The Real Dirt on Farmer John Video
The Real Dirt on Farmer John

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The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2005)

Available worldwide

An award-winning true story of third-generation farmer John Peterson's heroic journey of success, tribulation, failure and rebirth. Get up close and personal with John and his forthright colorful life that parallels the marginalization of the 20th-Century American family farm and the struggle with pesticides, overuse and urbanization. Educated and unpretentious, Peterson is a true original, and a target for those with narrower views. What makes this documentary so appealing is his maverick streak – exemplifying the heart and soul we all feel towards preserving the Earth ... and ourselves in the process. Peterson's lifelong love affair with his family's farm in Caledonia, Illinois – population unknown, located about 75 miles west of Chicago and not even on the AAA map – is an engaging and effective seat from which to view the wider goings on of the era. The film simultaneously speaks to many ethical and cultural divides as it chronicles the shift in America's agriculture. Home movies showing actual auctions as many American farmers lost their livelihood to real estate developers are a meaningful addition. Both the personal and wider issues are entirely accessible in this fun and informative, rich and life-affirming film directed by Taggart Siegel.

John Peterson, Lesley Littlefield, Teri Lang
Taggart Siegel

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the.sourceress, posted on July 6, 2016

My favorite film on so far. Absolutely inspiring story that melted my heart with thoughtful writing that only comes from living the experience.

peon, posted on June 21, 2016

Great video!

Really enjoyed it.

cheriepie, posted on January 5, 2016

I just googled Angelic Organics to see if they're still around and I'm happy to report that according to their website they seem to be going strong. Yay!!

SuzannaB@Gaia, posted on January 6, 2016

Thanks for writing and sharing that! We're glad you found the film inspiring.

Tammylynnhoney, posted on September 22, 2015

I LOVED this. Thank you for reconnecting me with my farmer ancestors roots. I so want to be a farmer!

SuzannaB@Gaia, posted on September 23, 2015

We're happy you found the documentary inspiring. :)


DavidL8, posted on August 31, 2015

All teared up with JOY!!

roxyh10, posted on May 21, 2015

as a farm kid I share in Johns love and pain with farming. I always pay extra for food that is farmed with love since I know how hard it is for the farmers.

carowingy, posted on January 28, 2015

John is a great example of fortitude, determination, & diligence. He has overcome adversity on so many planes. Loved following his trip down memory lane & adventures of the present!

sandiafaucon, posted on November 23, 2014

John has been through so much ! We have cried and smilled, we felt joy and sadness. We have learned a lot and we've been inspired : it's one of those very rich documentaries that makes our perspectives on Life sweeter, better !
There's hope, ways to get to a better life in a community and a very touching reflection of mankind. John is transparent, honest and truthfull. I'd love to meet this man and to see his place. One day, maybe, I'll go from Montréal Québec to his place....
Thank you for sharing ! Thank you Gaiam TV !

jameskuhnert, posted on June 14, 2014

Great film, surprising and touching!!!

frdjennifer, posted on December 21, 2013

Absolutely an awesome movie!

Maidenhair, posted on December 15, 2013

Absolutely well put together as the dream unfolded thinking that all else was doomed ~ John had this inspiring dream with a mountain top filled with Gold come full circle back to the round table of 1200 loving inspiring human beings that joined John in their Dreams together unfolded into a Miracle of believing in your Dreams and spreading the Love that creates what you fold into reality Joy ~ Laughter of the Human Heart ~

yherami, posted on December 14, 2013

beautiful to watch the life, farm and movie develop. Extremely well documented. Haunting and inspiring; never give up on your dreams!

stuartmorris22, posted on April 6, 2013

I thought this was one of the best documentaries i have ever seen, very moving, very honest and inspiring

lharcrick, posted on April 21, 2012

Excellent movie! I gained so much more respect for farmers especially for organic farms and how much it takes a community to help keep these going these days. I wish everyone would see this.

motherearth, posted on March 21, 2012

It nice to see how organic farming change a person's life. It funny how organic farming has brought people back to the land.

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