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    Program ID - bo020106

    Farmer John Goes Hollywood

    Midwestern farmer John Peterson has been called a maverick, a philosopher and a devil worshipper for his approach to life, art and organic vegetable growing. Now, his story is hitting the big screen as a documentary film.

    "The Real Dirt on Farmer John," follows Peterson's transformation from a straight laced farm boy to the eccentric owner of one of the largest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operations in the country.

    The movie has won kudos from Al Gore and Roger Ebert while racking up film festival awards.

    Asked about the booming growth of CSA’s, Peterson says:  "There are over a million people who are getting their vegetables from Community Supported Agriculture farms.  Twenty years ago there was nobody.  Why is this happening?  It must be that people have some yearning, some aching feeling.  They want to somehow reconnect with the land."

    Join host Jerry Kay, as we learn all about the new film and hear Farmer John's opinions on some of Beyond Organic’s favorite topics including: the cost of organics, biodynamic farming and GMO's.

    This Week's Guests:

    John Peterson — Farmer and Actor

    Peterson is a lifelong farmer and runs Angelic Organics, one of the largest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in the United States. More than one thousand families in the Chicago area receive a weekly delivery of vegetables and herbs from Angelic Organics. Peterson brings the discipline of farming in the Midwest to his winters of writing in Mexico—he plans to complete four books about his life and farming in the next two years. His essays were featured prominently in Sharing the Harvest and his articles have appeared in The Sun, Growing for Market, Biodynamic Magazine, Lilipoh, and Community Farm News. Peterson makes public presentations about farming to groups such as the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference, and Northeast Community Supported Agriculture Conference. In 2002, he presented on organic agriculture to the Agricultural University of Novgorod, Russia. He is currently presenting The Real Dirt at various farming conferences, such as the Michigan CSA Conference and the Asilomar Eco-Conference.

    More information:

  • DVD - The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2006)
  • Sharing the Harvest –   by Elizabeth Henderson
  • The New Organic Grower –  by Elliot Coleman
  • Organic, INC. –  by Sam Fromartz

  • Helping Manage Organic Growth –  The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • When Buying Organic Pays (And Doesn't) – Consumer Reports

    Web Resources:
  • The Real Dirt on Farmer John
  • Angelic Organics
  • Local Harvest – CSA Directory

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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