The Biggest Little Farm
MY DESIRE TO BUY EGGS FROM APRICOT LANE Farms has reached a feverish pitch. Theirs are well known as some of the best and freshest organic eggs in L.A. But, getting my hands on a carton is challenging. After several attempts at locations where they are sold have proven futile—because they sell out in minutes. Bottom line: Arrive early! Apricot Lane Farms, featured in the beautifully touching award-winning documentary The Biggest Little Farm, is a spectacular 213-acre property located 40 miles outside of Los Angeles in Moorpark, California.
How the Farm Was Born
John and Molly Chester started the farm in 2011. The film The Biggest Little Farm, tells the story of the couple’s journey from the city in the midst of their careers as a cinematographer and private chef, respectively. They realize their long-held dream of owning a farm and creating a better life for their loyal rescue dog, Todd. Meanwhile, the Chesters gather investors and find an arid, abandoned orchard in Moorpark. After that, they slowly turn it into a dynamic and regenerative organic farm. Today it provides fruits and vegetables for some of L.A.’s most popular restaurants, including Melisse, Gjelina, Farmshop and Pedalers Fork.
This gorgeous film is a colorful feast for the eyes. For example, it captures up-close the delicacy of each butterfly. Further, the water drops on flowers and the faces of fluffy baby lambs with an expert cinematographer’s lens (thanks to John Chester). As an audience, we fall in love with a 700-pound pig named Emma. Moreover, a pair of giant, white Great Pyrenees dogs. Flocks of chickens and ducks. And adorable little scampering lambs. Meanwhile, we can’t help but cheer for the resilient and determined John and Molly. For instance, they go through the tough early years of this journey and struggle to turn their arid piece of land into a produce-making one. We brace ourselves in fear for the worst when the farm almost becomes engulfed in the raging fires of 2018. And shed a tear at the birth of their son.
What is unexpected is falling in love with the fascinating story of the regeneration of this property and its pastures. The true importance of its healthy soil. The beauty of its biodiversity. And what it takes to cultivate a regenerative farm, where not a single drop of chemicals or growth aids is used. By mimicking the biological balance of earth’s ecosystem and the relationship between the farm animals, wildlife, insects and plants, each careful step taken ensures the health and wellness of the whole by utilizing the balance of nature. In short, the results are a virtual Garden of Eden. Likewise, here, healthy, mineral rich soil produces more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables. Apricot Lane Farms is one of only 66 farms in the state of California to be awarded as Certified Biodynamic by Demeter U.S., the oldest agricultural certification program in the world.
And lucky us, we are close enough to reap the benefits at local farmers markets (see earlier disclaimer to arrive early before their stand sells out!) and restaurants. We can easily visit the farm to take a tour or even to volunteer in the garden. And sneak peeks at those adorable animals.