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Growing Farmers, by filmmakers Michael Halsband and Hilary Leff, in partnership with the Peconic Land Trust, is a documentary film that looked at the issue of affordable farmland and the Trust’s Farms for the Future. The film tells the stories of several farmers who are leasing land either owned or managed by the Peconic Land Trust in the face of one of the greatest impediments facing farmers on Eastern Long Island.
Not only does Growing Farmers include conversations with farmers who are leasing conserved land from the Trust, both on the North and South Forks, but also looks at the larger community of chefs, students, and educators involved in the food movement on Long Island. It features interviews with John v.H. Halsey, Scott Chaskey, Chef Joe Realmuto, Amanda Merrow and Katie Baldwin of Amber Waves Farm, Alex Balsam and Ian Calder-Piedmonte of Balsam Farms, Fred Lee of Sang Lee Farm, Chris Browder of Browder’s Birds, Stephanie Gaylor of Invincible Summer Farms, and more.
The film premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October 2012, winning the festival’s Audience Choice award.
The film is 30 minutes and will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Meghan Harlow of Editor of Edible East End with the film’s producer Michael Halsband, Trust’s Senior Manager of Agricultural Programs Dan Heston, farmers Fred Lee of Sang Lee Farms, Greg Kessler of The Hoppy Acre, and Jennifer Halsey-Dupree of the Milk Pail Farm.