Grassroots Small Farm

$25.00$150.00

Directed by: Anne Lewis
1988
29:00 * Color

Grassroots Small Farm tells the story of 260 families in eastern Kentucky who banded together in a cooperative designed to make small, subsistence farms viable. Ervan Hontz, a VISTA worker, started the program in 1980 when interviews with hundreds of community residents showed their most pressing need to be “help with their gardens and livestock of some sort.” Hontz explains how the project works: “Charity is so many times degrading. So we offer a loan. For a milk cow, I want a heifer back; for a sow, I want three young pigs. They're not only getting something for themselves; they're helping their neighbor by passing along the gift.” Cooperative farm families are seen conducting project board meetings, building and operating their own greenhouse, and talking about their plans for expansion.

Reviews

“Best piece of work on rural community development that I have ever used. It gives a taste of rural America, and a real look at the way grassroots organizations work. It's a real picture of dignity.” –Marvin Pippert, Asst. Professor of Sociology, Roanoke College

“One cannot help but admire Hontz and his activities on behalf of the small farmer. He truly has offered one man's solution to the economic depression of some Appalachian residents.” –Kenneth C. Creech, Butler University, Southern Quarterly

Screenings & Festivals

  • Kentucky Educational Television
  • Blue Ridge Public Television
  • WSWP/Beckley, WV
  • WSJK/Knoxville
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Description

Directed by: Anne Lewis
1988
29:00 * Color

Grassroots Small Farm tells the story of 260 families in eastern Kentucky who banded together in a cooperative designed to make small, subsistence farms viable. Ervan Hontz, a VISTA worker, started the program in 1980 when interviews with hundreds of community residents showed their most pressing need to be “help with their gardens and livestock of some sort.” Hontz explains how the project works: “Charity is so many times degrading. So we offer a loan. For a milk cow, I want a heifer back; for a sow, I want three young pigs. They’re not only getting something for themselves; they’re helping their neighbor by passing along the gift.” Cooperative farm families are seen conducting project board meetings, building and operating their own greenhouse, and talking about their plans for expansion.

Reviews

“Best piece of work on rural community development that I have ever used. It gives a taste of rural America, and a real look at the way grassroots organizations work. It’s a real picture of dignity.” –Marvin Pippert, Asst. Professor of Sociology, Roanoke College

“One cannot help but admire Hontz and his activities on behalf of the small farmer. He truly has offered one man’s solution to the economic depression of some Appalachian residents.” –Kenneth C. Creech, Butler University, Southern Quarterly

Screenings & Festivals

  • Kentucky Educational Television
  • Blue Ridge Public Television
  • WSWP/Beckley, WV
  • WSJK/Knoxville

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