South Coast Farms Finds Fame In Documentary

Spring may have sprung, and Michelle Obama may be receiving bountiful media coverage for her new White House kitchen garden, but Orange County has its very healthy-food hero in the form of local movie producer and director Carrie Gallison.

Gallison recently completed Orange County Treasures: The People's Farm, a 23-minute documentary that chronicles the history of South Coast Farms (the oldest working farm in OC) and the people of San Juan Capistrano, who helped stop it from becoming "another strip mall casualty".

When researching the film, Gallison traced the history of the farm right back to the 1800s, interviewing former SCF residents such as Rita Nieblas, who was born on the farm in the early 20th century.

Part of the documentary was shot at Avanti Café in Costa Mesa (winner of the OC Weekly's Best Restaurant award in 2008). In addition to favoring South Coast Farms produce in its cooking, Avanti is a pick-up point for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members.

All that filming must've worked up an appetite: according to Gallison, Avanti's owners Tanya Fuqua and Mark Cleveland "fed me and my crew yummy organic meals and even sent us home with bags full of great food." Nice work if you can get it!

A free screening of the documentary is being held this Thursday, March 26, at 7:00pm at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 493-5911. DVDs will also be available. To see the trailer , CLICK HERE.

Catch up with Garrison's future plans—which include more in the Orange County Treasures documentary series—on her website.  


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