Taste

'Farmsteaders' Is A Beautiful, Sad Reminder Of The Struggles Of Our Family Farms

07/08/2015 08:55am ET | Updated July 9, 2015

We here at HuffPost Lifestyle spend a lot of time talking about all things food. We walk our readers through how to grill foods. We share the findings of glorious treats like iced coffee popsicles. But rarely do we talk about the giant, hungry elephant in the room: the sad state of our current food system. We, like so many people out there, care deeply about making things right when it comes to how our food is grown and manufactured, but are mostly overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the problem.

Luckily, some folks out there are ready to face the beast. We've stumbled upon one filmmaker, Shaena Mallett, who is working hard to tackle the problem head on. She is facing the issues of factory farming with a beautifully shot, deeply moving film (which is currently in post production). It's not a film about the evils of the big guys, at least not directly, but an intimate look into and a celebration of the small family farm -- the unsung heroes of our food system.

Over the course of multiple years, Mallett has spent countless hours with one small family dairy farm, Laurel Valley Creamery, run by the Nolans, in rural Ohio. Filming verite style, Mallett allows us to really live the Nolans' small successes and many hardships. The film shares the importance of this kind of work -- the growing of our food in a sustainable manner -- in a real, tangible way. It's not just a story about farming, but of standing up to live one's life in accordance with one's beliefs, no matter the sacrifice (which it seems is always financial). Nick Nolan, the father of the family, says it best: "The world is full of people saying someone needs to go do that. Every now and then someone needs to stand up and go do it." That someone, it seems, is Nick and his family of five.

According to Mallett, only 1 percent of the population currently claims farming as their occupation, as opposed to 40 percent just over a century ago. Today, food production is controlled by just 10 major corporations. That's a lot of power in not that many hands.

We've only seen a 7-minute trailer of the film, but can already feel the power of this fly-on-the-wall documentary. Mallett is currently seeking funds through Kickstarter to help with post-production costs. Watch the trailer above to see what it's all about.