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If you are interested in where your food comes from, and how it is raised and grown, then the annual Farm Film Fest at the Crandell Theatre in Chatham, NY, is sure to please you.

Farm Film Fest logo

Artwork Courtesy ChathamKeepFarming.org

This is the 9th annual, free afternoon of documentaries about farming, put on by three local Columbia County organizations – the Chatham Film Club, the Columbia Land Conservancy and the Chatham Agricultural Partnership. The Film Fest takes place Sunday, March 19, from 1-4 pm and includes the screening of 8 films, followed by a discussion featuring a panel of local farmers, moderated by Peter Paden, the Executive Director of the Columbia Land Conservancy.

I have attended several of these festivals, and they are always fascinating. Several films being shown this year piqued my interest. One is “Grazin’s Grassfed Burgers:A Small Diner Aims to Make the Cleanest Burger You’ll Ever Eat”, by filmmaker Liza de Guia. This diner is owned by the Gibson family. Dan Gibson left the corporate hotel world (Starwood’s W hotels) to raise grass fed Black Angus cattle on a farm in Columbia County in the early 2000s. I toured that farm, Grazin Angus Acres, and marveled at the return to the way things used to be done, cattle and chickens raised out in open pasture, leading happy and surprisingly symbiotic, lives. In 2009, the Gibson’s daughter Christine, and her husband Andrew Chiappinelli, also moved upstate, and started an AWA restaurant, Grazin’, in a vintage diner in Hudson, NY. What is AWA? Animal Welfare Approved. The Village Voice wrote an interesting article about the family, the farm, and the diner (there is now one in TriBeCa as well) in 2015. You can read it here.

Another short film I look forward to seeing is “How Does It Grow? Hydroponic Spinach” by filmmakers Nicole Coltroneo Jolly and Mark Jolly. And the list goes on, “Milking Robots and “The Beekeeper”.

So come learn a bit more about where your food comes from. Just bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to Chatham’s Silent Food Pantry which is the only cost to attend. A reminder, the Inn at Green River is just 15 minutes from the charming town of Chatham. Hope to see you there.

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