Saturday, October 28, 2006

And on that farm he had some ...

Since last Sunday I've been working daily on part two of the Happy Hippy Productions project (I SPY: the environmental series created by children for children). The first episode was I SPY Wildlife. This one is I SPY Things in My Garden ... and it all takes place on a one-acre mixed farm (vegetables, provisions, fruits and poultry) tucked away up a little dirt track in Santa Cruz. The farmer's nine children are shooting it, under my guidance. My friend Rosanna is production assistant and every day that we go there, we feel ourselves slip into a world so unlike the one we meet when we get back on the road to head back to 'civilisation'. (I'll put a list of adjectives and aspects of the farm below so you'll see what I mean).

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My breakfast the other day
Every day when leaving the farm, there is an organic surprise from the garden waiting ... for me by my knapsack, for Rosanna by her bag. Paw paw, padu, bananas, ochro ... The above photo shows what became of the ochros I was given the other day. They were bright green and tasted fresh and firm, unlike the dull green chemical-ridden ones you can buy elsewhere. I stir-fried them in butter and ate them with slices of cheese on thick slabs of the rough, wholewheat home made bread which their father bakes every morning. They'd given me half a loaf to take home.

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On days when we shoot for a full day (Sundays and public holidays like Tuesday gone), their mother cooks large plates of food (using things from the garden). The portions are huge ... amounts I would usually eat over a period of two days! Delicious, simple and healthy eating and living.

The children have done a lot of shooting and by this Sunday we should be wrapping up the main part of it. The camera they are using is the extra camera I ordered in September. This lends to more versatility (in terms of quick cut-aways or 'behind the scenes' type shots), since I can film them while they're filming. In the first episode, the new camera had not come yet, so the children had to use mine to get it done ( it was therefore a one-camera shoot). I prefer them using the new one as it's smaller and easier for them to handle. They can be more fluent with it.

There's so much more to be said about this experience. The funny thing is ... there are people with lots of money and large houses, fancy cars who will look at that family and perhaps find them 'poor'. But, in so many ways, they are not! As their mother says: "We are thankful for what we have. And what we don't have, we make do without."

As Rosanna and I walked down the track to get back to our cars yesterday, we agreed that life on a farm is the way of the future (especially if things continue the way they are going with our prime agricultural land being used for housing!). Who can eat condomniums, smelters and industrial estates? On Sunday the children will be showing/filming the process of making a 'grow box' ... so that people who aren't fortunate enough to live where they do can create their own small, manageable kitchen gardens. Sow and you will reap.

Some adjectives and aspects of the farm: Green, cool, moist, dark earth, space, happy-polite-smiling-respectful children, outdoor games, fresh produce, home cooked, home made, chickens, morocoys, guinea fowl, puppies, humility, thank you, please, "Auntie Spec", "Auntie Rosanna", simple, innovative, spiritual, shady trees, bamboo, outhouse, herbs, provisions, fruit trees, flowers ... the list goes on.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paradisus - here in this place, because of the wisdom and receptivity of these people, the earth is allowed to reveal heaven. Paradisus - both a place and a condition/state of mind/heart/soul.
Thanks so much Elspeth for sharing this with us and all the people who know in their hearts that this is all they ever really needed.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

Yes ... ("All they ever really needed") ... funny how the Earth/Nature was created to give us everything ... and somehow there came a point when it was 'not enough'.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Kiki said...

This post resonates with me now.

I am coming to realize that a lot of my anxiety and unhappy moments come from having too much, more than one person needs or can mind. I envision for myself a much, MUCH simpler future with very few belongings and a closeness to the earth.

It feels good to be finding my way again.


12:10 AM  

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