This weekend I watched The Real Dirt on Farmer John. It is the true story John Peterson, a third-generation Illinois farmer who struggles to stay afloat as family farms decline. In the late 1960s he transformed the farm into a hippie commune of sorts attracting hundreds of artists, hippies and other political radicals. When the agriculture crisis of the late 1980s led to the farm’s eventual collapse he nearly called it quits.But after soul-searching and wandering, he finds the strength to pull himself together and became a leader in CSA agriculture as head of Angelic Organics. He is endearingly unconventional and his story is moving.
John Peterson is not your typical mid-western farmer and in the end that’s a good thing. He was able to reinvent his farm. It gives me hope for the future of sustainability and agriculture.