Friday, 8 April 2016

Meeting Place Organic Film

Last Saturday we headed out to Goderich, to the Huron County Museum. We were there to see the world premiere of Meeting Place Organic Film. Yes, that title does resemble Meeting Place Organic Farm. No coincidence! The film is about how the McQuail family created the farm, and their history of mentoring young ecologically-minded farmers in Ontario. It was the creation of Rebecca Garrett and a whole bunch of other great people. There she is up above, introducing the audience to the treat in store for them.

And a very good audience it was too, especially for a snowy April day. Every seat was taken, and about 30 of us had to camp out on the floor and along the walls. 

After the film, which took about an hour, there were snacks and drinks in the lobby.

Tony McQuail greets some of his fans as they exit the theatre.

Their usual farm event display was up, along with samples of their own apple butter.

Some other local companies had donated goodies as well. This is a selection of cheese from Blyth Farm Cheese, dwindling fast as people scarfed it down. It was certainly excellent cheese and a source not previously known to me... notes taken... I will be searching them out...

I got to this set-up even later than I got to the cheese, and not too much was left. These are pastries from  Cait's Kitchen and they were superb - I haven't had their like in years.

Alas, I didn't see any of the hard cider their apples are allegedly going into, but there were little cups of their own fresh pressed cider.

After the munchies Fran and Tony took questions from the crowd.

So, how was the film? Very good, and pretty much what the label said. It's a little odd watching a biographic film of people you know reasonably well. I suspect it may be quite a different experience for people to whom the people and ideas are new. Fran and Tony have been absolutely vital to the growth of organic and ecological farming in Ontario - in fact they were amongst the original founders of the EFAO; and it's great to see them get this tribute.

One thing I hadn't known before the film was that there were 2 main reasons they went organic. One was economic - they couldn't really afford much in the way of inputs - but the other one was that they had a field that had been sprayed  heavily with atrazine, and in particular had obviously had piles of it sprayed in one spot. That spot was so dead it took at least 5 to 7 years before it would grow anything normally, although Tony pointed out to one questioner that given what they know now, they could revive such a spot more quickly. Still, it really drove home to them that they did not wish to work with such toxic substances.

This film would be a great discussion starter for local groups interested in ecological agriculture. If you are interested in screening it, you can contact them through the website. I recommend it!

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