The Biggest Little Farm (2018) Movie Script

Hey, John, you there?
Yeah, go ahead.
These animals are
in a terrible spot.
We're gonna move 'em all
into a pasture that's safer.
They'll be fine.
Breaking news in Southern California.
Six major wildfires now.
John, what's going on?
Are you coming with us?
Molly, it's still
really far away.
But just get prepared
in case, okay?
- Whoa.
- Oh, my God.
There's fire
over there on that side.
There's fire down there.
And then there's a fourth one
that's up that way.
As soon as you're done this,
you guys can go.
We're gonna move
the ewes and the lambs
all together in 16,
and that's just one pasture.
John, I'm not okay with this.
I can see a lot of smoke
out the window.
We're gonna go.
I never dreamed we could
even get to this point
to have so much to lose.
But... I was wrong.
Okay, guys, you're gonna
get knocked down.
But just remember,
keep getting up
and keep moving forward.
Look. She's not scared.
Everyone told us
this idea was crazy.
That attempting to farm
in harmony with nature...
would be reckless,
if not impossible.
But what's crazier
is that this all started
with a promise
we made to a dog.
Hi! So I'm doing
a scallop cook-off,
and John ate all the ones
that I had already done.
But they were so good.
John and I were living in a
tiny apartment in Santa Monica.
I just wanted everybody
to see how I started my day.
Oh, he's still half asleep!
John was a cameraman
working on wildlife projects
all over the world.
I love these zucchinis,
'cause look how
they're all different shapes.
Molly was a private chef
and culinary blogger...
And the dense flesh
makes for a really nice soup.
...specializing in
the health benefits
of more traditional
cooking methods.
Bone broths
are rich in gelatin,
which supports
the digestion...
And she knew
an even deeper truth.
You know, the health
of our food
is really determined
by how it's farmed.
We promised each other
that we'd build
a life of purpose together.
And there was no question
for Molly
that we'd both find
plenty of purpose on a farm.
But this farm would have
orchards, gardens, animals...
Not just any farm.
We're talking like something
out of a children's book.
We would grow apricots
and peaches, plums,
nectarines, cherries,
kumquats, grapefruits,
guava, limes...
Her dream was literally to grow
everything she could
possibly cook with.
This vegetable garden,
it wouldn't be just
any vegetable garden.
We would have
flowers, herbs...
And we'd do all of this
in perfect harmony
with nature.
Thyme, rosemary,
oregano, basil...
Like a traditional
farm from the past.
Fennel, strawberries,
kale, broccoli...
Sounded like a meaningful life.
But our reality
was so far away
from anything like a farm.
Okay, ready?
Go ahead.
So I'm starting to get
the red tomatoes.
Her excitement for
food was infectious.
And that is my
September porch garden.
But I couldn't see any way
to make it happen...
Look, I've got these
little wasabi sprouts.
...until one day,
when we saved a life
that would change ours.
I found myself filming
an animal hoarder for work.
She had 200 dogs
in one house.
Buster, quiet.
And the county was about
to come take them all.
Hey, I like this guy.
That's where I met Todd.
Hey, buddy.
She kept him in a tiny pen
with these huge
Great Pyrenees dogs
three times his size.
Molly, this one right here.
You see him?
Come on, John.
For real? Bad idea.
but look at his eyes.
Today, about 200 animals
have been removed
from a home near Tehachapi.
Many of the dogs had
to be euthanized.
We had a baby.
Todd filled us
with purpose.
Are you gonna do anything fun?
- What's he doing?
- Rollin' on his back.
Roll over. Good.
Shake. Chair.
Good boy!
We made one promise to him.
Our home
would be his last.
- Hey, guys, this is Jacob from downstairs.
- The problem was...
Your dog's been barking...
...if we left,
he would bark...
...all day.
...nonstop for eight hours.
We tried everything.
We got Todd one of those
fancy LA dog trainers.
If your dog's
an out-of-control barker,
then this program
is for you.
- Actually,
a couple of them.
- That didn't work.
We got him
a citronella barking collar
that sprays orange in his face
every time he barks.
And when we got home, the whole
entire house smelled like oranges,
and the canister was empty.
Then we got him
this anxiety shirt
that was supposed to
wrap around him
and make him really calm.
That was the day
he tore the carpet up.
Oh, and remember you even
tried that service vest
so that you could
take him everywhere?
Oh, man, Todd.
This is so wrong.
We sensed it was coming.
The landlord called.
Todd had to go.
Moving to another apartment
wouldn't stop Todd's barking.
We couldn't just give up on him.
And then it hit us.
Molly's dream could be
the answer to everything.
We had a great idea
with no way to pay for it.
So we read every farming
book we could find.
Cold-called old farmers.
And we drew up a business plan.
It was time to find an investor.
But first,
we shared our vision
with our closest friends
and family.
Old MacMolly had a farm
Yeah, they made fun of us.
With an oink-oink here
And an oink-oink there
It's a long story.
But it worked, because one
person told another person...
And the word of our dream
spread and spread.
Until it eventually connected
us to some investors
who actually saw
this old way of farming
as the future.
All we needed was a farm.
The apple orchard could go here.
And we need a lot of
different kinds of chickens.
- We need to find a spot for cherimoya.
- Yeah.
And over there, I saw
a perfect spot for a garden.
- I wonder if we can grow bananas.
- Oh, my God.
Come on, Todd.
Here we are.
Apricot Lane Farms.
There's Todd runnin' by,
the happiest dog
in the world.
Molly's bold vision
has landed us
on over 200 acres of
somewhat neglected land
about an hour north
of Los Angeles.
Looks like
what used to be
an old irrigation pond
or something.
- To Todd, it was perfect.
- Todd, come here!
Come on. Yeah!
Molly, look.
It's a beehive.
- Man, they're all dead.
- Oh.
It didn't quite have
an abundant feeling of life,
yet not much
around here does.
We're surrounded
by these large-scale
monoculture-type farms.
To our north, the ruins
of the largest
indoor egg operation
in the world.
Egg City once housed
3.5 million chickens,
laying about
two million eggs a day.
To our west,
miles of red raspberries
growing under plastic
hoop houses.
And I guess this is what
farming has become,
so that farmers
can make a living.
And the farm we're on
followed a similar
monocrop-type approach.
They were really only
growing lemons and avocados.
So it's pretty clear
that our plan for a farm
is way outside
of the norm.
So, how long you
been beekeepin'?
Forty-eight years.
Whoa. You ever been
out here before?
So what do you
think killed 'em?
How long
you been doin' this?
This is
what we're fighting.
It doesn't smash.
The soil was dead,
and we had no idea
how to bring it back to life.
And worse yet,
every other farmer
we've mentioned Molly's
dream farm idea to
thinks we're crazy.
Consultant for
traditional farming...
- Okay, anytime.
- She was like, "Hey, John,
"this guy named Alan York
is coming today
to give us some advice."
Are there any questions?
He's like this
world-renowned expert
in traditional
farming practices.
And he shows up
wearing all linen
and sandals.
I can't even...
Get in an inch.
But there was
this emphatic cadence
to his speech
that made him sound
This is devil weed.
By the end of the day,
you will have such hate
for this plant
that you'll
burn that stuff, man,
as if it's a ritual.
Oh, Molly, here's another
of my favorite plants.
Puncture weed.
What does that do?
Look. Just grab a hold...
Do you love it?
Wow, Molly.
You don't love it.
I hate it.
Molly thinks he's great.
But his goal for the farm...
This is your filter.
Pour it through it.
...sounds almost
too good to be true.
The objective is
to emulate
how natural
ecosystems work.
They regulate themselves
through diversity.
So you don't get epidemics
of pests and disease.
The natural ecosystem right now is
in the middle of a record drought,
so to build a life here,
we have to rely entirely
on a finite source of water
from our well.
Okay, Molly, you ready?
Here we go.
Irrigation's comin' on.
All right.
Shoot. John, it's barely
comin' out.
Well, it's goin'
Alan promised that
farming in this way...
It just shut off.
...will eventually
feel like surfing.
Found the broken line.
This feels nothing
like surfing.
Oh, boy. So, we tried
to irrigate our pastures,
and when
we turned on the well...
- You should probably turn it off.
- Okay, I hear you.
Alan didn't really care
about watering the pastures.
He was more focused
on starting over
with everything.
Where can we get rid
of things that should have
never been planted?
That opens up the opportunity
to diversify.
We ripped out
55 acres of old trees.
We built compost piles.
To make money,
we need to be growing crops,
and all we're doing is
ripping the crops out.
Burn it!
We restored an old pond.
We fixed over five miles
of irrigation.
Alan convinced us to build
a state-of-the-art
worm compost facility,
which is essentially
an oversized palace
for collecting worm poop,
what he called
the holy grail of soil food.
And then we're gonna
brew this poop into a tea
and feed it to our soil.
We've blown through the first
year's budget in six months,
and we haven't even
planted a single crop.
You know, we have a
saying in the South,
"Never enough time
to do it right,
"but always enough time
to do it over."
- That's pretty good.
- Barely.
Okay. All right.
We hired two guys,
Flavio and Raul.
Raul had been on this farm
since he was 14 years old
and has actually worked
through five of its owners.
Oh, and two of those owners
were the banks
that foreclosed on the farm
when it failed.
But at least
he knows the farm.
Flavio grew up on his father's
thousand-acre farm in Mexico.
He brought some experience,
but our plan would require
more hands.
Come on, Todd.
"Come join us."
So, Molly got back
on the Internet.
"Traditional farm."
And it worked.
We had young people
from all over the world
coming to learn how to farm,
just like us.
You want to dig in at an angle
and just let the stuff fall down.
Yeah, exactly like that.
We were shoveling weeds
into the trailer
and I saw movement,
and there's a tiny
little newborn baby.
Oh, he's tryin' to hide.
Too much excitement
for one day.
We're finally ready to refill
the old irrigation pond.
Go ahead, Maria.
Enjoy your new home, little catfish.
We are adding
the very first worms
to the 40-foot
Apricot Lane Farms bin.
All right, Molly,
open that baby up.
All right!
We are compost tea-ing!
You introduced us
to all of these things.
Plants build soil.
If there's no plants,
there will never be
any fertility.
We planted
tons of new trees,
we seeded cover crop,
dug culverts
to prevent runoff,
turned a horse arena
into a garden,
planted natives and other...
The list went on for pages.
Built chicken coops.
Every time I crossed
something off my list,
10 more things went on.
Our goal is the highest level
- of biodiversity possible.
- Got it.
And we took that literally.
The post office called
us at what time?
For this.
They're the cutest things
I've ever seen!
What do you think
of this, Todd?
Why are you so mean?
It was like every animal
you'd see
in a children's book.
...with a purpose
to contribute.
One hundred baby ducks.
It was everything that
we had ever talked about.
I can hardly stand it!
Yay! We own a bull!
Whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa!
Presenting Caya and Rosie,
our livestock guardian dogs.
Well... One day.
Molly and John are
very happy about this,
but Todd is not.
He won't even look at us.
Here's the new chicken house.
There are some chickens
over there.
And the sheep like
the chicken house, too.
What do you think, chickens?
What are you guys
doing in my office?
Oh, boy.
Poor Todd.
Back with
Great Pyrenees again.
Their poop is our gold.
It's as valuable as a crop.
And now you can build compost
that is of very high quality.
The animals,
compost and cover crops
all share the same goal,
to bring our soil
back to life,
infusing it with a host
of beneficial microorganisms.
I just hope it works,
because Alan said
without the microorganisms,
our way of farming
won't work at all.
How's it going, Josh?
Every now and then,
when you hit it with the hose,
you get a nice
face full of...
- Come.
- Get in there, Todd.
We had everything on the farm
we could have ever wanted.
That's it.
They went through that fast.
But we were missing something
that every real farm needs.
And the day she arrived,
the farm felt complete.
She came to us pregnant,
but also with
horrible diarrhea.
And the only thing worse
was the name she came with,
Ugly Betty,
which we quickly changed
to Emma.
Oh, man, she pooped
everywhere in here.
When it comes to
the care of our animals,
I've begun to realize
that there's really
only one thing
that Alan knows about them.
You need animals
for a farm to be healthy.
And that's it.
The only way
she'll eat her greens
is if we douse it
in a soaked-grain
apple cider vinegar dressing.
How come
you don't like oranges?
Her first contribution
to the farm was
destroying our pastures
and wasting water.
But she knew
what she was doing.
She was making the farm
her home.
We're a year in
and Molly and Alan
still have one
20-acre orchard to plant.
I only suggested
three fruit tree varieties.
But Alan is making
this farm so complicated.
I feel like we're gonna be
reliant on him forever.
We call it the fruit basket.
Seventy-five different
varieties of stone fruit.
Plums, peaches, nectarines,
cherries, apricots...
You may think
it's a crazy idea,
and it very well may be,
but, diversify,
diversify, diversify.
That's the link
to the whole thing.
Are there piglets?
Good job, Emma.
How many do you think
she'll have?
They said, like,
maybe eight or 10,
but she's pretty small.
Five? Is that
gonna be the end?
She seems like
she might be done.
If she stops now,
I'd be good.
She's pushing again.
Already ready to run.
I'm startin' to get
a little nervous now.
- Another one.
- Okay.
Oh, it's big.
Wait. Is that 11?
I don't know. I lost count.
There's another?
This is crazy.
Another one?
Oh, geez, no.
- How many is that now?
- I do believe we've hit a dozen.
How did she have room?
She was so skinny.
I don't understand.
Yes, but you've been
feeding her well
for the last couple days.
Oh, no.
Another one? She's created
a few more.
She knows what to do.
Oh, no. Oh, my God.
Are you serious?
Oh, my goodness.
- This is so fun!
- I love our life!
Have you washed
your hands, John?
- Oh, there's 14.
- Oh, my gosh.
- We're in a lot of trouble.
- Another one. Oh, my gosh.
I think we're
officially pig farmers.
- Hey, John, another one.
- No.
John, please be careful.
I'm not sure
when the moment is
that you actually feel
like you've earned
the title of "farmer."
Uh-oh. What?
Oh, my God.
Oh... Hey!
Each day still feels
both terrifying
and magically unpredictable.
This is an abnormally
large chicken egg,
and we are gonna crack it
to find out
what kind of surprises
are inside.
Another egg!
That's amazing.
It was an egg in an egg.
Oh, hi, Scissor Beak.
We didn't expect this to be
our first breakthrough.
They line up at stores
waiting for our delivery.
Fifty dozen sell out
in less than an hour.
Literally fighting over them.
We're onto something.
So, we got a lot more.
We're farming over
200 different things.
And Alan claims that
all of this diversity
will somehow
lead to simplicity.
The flywheel is being built,
so now it becomes
and self-regulating.
So I picture this
circle, full of life,
with plants,
livestock, wildlife,
all working together,
pushing us forward,
building our soil,
living in harmony.
That would be great.
Always you're looking for
opportunities to integrate,
so that everything
works in harmony.
For example,
we've established cover crops
to rebuild our soil.
The problem,
this requires
more labor to mow them.
But Alan quickly
shifted our lens,
calling it a problem
with an opportunity.
That cover crop
is food for our sheep.
And then, the X factor.
As they trample the grass,
they leave behind
their droppings and urine.
It all circles back
to the health of the soil.
We're entering a
phase of regeneration
beyond just simply farming.
Intermixed among our animals,
the delicate wildlife
is returning to our land.
The farm is becoming
a habitat for them, too.
The trick will be
to balance the needs
of the farm
with that
of the wildlife,
something Alan has
encouraged from the beginning.
- You found all these around the pump?
- Yeah.
How many did they get?
About a dozen.
We need to put up an
electric fence or something,
so they can make it
to the house.
I know I've got some neighbors
who would probably
shoot a coyote
for chewing
an irrigation line,
but we're trying to figure out
what beneficial role
the coyote plays here.
I feel it's very humane
to try to prevent us
from having to kill them.
Well, if we make it
difficult for the coyote
to kill the ducks,
it'll figure out
another way
to get some food.
You know, it's at least
worth trying again.
So now with the fence
running all the way
to the pond,
hopefully it'll give
the ducks a chance
to get inside.
It's working
with the chickens.
"It's a simple way of farming."
That's what
Alan always says.
It's just not easy.
In his own way, I think
he's always been honest
with us about that.
But today we learned
about something
that Alan had been
keeping from us.
Molly, it's Alan.
Can you please give me a call
when you get a chance?
Apparently, he's been fighting
an aggressive form of cancer.
I don't think he's feeling
up to visiting the farm.
It feels like the ground has
just dropped from beneath us.
And on top of that,
we're starting to face
all these new problems
that we just don't have
the answers for.
Wait, wait. Are you talking
about what happened
in the front valley
or somewhere else?
No, no. I'm talking
about the pig, Emma.
Okay. Let me go down
to the valley first and see
what's going on there,
and then I'll come
to you guys.
There's no way
this was one coyote.
The coyotes
figured out how to
pull this wire open.
Went inside and...
They're all over
the place.
Seventeen, 18, 19, 20.
And then there's 10
in the truck.
Thirty chickens?
Yeah, 30. And now
I'm heading down
to meet Flavio,
because apparently
there's something wrong
with Emma.
Wait, what happened
to Emma?
She's definitely got a fever.
It's like 106.9. It's high.
Right. Uh-huh.
All of her udders
are hard on the topside.
You know, she ended up
having 17.
Probably that litter size
that did it.
We'll knock that fever down
so she doesn't cook her brain,
and then just pray.
Maybe let's take
the babies away.
Rampant infection.
Over 50% of cases
are caused by
gram-positive organisms.
You got
her fever down, right?
But if she doesn't eat soon,
she's gonna die.
Flavio to John.
I never see something like that.
What happened?
The intestines come out
from the baby.
Oh, man.
It's bad.
It's like a herniated
umbilical cord or something.
I'm gonna have to
put her down.
Just set her down here.
If nothing else,
it's a little more
water for her.
You gotta eat, Emma.
It's all, like,
this slow disillusionment
of our earnest intent.
Intent alone
is not a protector.
I've run out of ways
to get Emma to eat.
She needs to decide
if she wants to live.
Now they're puttin' them in.
I don't know.
She seems excited.
Come on.
Good girl.
You're, like, moving
every piece of lettuce
out of the way.
You're such a finicky pig.
In trying to save
the animals
that will one day
become food,
it naturally develops
this bond.
And that's not something
I've fully processed.
I think I'm okay.
But this is
a swarm of bees.
I can see
why they're showing up.
Take a look at this place.
It's a 500% improvement
compared to where it was
when we first come out here.
I've never seen bees
swarm to one spot
like this before.
This is definitely
a good sign.
They showed up at the
perfect time, huh?
Looks like the fruit trees
are pretty happy, too.
Yeah, right?
The fruit basket.
It's an important orchard
because of the rare
and unique varieties,
and that's what's
gonna give us
an edge at the market.
As we enter
into our third spring,
it's truly become
a paradise.
I can see now
why Alan pushed for this.
Looks like starlings.
That's what I think, too.
- We lost almost 70% of the fruit.
- Oh, my gosh.
We are feeding the birds.
Alan told us that things like
this would eventually balance out.
I'm just not clear on
how that's supposed to happen.
At the tone,
please record your message.
Hey, Alan, it's Molly.
I was just calling
to see how you're doing.
So, we're all
thinking of you here.
Okay, take care.
Hey, Caya, stop!
I guess I don't know what
Alan's idea of a perfect harmony
is even supposed
to look like,
because every step we take
to improve our land
seems to just create
the perfect habitat
for the next pest.
snails thrive in cover crops,
and they love
eating the leaves
of our citrus trees,
which directly compromises
the trees' ability
to produce fruit.
Alan would have known
what to do.
But tonight
we got the call
that Alan had died.
In one way,
I feel abandoned,
but I really
just want to cry
because I lost my friend.
Hey, John,
did you see this?
Yeah, she's bloated.
I know she's got
at least one baby somewhere,
but we'll have to
figure it out
in the morning,
'cause there's no way
we're gonna find it now.
Ah, man.
I think that's
the orphan right there.
The one that lost
its mom last night.
I think so.
Well, we bottle-feed it
three to four times a day,
or we see if he can
work it out on its own.
It's a really weird feeling
to be both heartbroken
and completely frustrated
and angry
at the one who has died.
Obviously, Alan
wouldn't have wanted this
to stop us,
but it's also hard to
move forward without him.
John, come here.
Oh, my God.
I thought that was the trunk.
I mean, what do we do?
This is too many.
So we can't put poison out.
So how do
they expect us to...
I have no idea.
This feels overwhelming.
I don't even want
to think about it.
Go on.
should we take Bart?
A long dry spell across
the central and western US
has now turned
into a full-scale drought.
Farmers and ranchers
across 11 states
are struggling
with a severe lack
of rain and snow.
Among the hardest-hit
states, California.
As the drought continues,
there's no fresh rainwater
for the pond.
And combined with
excess nutrients
from duck poop,
it has caused
a toxic algae bloom.
Another problem
created by us.
Everything on this farm
must be contributing.
And when it's not...
What do we do
with a hundred ducks?
I feel like Todd is
constantly staring deeply
at these almost
infinitesimal details,
like he's decoding how
the world around him works.
So, I've started
doing the same.
And I think
I've figured out
what ducks love
more than ponds.
In just a single season,
they devoured
over 90,000 snails.
And better yet,
they turned them
into fertilizer for the trees.
So with every new problem
that popped up,
I'd first take a step back
and watch it.
More cows and sheep,
more manure.
To the fly,
this is the food
for their babies.
Oh, gosh.
But I realized maggots
are just more food
for chickens.
This reduced
the fly population
to a manageable level
of coexistence.
It's not like
they're just on one section.
They're kind of everywhere.
Weevils in the garden,
Observation followed
by creativity
is becoming
our greatest ally.
Make sure you guys feed
that rooster in with Emma.
Yeah, I got it.
With the piglets now
gone from Emma's woods,
the farm's ecosystem
has responded to this void
in a rather unexpected way.
We call him Greasy.
A beat-up and rejected rooster
in need of a safe home.
Alan told me once that coexistence
with land can't be forced.
It's more of a delicate,
patient dance...
...with no guarantees.
Alan claimed each year
would get easier
and more predictable.
He called it
the rhythm of farming.
Well, the dance
might be familiar,
but the partners
are always changing.
- You've never seen it this bad before?
- Never.
The gophers are
killing the trees.
The gophers
loves the cover crop.
We can't get rid
of the cover crop,
though, Miguel.
It's the only way
we can build the soil.
Oh. Uh...
So owls eat gophers?
Hold the bottom.
How do we know
they'll come?
We don't.
At this point,
it feels like
we're just growing fruit
to feed chickens.
I think we both
had always envisioned
that the markets
would be this place
where we share
the bounty of our methods.
Oh, man.
- They killed the rooster.
- Oh, man,
this guy has no head.
Go on!
Alex, how many birds
should have been in that coop
this morning?
There should be
And how many were in there
this morning?
Twenty to 30 birds I saw inside.
We're missing 230 birds.
We just don't know
where they are.
Our... Our fences
don't work entirely.
Oh. Oh...
So do you see
where they grabbed her?
Looks like it took,
like, multiple bites.
I think we have to
put her down.
It's in
with the chickens!
Where is it?
It went to the next pasture.
Stay there.
Along with the coyote
died part of my belief
in the power
of an uncompromising
the very thing
that got us to such
a beautiful place in our life.
A place that
we cannot control.
And just in case
we forget that,
around here
there's a fifth season,
the season of wind.
This drought has become
California's driest period
in 1,200 years.
And as we attempt
to conserve water
on certain parts of the farm,
it exposes a deeper truth.
We are overly dependent
on our aquifer,
a finite source
of groundwater
relying on rain...
...just like us.
Eighteen inches of rain.
All around us,
on other farms,
topsoil was washing
out to the sea.
But not here.
We were able to sequester
over a hundred million
gallons of water,
because what our plants
and trees didn't use
went back
into our aquifer
beneath the ground.
Our soil stayed.
But why?
It was the cover crops,
essentially soaking in
all the rain
like a sponge.
I don't understand.
What's his plan?
This is ridiculous.
I don't know.
You gotta ask John.
I've created an expectation
that to control the coyote
means to kill him.
God, there's so many.
Are we gonna just keep
letting this happen?
All right.
Let's give this a try.
Remember what we practiced.
No chasing. Okay?
That's not gonna work.
I either completely
eliminate the coyote,
or we might as well abandon
our entire egg operation.
Update on Emma the pig,
the day before she is to
give birth yet again.
And then there's the
nervous boyfriend,
Mr. Greasy.
A little somethin'
for them
to reflect
back on the good times,
when life was simple.
Any guess what color
the babies are gonna be?
Do these things see in the dark?
How many are you setting up?
Um, one in each orchard
and a few by the gate.
Then we'll see
what's really going on
out here.
So why is a coyote laying
paralyzed in the garden?
The best I can tell,
the coyote was chasing
a gopher along the fence
and hit an irrigation line,
breaking both the pipe
and his neck.
Oh, Todd, come on.
You can't let it suffer.
It's a heartbreaking
The coyote might not be
just a pest.
He may very well be
our friend.
Whenever I look up
at the Milky Way,
I feel so captivated
by its complexity.
And yet it's easy to forget
that Earth is a part of it.
It's almost impossible
to grasp
that I actually spin inside
of that which I see.
Where's Greasy?
I don't know if I can
forgive you for this.
Look at you.
I don't think you understand,
Caya, how bad this is.
And look, Rosie doesn't have
anything on her.
This was you.
Sometimes I wish
it weren't true.
But it's those
tiny revelations
that are born from failure
that act as a fuel
for the engine
of our ecosystem.
Here we are.
Day two.
Rosie, the chicken guardian.
And if I'm paying attention...
Good girl.
I get to use it.
Please don't eat
the chickens, Rosie.
With Rosie the guardian dog
protecting our chickens,
the coyotes are now focused
on hunting gophers.
All pests, even gophers,
have a beneficial role.
For one,
they aerate our soils.
But too many gophers,
and the problems start.
Hey, look. See?
The gophers ate all the roots.
How many?
In one month,
I got 900.
Nine hundred?
So now, the irony is,
we actually don't have
enough coyotes
to bring the gopher population
back into balance.
Hopefully, there's more
to this delicate dance
of coexistence,
as our farm flourishes,
so do the pests.
The healthier our row crops,
the more the aphids.
The better the fruit,
the more the birds.
Alan told us by
the seventh year,
we would no longer
be alone in our farming.
And he was right.
You will see things that
you did not see before.
And as I looked closer at
those aphid infestations,
the eggs of their predator.
You just tapped into
a power of nature
that you can ride
without an extraordinary
amount of effort.
It's exactly
the same thing as surfing.
The flywheel in motion.
You're establishing
this equilibrium.
all supporting
and enhancing each other.
You will see a web of life.
This year we counted
87 barn owls,
eating an estimated
15,000 gophers.
And it didn't stop there.
A whole host
of specialized players
arrived to do their part.
Hawks attacked from above.
And from below, gopher snakes,
weasels and badgers.
And along with the coyotes,
even the guardian dogs
became hunters, too.
Looks like Caya
got herself a new job.
It hasn't even been
in that long here.
That's from two inches of rain.
Todd, come.
Of all the things
that have happened,
the thing Alan wanted
for this farm the most,
the most difficult thing
for us to achieve...
This cover crop looks great.
...was that which was
happening beneath our feet.
This is what
we're fighting.
It was dead.
Void of diverse life.
But not anymore.
Because as we added cover
and life on top,
a process billions
of years old awakened,
and they returned.
Now, on this little farm,
there are up to
nine billion microorganisms.
Nine billion microorganisms,
churning away
at decaying life-forms.
Purpose-driven organisms,
death to life
in just one clump
of healthy soil.
Everything that dies
gets broken down
into minerals and nutrients
to feed plants.
Our farm is energized entirely
by the impermanence of life.
You might be
an old guy now.
He's having fun today.
You'll always be
our first baby.
We not only have the support
of the wildlife and the soil,
we are surrounded
by a team
who believed
in this way enough
to make it real.
Oh, boy.
Come on.
One more.
Come on. Come on.
There you go.
You got a boy.
Oh, my gosh!
He's so big.
It's no longer just
about proving to ourselves
that this way of farming
can work.
You're on the outside now.
It's for him.
You're a good boy, Todd.
His name is Todd.
And he's a doggy.
By the time Todd died,
the question
of who saved who
was no longer a mystery.
He had led us to this
interconnected beauty
that surrounds us,
a place that he will now
become a part of.
It was as if he knew
his role in our lives
was now complete.
These are the cherry trees,
and there are apple trees.
We now had someone else
to be brave for.
Oh, oh, oh, oh!
Who's that?
A ladybug!
You think so?
Tropic snow peaches,
those are going to
Erewhon LA.
We sold over 500,000 pounds
of food that year.
These look great this year.
And that's when it happened.
It is now the largest wildfire
on record in California.
Mommy, we gotta go!
Yeah, let's go.
I think we're surrounded
by, like, three fires.
Well, these winds
definitely aren't helping.
If something happens
on these hills
over here, then...
Well, then we'd be toast.
John, I can see it
out the window.
Molly, it's still
really far away.
We're just getting prepared
in case, okay?
No, no, no. Oh, man.
This is how they start.
Okay, guys, another
small fire has started.
It's on the neighbor's
property, but if itj umps
into those fields,
we're in trouble.
John, I just heard that.
We're gonna go.
A massive wildfire raging
in Southern California...
Our good intent towards nature...
Let's go, go, go.
...won't shield us from facing
her impermanence.
John, there's an electric wire.
As it consumes just about
everything in its path...
I want my toys!
If we've learned anything,
forward momentum and hope...
...that's what nurtures luck.
Which can look
as simple as the winds
changing direction.
Welcome home, guys.
This is all the stuff
that she packed
when she decided
she was gonna evacuate.
We have a back roller.
I thought we'd be stressed out.
Here's one I like right here.
The Power of Myth,
which I read about 20 years ago.
A gym bag.
That's a...
I know. That's, like,
how Mommy packed.
Here we go, guys.
That looks so good.
I didn't expect that the
hardships that we would face
make the actual dream itself
feel so much more alive.
Hey, everybody,
welcome to Apricot Lane Farms.
- Who came from the furthest?
- Hong Kong.
Hong Kong?
- China.
- Texas.
That is almost
another country.
Yes, it is.
- This is Emma.
- Hi, Emma.
Her days of breeding
have really come to an end.
Now her purpose is
entertaining you all.
You're a good girl.
And this is Alan York Lookout.
It's named after our mentor.
- Amazing!
- That is so beautiful.
he passed away, uh,
at the wrong time.
I remember I asked Alan
if he designed
the contours of this block
to prevent water
from running off.
And he would say,
"Yeah. And...
""Cause it's beautiful."
The beautiful complexity
of our land
is alive
with infinite possibility.
We were never alone.
Not for a second.
Mornin', Bodie!
And if the whole thing
from the beginning was to live
in harmony with nature...
Morning, Mama.
...well, we made it this far
with a comfortable level
of disharmony.
The ecosystem
of our entire planet
works the same way.
You're a good girl, Caya.
And when I look at it
like that...'s perfect.
So, what do you want to pick?
I want to pick some nectarines.
We'll pick some nectarines.
You made me happy.
We should have
brought a paper bag.
Look how many there are.
Oh, that one's gonna be so good.
What we are a part of
Is bigger than we know
And the height of our ability
Is further than we go
And fear is just
another problem
We will figure out
Whoa. Hello.
And we will grow our garden
Come sun, flood or drought
Morning, girls.
How far into a dream
Would you follow me?
Come on, Emma!
And how sure of a thing
Does it gotta be?
In the most uncertain times
of certainty
All that I am counting on
is you and me
And what we are a part of...
I'm gonna pick five.
You want to pick
five blueberries?
Okay, just five, okay?
One, two...
You can count 'em
when you start pickin' 'em.
And here's one.
Hey, buddy,
how many have you picked so far?
I have...
And what we are a part of
Is bigger than we know
And the height of our ability
Is further than we go
And fear is just
another problem
We will figure out
And we will grow our garden
Yeah, we will grow our garden
We will grow our garden
Come sun
Flood or drought