‘The Biggest Little Farm: The Return’ Premieres for Earth Day on Disney+

Entertainment Television

In 2018, the documentary film, The Biggest Little Farm, premiered and was released theatrically the following year. It followed John and Molly Chester, a married couple who left Los Angeles in 2010 to trade their city lives for a farm in nearby Ventura County. Over the course of seven years, the two new farmers turned the abandoned and arid land into a functioning farm featuring biodiversity of both plants and animals. The film received several awards and nominations. Now, to help celebrate Earth Day, Disney+ is taking us back to the 214-acre regenerative Apricot Lane Farms in The Biggest Little Farm: The Return.

the farm
The orchards at Apricot Lane Farms contain a diversity of fruit trees, cover crops, and native plants, all part of the decade-long effort to revitalize once-barren farmland. (Apricot Lane Farms)

What Is The Biggest Little Farm: The Return?

The Disney+ Earth Day special The Biggest Little Farm: The Return is based on the award-winning feature documentary film and follows the farmers’ 10-year tireless journey as they transform the land into a magical working farm and document the whole process in this special. Apricot Lane Farms is a beautiful, complex world that reflects our planet’s biodiversity. The show features their animals as well, such as Emma the pig and a little lamb named Moe. The 30-minute special begins streaming on Friday, April 22nd on Disney+.

The Biggest Little Farm: The Return is directed and produced by John Chester along with Erica Messer and Sandra Keats for National Geographic, FarmLore Films, and Neon. John Chester has been a wildlife cinematographer and filmmaker for the last 25 years, winning five Emmy® Awards for his short films for OWN’s “Super Soul Sunday,” including Outstanding Directing, Writing and Cinematography. Molly Chester is an expert in the culinary arts who knows the quality of the food she cooks directly relates to the health of the farm and its soil. Their critically acclaimed feature documentary, The Biggest Little Farm, chronicled their effort to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature.

Scottish highland cow
One of Apricot Lane Farms’ Scottish Highland cows takes a break from grazing the pasture. Utilizing the technique of managed grazing, the Apricot Lane Farms cattle herd plays a critical role in building soil on the farm, mimicking the way buffalo moved across the Great Plains for centuries. (Apricot Lane Farms)

Why You Should See The Biggest Little Farm: The Return

The Biggest Little Farm: The Return offers an inspiring look at how the Chesters have helped return acres of land to close to its natural condition. I enjoyed watching the Chesters overcome challenges using natural solutions rather than turning to chemical fertilizers and poisons. The main goal, in the beginning, was to restore and rejuvenate the soil which was severely depleted when they purchased the farm. By using the manure from their animals as well as planting ground cover plants that put nutrients back into the soil, the soil is now better than it probably has ever been and as a result, the crops they grow in it are more nutritious and flavorful.

Our family raises chickens and rabbits and uses their manure in our garden. We even built a pond to store water flows from a spring on our property to water our garden with fish in the pond to control the mosquitos. Therefore, I found the story of Apricot Lane Farms incredibly interesting. However, even if you do not have a garden or animals, I highly recommend watching The Biggest Little Farm: The Return. It is a great, uplifting story for the entire family and should not be missed. 

Sweet alyssum is one of the many wildflowers planted throughout the farm to attract bees and other pollinators that are critical to increasing biodiversity and building a healthy and resilient farm ecosystem. (Apricot Lane Farms)

This Earth Day, see how the Chesters utilize the interconnectedness of nature to help build soil health, maximize biodiversity, and regeneratively grow the most nutrient-dense food possible. 

Be sure to watch The Biggest Little Farm: The Return when it begins streaming on Disney+ on Friday, April 22nd Here is a trailer for the show.

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