Let’s Get Growing Cities on PBS!
by Dan Susman – Director, Growing Cities
Most of us have heard about the problems in agriculture, from GMOs and CAFOs to aging farmers and mad cows. But, what all these acronyms and stats don’t add up to is change. So, about four years ago, my friend Andrew Monbouquette and I decided it was time to showcase positive stories of people transforming the food system from the ground up. And this is what our inspiring new documentary film, Growing Cities, is all about.
The film follows us as we travel the US, visiting the people who are challenging the way this country grows its food, one vacant city lot and backyard chicken coop at a time. From Detroit to Des Moines we’ve found urban agriculture has remarkable power on many levels—it connects people to their food, strengthens communities, revitalizes blighted areas and much more.
With 80% of our population now considered urban, we have a unique challenge of educating people about farming, when we’ve moved further away from it than ever. In fact, I believe one of the biggest obstacles we face in bringing good food to the table of public consciousness is the stories we tell.
You can help Dan and Growing Cities spread good food stories to millions on PBS by supporting their Kickstarter
After four years traveling around the country we know there are good food heroes in every community. Nonetheless, most people only know about the celebrity foodies, like Michael Pollan, Will Allen, and Alice Waters – who, don’t get me wrong, are all doing incredible work, but it’s important for people understand, the work of the good food movement can and is happening everywhere.
While many are still flocking to the good food movement’s hotbeds, like the Bay Area and New York City, more and more farmers and good food advocates are putting down roots in their own smaller hometowns. For instance, in Omaha, Nebraska, where I’m from, a collective of young people came together to form Big Muddy Urban Farm, which has a 25-member CSA and grows on vacant lots throughout the city. In the heart of industrial farming country, these farmers are a wonderful example for residents, many of whom don’t know a CSA from a GMO — which, let’s be honest, is probably true for a majority of Americans.
To me, this is our blueprint for changing the food system— we must branch out and work in the places that need it most, often in our own backyards. As Eugene Cook, a farmer in Atlanta, says in the film, “Grow something: grow where you are.”
Please help Growing Cities spread these inspiring farmers’ stories to millions on PBS! Learn more and donate on their Kickstarter page: www.kck.st/1kDfhgP
Meet the Filmmaker
Dan Susman (Director, Growing Cities): Dan has lived, breathed, and eaten urban agriculture over the past three years making Growing Cities. He has visited countless urban farms and food projects across the country and worked with many leaders in the sustainable agriculture movement. He is also the co-founder of Truck Farm Omaha, an edible education project which teaches local youth about sustainable farming and healthy foods.