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Farmers On Film

By Tess Strokes

Photo by David Clifford

05.17.17

Filmmakers Tomas Zuccareno and Haley Thompson made a documentary about millennials who are farming their way to a better world.

 —Food & Wine—

Farmers in the Roaring Fork Valley face huge challenges, including inclement weather, a short growing season and astronomical prices for land that can be irrigated. How We Grow, a new documentary by Tomas Zuccareno and Haley Thompson, tells the story of young Valley farmers—like Erin Cuseo of Erin’s Acres and Harper Kaufman and Christian La Bar of Two Roots Farms—who are building a community around locally grown food. Zuccareno, a 49-year-old local photographer who grew up on a family farm in New Hampshire and moved to Aspen in 1993, and Thompson, a 34-year-old film-trailer editor who returned to her hometown of Basalt after 15 years in New York City and Los Angeles, wanted to tell a positive story about the next generation of American farmers and how they are effecting change. “Rather than complaining or soapboxing about the problem, these millennials are putting their hands in the dirt to solve a problem,” says Zuccareno. “They believe if we eat from the same food shed, we are likelier to be a healthier, happier community.” The film caught the attention of The Redford Center, which awarded the documentary a prestigious grant. Zuccareno and Thompson premiered a short film locally this spring and will present a feature-length version for the film festival circuit later this year.