Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Urban Farmers Unite to 'Occupy the Farm'

Food
Urban Farmers Unite to 'Occupy the Farm'

All across America, open land—fields and farms and woods—is being snatched up by developers for shopping malls, subdivisions and big box stores, as we continue some of the worst land use practices imaginable.

But some people aren't letting this happen without a fight. In the East Bay of California in the spring of 2012, a group of 200 people cut the padlock on the city's last piece of urban farmland, slated to become a shopping mall and condo complex. There they planted 15,00o vegetable seedings.

Now a documentary about their efforts called Occupy the Farm will open in select theaters across the country today with its premier in—appropriately—Berkeley.

The filmmakers were with the farmers that first day and followed them for five months. "What happens next will change the fate of the land and introduce a new strategy for activism," says the promotion for the film.

"Our cameras 'occupied' the occupation," said director Todd Darling. "We witnessed the dramatic and rapid evolution of tactics and strategy of both the farmers and their adversaries—officials from the University of California. As a result, Occupy the Farm captures a significant and ongoing conflict: the showdown between overdevelopment and agriculture, as well as the contest of wills between a grassroots, consensus based action and the more rigid power structure of California’s largest landowner. Occupy the Farm reveals a new form of activism for the 21st Century."

Darling, who has worked for MTV and the Olympics, created the film with a team boasting extensive film and environmental credentials. Producer Steve Brown worked on a documentary about the Burning Man Festival; producer Carl Grether recently finished a documentary about urban farming and food justice, Edible City: Grow the Revolution, and editor/filmmaker Blake Hodges has done video work with Greenpeace, Sierra Club and Rainforest Action Network.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

How Urban Farming Is Revitalizing America

101 Facts That Should Make You Hopeful About the Future of Food

How Megacities Have Taken Over the Planet

Project goal: To create an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to leather, in this case using fungi.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Plastic waste is bulldozed at a landfill. Needpix

The plastic recycling model was never economically viable, but oil and gas companies still touted it as a magic solution to waste, selling the American public a lie so the companies could keep pushing new plastic.

Read More Show Less

Trending

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less
A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less
In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch