Bonnie Hawthorne, Monterey, California, 1984 Photo by Peter Figen.

Bonnie Hawthorne is available for freelance photo, video, and writing projects, including ghostwriting and copyediting.

Dreaming of a vetter world

Dreaming of a Vetter World comes at a time when interest in farming organically and regenerating soil has exploded worldwide. Others are realizing what the Vetters have known for decades: eating food grown with pesticides is bad for us, and soil is key to our very survival. That’s why, on the Vetter farm, their most important “crop” is the soil.

With camera and camper in tow, filmmaker Bonnie Hawthorne leaves her urban California comforts in the rearview mirror to learn from the Vetters—and others in their Nebraska region—about what’s really going on in the Corn Belt. Her debut feature documentary shares the struggles the Vetters face as “Big Ag”—chemical agriculture—encroaches. Informative yet entertaining, the film features the self-sustaining, self-renewing farm-management experiment Donald and David Vetter created back in the 1970s. As the Vetters try to stay one step ahead of changing weather patterns, market fluctuations, and the ever-increasing pesticide use around them, their experiment to regenerate soil through organic methods continues.