Monday, April 27, 2009

Asparagus! Stalking the American Life

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At a farm convention this past winter, I got to see trailers for the movie "Asparagus! Stalking the American Life". I was so intrigued, I found a copy and bought it. 

I just found out that this movie will be airing on Michigan PBS stations on Wednesday, April 29 at 8 p.m. EST. If you can, watch it! It shows how whole agricultural communities can be affected by the government's ill-considered actions. If you aren't in Michigan, check your local PBS schedules to see when it airs. More info: 

"The hour-long film tells a compelling and poignant story about Michigan’s agricultural community and the social, economic and political factors influencing asparagus production and marketing. The “stalk-umentary” is the work of filmmakers Anne de Mare and Oceana County native Kirsten Kelly.

"Original inspiration for the film surfaced when Kelly, after moving away from her western Michigan homeland, discovered that tales of her upbringing on an asparagus farm – and as a member of an asparagus-themed dance troupe – would garner anything from raised eyebrows to outright disbelief.

"'I was finding out that people didn’t really know or ever think about where their food was coming from – how it was grown, or who grew it, or the politics behind it,' Kelly said.

"Returning home with de Mare, an acclaimed playwright, producer and director from New York City, the two began research at the 2002 National Asparagus Festival in Hart.

“'We started finding out about the intense political and economic barriers, and the policies that people were fighting for, and that this was really a crop that was on the edge,' Kelly said. “I started understanding there was an entertaining, fun film to be made that also had a message. We have this great culture and passion around asparagus, and Anne and I began talking about telling a story to capture that.”

"Since its premiere in 2006, the film has earned critical acclaim and dozens of awards at film festivals across the country. DeMare and Kelly were honored last year by the Michigan Farm Bureau, and presented the organization’s Agricultural Communicator of the Year Award for broadcast media."


Don't miss it!

5 comments:

  1. This film sounds really interesting - I just checked on Netflix but they don't carry it. Maybe it's for sale on the PBS site...

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  2. Hi Lona,
    Thanks for the info. It sounds like a thought provoking documentary. We get U.S. west coast and U.S. eastcoast PBS, so I'll keep my eyes open for that show!

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  3. It is thought provoking, but it's also quirky. I've been raised on documentaries in the Ken Burns style, so I was expecting something a bit more heavy. It is heavy, in parts, but it also has lots of small-town idiosyncrasies that lighten it considerably.

    Let me know what you think if you watch it. Oceana County is just a good hour's drive away from me. Lovely country!

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  4. I live just south of one of the (so far) surviving asparagus farms. There is so much asparagus around here that the birds plant it on our property, and we can walk around and pick our first pound or so when it first comes up.

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  5. Hi, I got your blog here somehow related to a Union Loom for sale? I love asparagus as well. I'm building a round house on the Mississippi in Nauvoo, Illinois. I also have a blog
    http://irenetukuafu.blogspot.com/

    I want to make all the rugs in my home. one reason for the research on rug looms. thanks. Irene

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