Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who came together on Saturday to watch a wide variety of films that showed the power of growing food to bring healing to people and communities around the world!

We started things off on Saturday afternoon with a small group at World Fare to watch 10 shorts in 40 minutes. After a brief discussion, we chose “Everybody Eats”—a short film about pay-what-you-can restaurants—to show before the final feature film of the Festival. Several in the group thought a pay-what-you-can restaurant in downtown Three Rivers would be a great idea!

We gathered at the Riviera Theatre on Saturday night and kicked things off with Ron Finley’s TED Talk about guerrilla gardening in South Central Los Angeles. “Growing your own food is like printing your own money,” Finley says as he works with a group of volunteers to grow vegetables in parkways around South Central. Finley sees the work of growing good food as a strategy to bring healing to his community and to provide alternatives for his neighbors. His work is inspiring!

Our first feature film, Ground Operations, featured the stories of dozens of veterans returning from war zones who found another kind of healing in the soil. Struggling with the things they had seen and experienced in some of the most violent places on earth, these veterans found that spending time growing food and raising animals had a profound effect on their ability to work through their trauma. After the film, Adam Ingrao, a veteran farmer in Lansing, shared his own story and discussed the ongoing movement to connect veterans to farmer networks in the state and across the county.

Our second and final feature film, Inhabit, highlighted the permaculture movement and the many efforts to change our interaction with the land to bring healing to entire ecosystems. From collecting rainwater to growing food on urban lots to growing food forests, the film had all kinds of ideas for folks looking to care for their own piece of ground.

The food during the breaks was delicious, the conversation was rich, and the company was a wonderful reminder of the gifts in our own community. All in all, it was a great night. We look forward to where the conversation will take us and what it could lead to in Three Rivers!