food films

Elevate Tahoe

elevate tahoe posterFriday, February 20, 7:00 p.m. in the BriarPatch Co-op Community Room.

Life looks a little different at 6,000 feet, and food presents a particular challenge in Truckee, Tahoe, and the Sierra. Residents up against quite a lot, considering the harsh climate, cost of living, lack of access and food security, and tourist-based economy. But these mountainous challenges inspire them to get creative, innovative even, in developing unique, functional solutions.

Interested in learning more about how our neighbors up the hill are creating a sustainable food system? Representatives from Elevate Tahoe will give an introduction to the film as well as conducting a question and answer session after the screening. Make sure to come early, as seating in the Community Room is limited.

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food films

To the Moon

To-the-Moon-filmEighteen college students decided to do something remarkable — they would cycle across the country, stopping at co-ops along the way.

To the Moon” is the documentary of their journey.

Starting off in San Francisco, they trekked back to their college stomping grounds in Massachusetts, spending a grueling — though rewarding — 90 days on the road. Going by the name Co-Cycle, they created networks, interacted as a group, and dealt with the physical hardships of bicycling. As one can imagine, tempers occasionally frayed, bodies rebelled, and their mission was often questioned.

Through it all, when all of their hardships are taken into account, the team was inspiring for their dedication to stay positive, communicate, and cooperate.

As the young adults journey, they learn about many different types of co-ops as well as the commonality of the cooperative mission. From laundries to day cares, credit unions to natural foods, the seven cooperative principals were celebrated, and the students discovered how co-ops are working to improve so many aspects of daily life. It was an amazing reminder for me of why I fell in love with co-ops in the first place, and I’m sure many viewers will be similarly inspired.

Through much soul searching, the group grows as individuals and as a team, learning about the cooperative movement and discovering ways to make it even better.

“To the Moon” plays in the BriarPatch Co-op Community Room on Friday, October 24, at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free. Seating is limited, so come early. Please be advised that the group speaks like college students, so there is some colorful language in the film.

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food films

Now, Forager

Now Forager PosterNow, Forager” is a bit different than most of our Friday Food Films. It’s definitely a film about food. It’s saturated in it, but it’s not a documentary. It’s an indie drama. It’s also really good.

The winner of numerous awards, the film focuses on the lives of Lucien and Regina. They make their living foraging, but it’s difficult to make a living – they never know if they’ll find anything or even if they’ll have buyers. That chancy type of day-to-day convinces Regina to look for a more steady income.

As Regina’s career bounds upward, tension grows between Lucien’s wish to live a gypsy life and Regina’s wish for a more settled existence.

It’s a film about a great love of food, both wild and prepared. Visually striking, the tale will suck you in. Would you rather wander, foraging for income or settle down doing something that challenges you but leaves you stuck in the city? “Now, Forager” forces you to weigh both options, but you may not be able to completely decide.

“Now, Forager” screens on Friday, March 7, at 7:00 p.m. in BriarPatch’s Community Room. Please be advised there are swear words in the film and a scene of Lucien cleaning a fish. Come early, as seating is limited.

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food films

More Than Honey

more-than-honeyMore Than Honey” is beautiful and heartbreaking, and therefore, a must-see film.

It focuses on more than just colony collapse disorder – though that is a major theme of the film – showcasing the lifecycles of hives in the industrial farm world, in the German countryside, and the far-from-tamed US desert.

I grew up around bees. My dad kept a few hives on a large plot of land on the outskirts of Linda. He left the bees pretty much to their own devices, though we’d ride out to hives every week or so to see how they were doing. They had access to orchards, grasslands, and gardens and were pretty much content. They were also the nicest, most docile honeybees I’ve ever met. We never wore protective clothing. We never bothered to smoke them. They allowed us to take a comb or so for our own. Those bees felt like a part of the family.

What a stark contrast my childhood experiences were to the industrial honey companies of today! I won’t go too far into it, as you need to come to the screening on Friday and see it for yourself, but it’s like a gut punch. I’m still in grief over my namesakes.

“More Than Honey” is an important film to see, important for the organic food movement, important for human beings – our livelihoods, our food supply, and our economy are all dependent on bees. It will screen on Friday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the BriarPatch Community Room. Come early, as seating is limited.

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food films

Film tells the story of cooperatives in America, benefits Grange

food-for-changeFood for Change,” a new documentary film about the history of the food co-op movement in the U.S., will be screened on Thursday, February 20, at The Center for the Arts.

“Food for Change” goes back to the Great Depression, through the idealistic 1970s, to the current resurgence of food co-operatives in America, tracing their unique historic place in the country’s economic and political landscape.

The film examines the key role played by consumer-led food co-ops during the decades-long debate over profit-driven capitalism vs. locally-controlled economic enterprises. The co-op movement’s quest for whole and organic foods, and the dream of sustainable food systems are traced, along with profiles of several current food co-ops that have revived neighborhoods and entire communities — right in the shadow of corporate agribusiness and national supermarket chain stores.

True to the spirit of cooperation, the screening will be a fundraiser for the Banner Grange, another grassroots organization with deep American roots. As are all the Granges, the Banner Grange hall, located on McCourtney Road, is owned by Grange members and operated on democratic principles — as are co-ops.

Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for an opening presentation by the Banner Grange, after which the 84-minute film will screen at 7:00 p.m. A donation of $5 for the Banner Grange is suggested for admission. For more information, contact BriarPatch at (530) 272-5333 ext. 127.

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food films

Living Downstream

Poster_Living-Downstream_webLiving Downstream” is the documentary of Sandra Steingraber, PhD. The film follows the ecologist as she travels North America, trailing the journey of carcinogens that flow through our waterways due to industrial farming, all while exploring her own story of cancer.

Sandra strives to educate farmers, scientists, and politicians about cancer and its environmental links.

The film explores how the pesticides introduced after World War II are still impacting our lives and health today. Sandra’s journey is both personal and scientific. Her story in many ways parallels “Silent Spring” and the scientist, Rachel Carson, who was battling cancer as she fought to bring the harm pesticides cause into public consciousness.

At once powerful, poetic, and heartrendingly beautiful, “Living Downstream” will make you believe even more deeply in organic farming and its necessity in changing our world.

“Living Downstream” screens on Friday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. in BriarPatch’s Community Room. Friday Food Films are free and open to the public. Come early, as seating is limited.

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food films

Wild & Scenic 2014 is Here



There are so many amazing things scheduled for this year’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival. BriarPatch is in charge of concessions again this year. Look for gluten-free chili, gf corn muffins, and pasties — both veggie and meat. Plus, we’ll have wraps again this year which were a very popular on-the-go option for folks who wanted to make it to another venue before the next film. Sierra Harvest will have their soup station again this year created from local ingredients by chef Carlos Trujillo of Farm to Table Catering. They’ll be on Commercial Street ladling out either the Roasted Winter Squash or Jacob’s Cattle Bean and Chicken soup.

And it doesn’t stop there. The festival has a film about co-ops this year. You won’t want to miss “Food For Change, a Story of Cooperation in America” screening at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Sat. morning, Jan. 11 at the Yuba River Charter School.

Now that I’ve planned your weekend for you, what other films are on your agenda?

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