Life-Changing Food Documentaries
I was reflecting on some of the things I’ve experienced in my life that made me want to raise, grow, and produce my own food. One of those things has been the impact of a few life changing food documentaries.
I will caution you that watching some of these films can be disturbing. Disturbing in the sense that the knowledge they may impart to you will likely make you uncomfortable with the food choices you are currently making. I share these because I think it is important that we all understand the links between what we eat and how fulfilling our lives are. The food we eat can literally make the difference between a happy healthy productive life and a life of illness, misery, and often one that is cut short.
If you want to stay in the dark about what you are eating and how it is affecting your life go here. If, on the other hand, you are interested in change…well these films are not only entertaining, they are also full of motivation that may get you to look at food with clear vision.
Many of these films you can watch free on Amazon Prime. I’m sure they are available at your local library too. I have provided links to places you can purchase them also. These are not presented in any particular order, just the order they came to mind as I write this post.
The first film to come to mind is the first food documentary I recall watching. It is called King Corn. King Corn is an entertaining film that delivers a lot of information. The film follows two friends as they plant, harvest, and sell an acre of corn. Some of the topics covered include the impact of conventional agriculture, the disappearance of family farms, the many uses of corn and corn byproducts, and the impact of subsidies on the economy of farming. This film is a great starting point for people just learning about the current state of the food system.
Another good documentary is Food Inc. is a great follow-on to king Corn because the world’s food chain is built mainly on heavily subsidized and, therefore, cheap corn. In fact, as you will learn in King Corn, almost everyone is consuming corn all day long from bread over meat (all animals are fed with corn) to deserts and drinks. This film highlights the disastrous effects of intensive factory farming on animals, as well as the health and environmental risks they pose to consumers of their products.
Food Matters was one of the most informative documentaries that I have ever watched. Everything I saw shocked me in a good way and sparked a change in my lifestyle. Everyone who has health issues should watch this, and get educated about nutrition. It makes a big difference. Simple dietary changes can have a profound impact in your life and wellbeing. Take a look for yourself.
Hungry for Change is another good one to watch. By now you have the idea of what is wrong with our current system of food production and distribution. This documentary delves into the science behind making food irresistable. That famous Lay’s potato chip slogan “You can’t only eat one” is applied to foods across the board from boneless chicken wings to chocolate chip cookies. Scientist and food researchers spend millions designing foods that you can’t resist. As a good friend of mine likes to say “One is too many, and one thousand is not enough.”
Ingrediants is the last one I’ll comment on here. This film is more positive, as it focuses on the solutions to the above identified problems. Watch this one to feel better and learn how you can make better food purchasing decisions.
If you still have time to watch a few here are some old favorites
Watch most of these free on Amazon.com if you have a Prime membership. No Prime? No worries, Click here to Start Your 30-Day Free Trial Now!
Weening the Lambs
Yesterday, after a morning of family paintball, we came home to the farm to the chore of weening the lambs. Weening is the process of removing the young lambs from their mothers and is a necessary evil both for the health of the ewes and the development of the lambs.
Weaning is a crucial time in the management of ewes and lambs. It is the practice of removing from lambs the milk diet provided by the ewe (or a milk replacement diet). From the milk diet, lambs are moved onto forage or grain-based diets. The separation can be stressful for both ewes and lambs.
The process of separating the lambs from their mothers is a bit tricky because they will all scatter if you just walk up and grab one. This is one of the reasons that we give the sheep cracked corn and sweet feed on a regular basis. The associate us with those treats, especially when we are carrying a bucket and calling them.
The sheep associate us with those treats, especially when we are carrying a bucket and calling them. So, we lure them into a smaller fenced area with the treat and then, using a cattle panel (which is a 16-foot long semi ridged metal fence) we worked them all into a corner. Thirteen lambs and nine ewes packed in like sardines.
Then one of us enters that space and picks the lambs out one at a time handing them over the fence. Once all the lambs are separated from their mothers, we let the mothers go and the crying starts.
The moms all calling for their lambs and the lambs all calling for their moms. It is quite a racket and it didn’t stop until mid-morning today.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the actual weening process – as you can imagine all our hands were fully occupied. However, I did get a few of the lambs happily eating once we had their mothers on the other side of the farm.
The lambs and their mothers will remain separated for about four weeks. After that, we can reintroduce them to each other. This is a great opportunity for the mothers to regain some strength after spending 10-12 weeks nursing their lambs. It will also give the lambs the incentive they need to transition to a full grass diet.
Fun on the Farm
There are so many things to do that are fun on the farm. The kids love to play on the giant hay rolls. Sometimes they climb on them to play king of the hill, other times to get a different view of the world.
I asked my daughter what things she thought were the most fun on the farm to do. Some of her answers surprised me.
- Run around and play in the hay bails
2. Wading around the shore of the pond
3. Exploring the creek
4. Playing with and caring for the animals
5. Working in my workshop
Playing on hay bails made number one – probably because that is what she was doing when I called her in for dinner. She does love to fish in the pond and I think she likes searching for and capturing bait worms almost as much.
As a parent, the creek thing is a little unnerving. But I know I did much more unnerving things when I was her age. The creek runs West to East through the Northern section of the farm. It is completely in the woods – out of sight out of mind.
Her “workshop” is an area she set up in the barn. I’ll have to post a picture of that soon. It is a neat place.
Finally the snow – and any credible threat of its return – is gone. I was out walking the property today when I saw a few bright yellow daffodils popping their heads up showing the first bloom of spring on the farm. So nice to see come color.
The first bloom brings with it the promise of summer, of picnics, and barbecues. The first bloom is a precursor to new life everywhere on the farm. Ducklings and chickens hatch, lambs are born and things really start moving around here. It’s time to brush off the tiller and prep the garden for another season’s bounty.
I was going to take more pictures of the Daffodils around the farm, but woke up this morning to a rainy day. I don’t much feel like walking around in the rain so I’m just sitting on the porch with a hot cup of coffee listening to the sounds of the farm.
Turn up your speakers, hit the play button and close your eyes. I promise these sounds will take you to a happy place.
I really love it here, even when it’s raining.
Spring is really my favorite time of year. The weather is still cool, the first blooms make for wonderful discoveries each day and the weather is mild. I used to be really bothered by pollen, but once I cleaned up my diet all of my seasonal allergies disappeared. I’ll write a post about that another time.
Fall is my second favorite season. The days are cooler and the nights are perfect for enjoying the fire pit. The downside to Fall is that, around here at least, the weather is more severe and most of the blooms are gone. Of course, we do have some incredible holidays to look forward to in the Fall. Halloween, Veterans day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Chores around the farm also tend to be on the downswing rather than the upswing…I may have to rethink this.
If you like farming, growing plants, raising animals, working out of doors, you’ve come to the right place. This blog is the hub of most of what goes on here at Ten Mile Farm. Explore the tabs and come back often. There are four primary operations going on here. We raise and sell Katahdin sheep, we keep a flock of laying hens, we breed and sell rabbits, and we grow a variety of vegetables in our unique vertical garden.
We are constantly working on projects to improve our productivity and the quality of our animals, as well as the quality and variety of our produce. You can keep up with us here.
We are a market as well and we do accept SNAP cards for produce and plants, as well as meat and eggs.