their new dog Todd could bark as much as he wanted. 

 Molly and John Chester ©2019 Neon
The California couple never imagined that their steadily growing family would soon find the land of their dreams in the thriving community of Moorpark - a citrus-growing area located one-hour northwest of Los Angeles in Ventura County.

Years back, John lived on his uncle’s farm, where he was taught to respect the land. At that time, he didn’t see things the way he saw them.
The Biggest Little Farm ©2019 Neon
They dove into this new lifestyle headfirst and started researching sustainable farming online. 

The Chesters found everything they needed online: investors, volunteers, and even livestock! The outline has a similar strategy to the game we played on Facebook, Farmville, but at this time, it is accurate.

When they met Alan York, the expert in soil and ecosystems, they knew they had found a counselor and mentor. His approach had a colorful philosophy. To their advantage, York needed to be more scientific and more pragmatic.

York stimulated Molly’s vision with bold ideas about organic farming, diversifying orchards, and rotating crops - something that Medieval Cultures practiced but Modern Times forgot. The perks of running the farm brought the couple closer.
The Biggest Little Farm Mural at the Arclight, Hollywood. 
Photo José A. Hermosillo ©2019 Festival in LA
In 2009, John had no time to waste. His background in photography and knowledge of farming inspired him to tell his personal story about nature and life cycles. 

John began filming their journey, focusing on how the year's seasons changed and modified the environment repeatedly year after year. He used that information as a fundamental guide to working with his crew periodically.

John placed the footage together with the help of some interns. It was when he was able to finish this fun-to-watch documentary.

The cinematography is by John Chester himself, and it has the quality of any National Geographic project.

“The Biggest Little Farm” features stunning imagery combined with an accessible and fun narration that makes watching this film a joy.

After a screening in Beverly Hills, we had a very insightful Q&A with John Chester, where he reflected, “Nature doesn’t work right or wrong. It only works with consequences. The complexity becomes an emotional experience. The most crucial task is to diversify the soil, adding natural nutrients, because the conditions of the land ties with everything else.” “Farming is the most interesting video game you can ever imagine playing.”
 Emma and Greasy, The Biggest Little Farm ©2019 Neon
On their particular farm, every animal is a character. They have a name and an essential job, like Emma, the pig, who never stops birthing piglets. Her best friend was Greasy, the rooster, and Todd, the inspirational dog

To transform every adversity into an opportunity, the new farmers relied on observation and discovered that even predators become pollinators to keep the balance in life.

On a farm, living and dead walk side by side, and death is only a facet of life. One of their most challenging tasks was to euthanize an animal, but remember that life recycles itself: dead means nothing to the ecosystem, only a new beginning for another being to subsist. 

John Chester added: “An embarrassing situation cripples the possibility of finding an explanation. When something goes bad, do not freak out; a problem is a chance to find a solution.”

The marvelous documentary teaches us to treasure that “observation is our superpower.”
After the screening, the director commented that people at the Berlin film festival said: “We didn’t know Americans could be so ecosystem friendly.” A big oops from the political agenda of the present administration.
 Greasy, The Biggest Little Farm ©2019 Neon.
Audiences worldwide help the good documentary earn accolades, mostly in film festivals such as Sundance and the AFI FEST. But the narrative missed essential pieces of information - financial standings, earnings and losses, and some relevant economic data, for other people who, after watching the documentary feel motivated to venture and follow the filmmakers/entrepreneurs' lead in farming. 

In the film, the lack of “money matters” and some other specific facts to make this farm sustainable compensate with natural humor, tenderness, and charm. 

Though we followed Chesters’s experiences carefully, we couldn’t stop thinking about the lives of the vast army of people we don’t see on the screen but who helped to make the film. It will be equally enlightening to see the volunteers, interns, and farm workers who keep the piece of the land alive.
Children’s book, The Biggest Little Farm ©2019 Neon
“The Biggest Little Farm” profoundly impacts the viewer of its honesty and accessibility. Mainly about the significant challenges we face due to Climate Change and Global Warming. 

Thumbs up to the Chester family for their extraordinary ability to reconstruct and maintain the land where nature and humans coexist harmoniously.
The Biggest Little Farm trailer


  1. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! Bangkok to Pattaya

    1. Thank you for your comment. You can find more reviews and other fun to read articles at

  2. strategies and instruments that worked in customary spearheading and homesteading days just will not cut it any longer. Here's the truth of beginning a miniature farm today.

  3. Every one of us would likely do likewise in the event that we figured the worth of our home would be reduced from forthcoming enactment. Also, anything attached to more guideline or enactment will essentially prompt more fights in court that over the long haul accomplish little toward farm safeguarding. targonca szállítás Europa-Road Kft.