The Land Conservancy, MCC host documentary screening on the future of farming in a changing climate

  • Organic farmer Henry Brockman is the subject of the documentary "Seasons of Change on Henry's Farm" that addresses climate change and other challenges being faced by today's farmers.

    Organic farmer Henry Brockman is the subject of the documentary "Seasons of Change on Henry's Farm" that addresses climate change and other challenges being faced by today's farmers. Courtesy of Seasons of Change

 
Submitted by The Land Conservancy of McHenry County
Updated 10/28/2020 3:56 PM

On Thursday, Nov. 12, The Land Conservancy of McHenry County and McHenry County College's Center for Agrarian Learning will be presenting an inspiring new documentary film, "Seasons of Change on Henry's Farm."

The free screening will be an online virtual event at 6 p.m. The film's director, Ines Sommer, and producer, Terra Brockman, will host a question-and-answer session after the film. Register at www.conservemc.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

For a quarter-century, Henry and Hiroko Brockman have run Henry's Farm, a biodiverse family farm in Congerville, Illinois, about 2½ hours from McHenry County.

Armed with intimate knowledge of soil, plants and microclimates, Henry produces an astounding 650 varieties of organic vegetables every year. But despite the farm's success and support from many loyal customers, Henry dreams of scaling back. The physical demands of farming have taken a toll on his aging body and, like his fields, Henry needs a fallow year. So he puts his former apprentices in charge while taking a year's sabbatical with Hiroko in her native Japan for some well-deserved relaxation and renewal.

But things do not turn out as planned. While former intern Kris Pirmann leads the farm crew in Henry's absence, turbulent weather strikes and devastates some of the crops, undermining Kris' confidence. Daughter Aozora, a recent college graduate and poet, returns to work long hours on the farm, while longing to write.

Meanwhile, Henry's sabbatical frees his mind enough to let climate change enter his consciousness, unbidden and unwelcome, and he realizes he will have to re-envision the future of farming -- for himself and for coming generations.

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Steeped in images of natural beauty, this thoughtful, engaging and quietly observed documentary shows us what's involved in bringing good food to the table, and how biodiversity, adaptability and resilience are key to survival in an unpredictable future.

The Nov. 12 program begins at 6 p.m. with welcoming remarks and a link to view the film, which is 83 minutes in length.

After the film, there is a Q&A session with film director Ines Sommer and producer Terra Brockman.

The Land Conservancy of McHenry County is a member-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving natural, scenic and agricultural land. For information on TLC, visit www.conservemc.org.

MCC's Center for Agrarian Learning's mission is to teach, engage, and inspire the community to seek new solutions in all aspects of the food economy -- bringing people together around growing and selling locally, helping participants build more rewarding professional lives, and improving their stewardship of the planet. For more, visit www.mchenry.edu/cal/.

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