While many lament the dying art of traditional farming in place of massive agricultural sprawls, a new film documents the increasing movement of younger generations interested in responsible growing and launching sustainable farms themselves. 

Greenhorns, produced and directed by Severine von Tscharner Fleming, follows the stories of several new farmers successfully running small businesses across the United States. From California to Georgia to West Virginia, the film depicts bucolic scenes of young people pursuing a passion for accountable growing, amid acres of flourishing produce.

“It’s a very individual question as to why farmers decide to do it,” Fleming explains in an interview with Organic Connections. “For me, it has a lot to do with spending time outdoors, being a productive member of society, being political, and having the space and time to think my own thoughts. For others it has to do with climate change and re-localizing the food system. Some people are passionate about plant breeding, or they’re passionate about heritage animals, or they’re passionate about cheese.”

This enthusiasm for American farmers was the catalyst for The Greenhorns—a grassroots nonprofit that recruits, promotes and buoys fledgling farms. One of the coolest offerings? Among organizing nationwide gatherings, the nonprofit offers a free online guidebook for beginning farmers; chock-full of resources, business plans, and adorable pencil sketches.

In essence, Greenhorns illuminates the booming regression to a time when farmers respected agriculture as an art first, and science second. Fleming continues, “We’re going to keep on, and it would be nice for federal and state policy to point us in that direction; an acknowledgment that the course that we’ve been on with our food system is not sustainable, and that we can bring the needed changes.”

Learn more in Organic Connections