Dear Kickstarter supporters,
Just one week ago, we returned from our month of documentary travels
in Cuba. Canceled flights and major changes to our itinerary didn’t
slow us down for a second as we adapted to the unexpected and turned
challenges into inspiring opportunities. We have over 40 hours of
footage and interviews and are returning from Cuba with excitement for
the new direction of our documentary film.
For three weeks we traveled the island with two young Haitian
students, Ernst and Welbry, who have been studying sustainable
agriculture at the Agrarian University of Habana since 2007. Ernst and
Welbry, who both graduated with high honors in their program, have
ambitious, focused goals of returning to Haiti in September to begin a
“Farm School” – a youth training farm to teach the next generation how
to farm ecologically.
We spent hours touring urban farms in Alamar and Sancti Spiritus,
where Ernst and Welbry led interviews of Cuban farm managers who were
eager and articulate in sharing their experiences of starting thriving
farms from bare ground. We visited rural farmers in the red-earth
lands of Vinales, where massive limestone rocks emerged from perfectly
tended fields of sweet potato, corn and malanga (root vegetable). We
traveled to central Cuba where our garlic and onion growing friends
welcomed us all in like family – onion seeds were exchanged, mangoes
eaten and hours were spend cooling off under waterfalls.
Ernst and Welbry are ready to see what aspects of Cuba’s system are
applicable and transferable to their island home of Haiti. We have
been so inspired by our newfound friends. The focus of this
documentary film will be this story of Ernst and Welbry – how their
education in Cuba has inspired them to create a Farm School program in
School and be used as an outreach and educational tool to gather
financial support for the project's development.
The Next Step? We will be travelling to Haiti in December to meet
with Ernst and Welbry after they arrive home from Cuba. We will
visit with local sustainable farming projects in the south-coast
region of Jacmel, visit prospective land for the Farm School, meet the
families of Ernst and Welbry and continue documenting how Cuba’s
agricultural experiences may help re-shape sustainable food production
To all our supporters, thank you for your commitment and encouragement
for this project. Without your help, we could not have realized our
filming goals in Cuba. We feel energized and inspired by the direction
of this documentary, and humbled by the opportunity to have met such
great friends as Ernst and Welbry, whose commitment to sustainable
farming education is a story needing to be shared. Please continue to
follow our updates as the project rolls forward.
Pete and Kati
Stay tuned for video clips coming soon!!