The Biggest Little Farm: The Return (2022) Movie Script

JOHN: I'm gonna tell you about this place
that ten years ago didn't even exist.
What created this wasn't brilliance,
or experience...
it was... freedom.
JOHN: We didn't put the frames in?
BEEKEEPER: Yeah, we didn't put the frames
and there was just a... empty box.
JOHN: So the bees can just
kind of do whatever they want?
JOHN: To allow nature...
-JOHN: Oh, wow!
BEEKEEPER: They really free formed it.
JOHN: That's art.
JOHN: show us a better way.
And it's not just a way of farming.
It's a way of seeing.
JOHN: That's exactly how my wife,
Molly, and I rebuilt
this whole farm over the last decade.
JOHN: And it all started... with a dream.
-MOLLY: The apple orchard could go here.
-JOHN: Yeah.
MOLLY: And we need a lot
of different kinds of chickens.
-JOHN: Mm-hmm.
-MOLLY: We need to find a spot
for cherimoya.
-JOHN: Yeah.
-MOLLY: And over there, I saw a perfect
-spot for a garden.
-JOHN: Uh-huh.
MOLLY: I wonder if we can grow bananas.
JOHN: Oh, my God! (GROANING)
MOLLY: So we have some wild fennel
down here that's flowering...
JOHN: When Molly and I arrived
on what was an old,
industrial lemon farm, we had big ideas.
Oh, my gosh! That scared me.
And now the shoe is close to the snake...
JOHN: And no prior farming experience.
MOLLY: ...which is a bit of a conundrum.
JOHN: Why are you so mean?
JOHN: Woah!
MOLLY: Here we are.
Apricot Lane farms.
JOHN: We wanted to grow
the best-tasting food...
but doing it in a way
that regenerated the land
while working in harmony with nature.
But our soil seemed dead.
This is what we're fighting.
(CHUCKLING) It doesn't smash.
JOHN: So were the plants.
JOHN: Molly, look, it's a beehive.
They're all dead.
JOHN: In order to reawaken
the ecosystem of our land,
we had to create the highest level
of biodiversity possible.
It's the variety of living-organisms...
...that rebuild life.
MOLLY: Oh, my goodness!
JOHN: We brought in every animal you'd see
in a children's book.
JOHN: One hundred baby ducks.
JOHN: Their poop is our gold.
The animals, along with the composting
and adding cover crops,
all share the same goal.
JOHN: To bring our soil back to life,
infusing it with important microorganisms.
We even restored native habitats
to encourage the return
of beneficial wildlife.
By year five, we had created
one of the most diverse farms
in southern California,
growing over 160 different things.
But, you know, the real indicator
that we had done something special
was the soil.
The quality of the food we eat
starts with the soil it was grown in.
Or even raised on.
JOHN: It looks like starlings.
MOLLY: Yeah, that's what I think, too.
JOHN: I'm making it sound easy,
but it wasn't.
The birds attacked our orchards.
FARMER: We lost almost 70 percent
of the fruit.
MOLLY: Oh, my gosh.
JOHN: Snails smothered our trees.
-JOHN: We can't put poison out.
-MOLLY: Nope.
Our ducks polluted our pond.
Coyotes killed our chickens.
We're missing, like, 230 birds.
JOHN: Gophers pilfered our orchards.
JOHN: You've never seen it
this bad before?
FARMER: Never.
The gophers are killing the trees.
JOHN: And who could forget
the record-breaking droughts,
winds, and fires?
MOLLY: John, there's an electric wire,
be careful.
John, we're gonna go.
-BEAUDIE: I want my toys!
-MOLLY: It's okay.
JOHN: But then, something happened.
The solutions to our problems
began to appear
within the diversity that we had created.
Hawks returned
to chase away the starlings.
Guardian dogs protected the chickens...
which helped the coyotes focus
on another problem we were facing...
And what they didn't eat...
JOHN: ...the barn owls, hawks, weasels,
badgers, and gopher snakes did.
Oh, and as for that snail problem...
JOHN: In just one season,
our ducks ate over 96,000 snails,
turning the snails
into nitrogen-rich duck poop,
fertilizing our trees
and our cover crops...
which we then grazed with our sheep,
adding yet another layer of fertility
to regenerate our soils.
And even today as we look back,
it's hard to believe
the transformation of this land
unless you see it in person.
MOLLY: Hey, everybody,
welcome to Apricot Lane farms.
-JOHN: Who came from the furthest?
-TOURIST 1: Hong Kong.
-JOHN: Hong Kong?
-TOURIST 2: India.
-JOHN: India?
-TOURIST 3: China.
-TOURIST 4: Texas.
-JOHN: Texas?
-That is almost another country.
-TOURIST 4: Yes, it is.
So, we're standing right in the middle
of the fruit basket.
We have the mandarins on our left
and these are various varieties
of oranges.
JOHN: And I think it's important
to keep in mind
that everything you're seeing out here
came from the work
that we did to rebuild our soil.
And when you're focused on the soil,
you're growing food in a way
that would maximize nutrient-density.
So, it actually becomes the most
delicious food that you can possibly eat.
MAN: Since the farm has hit
that benchmark ten-year existence,
have you guys experienced any surprises
or things you didn't expect
after hitting that, that point?
I think one of the... the difficult things
that we're facing now is, more...
The fact that we have a lot
of favorite animals that are now aging
and Mo says he's not one of them.
And figuring out what to do
with some of those animals.
And while we do raise animals as food,
they're also some family favorites.
Mo, let go.
MAN: So are you guys thinking
about filming anymore?
Well, John never actually
stopped filming.
JOHN: And one of our farm favorites
is a mama pig named Emma,
who's been taking a bit of a break...
with a little too much time on her hands.
At age seven,
she's not too old or too young.
But there's no denying,
this vacation was well-earned,
given her legendary past and all.
-MOLLY: Are there piglets?
-JOHN: Yeah, there's already eight.
How many do you think she'll have?
JOHN: They said, like, maybe eight or ten.
She was our first pig.
Good job, Emma.
MOLLY: Nine!
JOHN: And Emma...
Wait, is that 11?
JOHN: ...was about to become
the most productive animal
this farm has ever seen.
MOLLY: Oh, my gosh! Seventeen piglets!
MOLLY: This is so fun. I love our life.
JOHN: Oh, my God.
MOLLY: Have you washed your hands, John?
JOHN: Wow!
JOHN: She not only produced
some of the biggest litters...
but also...
The runt. of the smallest piglets.
We call her, "Thumbelina."
-'Cause she's as big as a thumb.
-MOLLY: Oh, my God...
JOHN: A thriving 450 pounds
patiently navigating
a sea of piglets.
Ten feedings a day.
Lessons in rooting and sleeping.
But she always had good boundaries.
And the piglets knew
when it was time for them to move out.
JOHN: Of course, after six litters,
who wouldn't need a break?
But now, it's been over a year.
And around here,
vacations like that get noticed.
You see,
there's this unspoken rule in farming.
Everything on the farm
must be serving the farm
and playing its part, or, it must go.
That's to protect the survivability
of the farmer and the farm.
So it's time...
to breed our legendary pig once again.
Think she's eating for 20.
JOHN: In precisely three months,
three weeks, and three days,
Emma will get another shot
at being a mama.
Pigs are very punctual.
MOLLY: I know where he's going. (CHUCKLES)
JOHN: We don't apply the same
pressure of productivity
to every creature on the farm.
But I guess you could say
this one's role
is sort of quality control.
MOLLY: Kumquat. Kumquat.
JOHN: Here comes Whiskers.
MOLLY: You like it?
-JOHN: What you got there, buster?
Maybe not an apple. Maybe a peach.
MOLLY: All right, not too many.
It's ripe when it's red.
JOHN: It's ripe when it's red.
JOHN: We've yet to make a profit
on one fruit in particular.
BEAUDIE: I eat blueberries.
JOHN: Hey, Beaudie, how many have you had?
I have... one.
And here one.
JOHN: Beaudie!
Beaudie, how many have you had?
BEAUDIE: I think about... ten?
JOHN: And the more time passes,
the more dependable he gets...
JOHN: Grab some eggs for mom, all right?
BEAUDIE: Got it. I got three.
JOHN: ...not less.
Only five?
JOHN: Well, it wasn't 17 piglets.
At least we can count
on Emma's mothering skills.
MOLLY: The other two babies
are much stronger.
LEONARD: Mom rejected it.
JOHN: Not all mothers can handle five...
let alone one.
LEONARD: John, you need to check
on this lamb later.
JOHN: (OVER RADIO) Copy that.
It's gonna have to be after Emma.
JOHN: Emma.
Oh, no.
JOHN: I've never seen her
lay on 'em like this.
That leaves her with three.
JOHN: If she ever lays on one,
normally she just pops right up.
LEONARD: Maybe she's going deaf.
LEONARD: I wanna clean
underneath these boards
so she doesn't smash any more babies.
JOHN: That's a good idea,
especially over there.
What do you think...
enough room for a little one to escape?
LEONARD: I think so.
JOHN: We don't have time to raise
these guys. She's gonna have to do this.
That's too deep.
JOHN: Oh, no.
JOHN: (SIGHS) What happened, Emma?
JOHN: Okay, I'm gonna run up
to the barn and fix this.
LEONARD: You want any help with that job?
MOLLY: How'd you learn how to do this?
LEONARD: There's no one to see you,
is there anybody else that can help you?
JOHN: YouTube.
-MOLLY: You're okay.
-LEONARD: No. Molly and Hannah
are with the chickens.
LEONARD: Okay, so as long as John keeps...
MOLLY: Oh, it's okay.
LEONARD: I had to go over there
a little bit faster
because the rain is coming.
JOHN: Sorry, Buster.
You're doing good.
JOHN: Okay, are you walking?
You just gotta be able
to get away from your mom.
You got this, Buster.
JOHN: Hey, I'm looking for that lamb
that...That's struggling.
Is he still up here?
LEONARD: Yeah, he should be.
JOHN: Hey, Mama.
Where's your baby?
Never mind, I found him.
JOHN: Hey, I got him.
He's not doing so well.
But I'm gonna get some colostrum in him
and that should do it.
Well, you know where I'll be tonight.
WEATHERMAN: Good Monday morning.
Drizzle of light rain in the morning
and then it gets
a little heavier in the afternoon.
It's going to be much cooler
than yesterday
with a high of 60 degrees...
JOHN: Hang in there, buddy.
Come on, Blue. Let's get started.
JOHN: Our life has become
a bit of a circus.
And yet, it all works.
Because everything here
adds something back.
JOHN: What are you guys doing
in my office?
JOHN: Including the latest addition
to our family.
JOHN: Blue, don't hurt him.
JOHN: What have you done?
Look at this adorable...
No, Blue. Blue, no! Blue.
JOHN: At first, we figured our dog, Blue,
wouldn't contribute much
to the actual farming...
but then Blue found another pest.
Blue, stop! Blue!
JOHN: Blue...
the hunter of rabbits.
JOHN: I just went and looked for the lamb,
and he's not here.
And I look over behind the toilet...
and he's peeing,
very close to where it needed to be.
Blue, do you think you can do that?
-We're gonna try to, like...
...waggle it back and forth.
So sideways while it gets in there.
Yup, go closer to him so he can...
And now tilt it. Okay.
JOHN: Hey, Emma.
Okay, where's Buster?
Not him.
Come on, Buster.
LEONARD: Leonard to John.
JOHN: I'm sorry, Buster.
Go ahead.
LEONARD: Are you done with Emma?
JOHN: Each decision gets more difficult
because of the ways...
BEAUDIE: I know what you'd like.
JOHN: ...that we allow these beings
into our hearts.
BEUADIE: What's your name?
You look like you have a mohawk,
I'm gonna call you "Mo."
We call this the fruit basket.
Oh, that's grass.
Hey, come on.
JOHN: All righty, Mo.
Are you ready for this?
Do you think he'll make some friends?
JOHN: I hope so.
That's what we'll have to see.
JOHN: And as for Emma, and the question
of when a pig is too old to breed...
A wise old farmer once told me,
"You'll know when you know."
Well, now we know.
Sometimes, in spite of the uncertainty,
it can be enough to simply show up.
Can I ask you what makes you optimistic
about the future?
We came on to this piece of land here
it had been extractively farmed
for 45 years.
And then in eight years time,
we regenerated it to something
that was better
than what it was even 45 years ago.
That resilience that exists
within the natural world
gives me so much hope
because it's just waiting for us
to unleash its full potential.
JOHN: As long as we continue to show up,
each day our little world
will reveal more of its secrets.
MOLLY: Get away from it!
Watch out!
JOHN: And while our farm
may never reach a perfect harmony,
it is alive with infinite possibilities.
The ecosystem of our planet
works the same way.
JOHN: Oh, no. There goes Blue.
BEAUDIE: Blue, wait up!