The Vision of Fairview Gardens
Reviews of Beyond Organic
A model of community supported agriculture in the
midst of suburban sprawl.
DVD-R version available
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2000
Copyright Date: 2000
ISBN (VHS): 1-56029-831-6
ISBN (DVD): 1-59458-348-X
Produced by John de Graaf
Based on books by Michael Ableman, From The Good Earth and On Good
Narrated by Meryl Streep
Fairview Gardens is an urban farm located in Goleta,
California, right in the middle of some of the most
expensive real estate in the U.S. Managed for the past
two decades by visionary farmer/photographer/author,
Michael Ableman, this 12-acre organic farm has become
a model of sustainable food production and community
involvement, as well as an inspiration for thousands
of people all over the world.
While managing the farm, Ableman traveled around the
world learning from the best examples of traditional
agriculture. A talented professional photographer,
his slides and observations -- carefully captured in
BEYOND ORGANIC -- became the basis for two of his popular
books From The Good Earth and On Good Land .
At the same time he became an outspoken critic of large-scale
commercial agriculture, with its reliance on vast inputs
of fossil fuels, water, pesticides and other chemicals.
BEYOND ORGANIC tells the story of this amazing farm
and its long battle to survive in the face of rapid
suburban development. It explores the efforts of Ableman
and his staff to diversify the farm, open it to educational
tours for thousands of people -- especially schoolchildren
-- and defend it against angry neighbors, hostile public
officials and developers eager to re-zone the land
for condominiums. It draws a sharp contrast between
community supported agriculture and conventional chemical
farming, and it calls on organic farmers to remember
basic principles, including fair labor practices, as
their farms grow in size and power.
BEYOND ORGANIC is a dramatic story with a happy ending.
Other neighbors -- and eventually the entire Santa
Barbara community -- rallied around Fairview Gardens
and raised $800,000 to preserve it as a land trust,
and as a source of inspiration, for future generations.
Study guide available
* The DVD version of this program is recorded on DVD-R format which is not compatible
with some older DVD players.
- Best of Category, EarthVision Environmental
Film & Video Festival
- Bronze Plaque, Columbus International Film
& Video Festival
- Vermont International Film Festival
- Equinox Environmental Film Festival
- Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's
- Olympia Environmental Film Festival
- Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival
- MountainFilm in Telluride
- International Environmental Film Festival
"Green Vision" in St. Petersburg