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Tails From The Land
©2004 Army Armstrong Films, LLC
(26 minutes)

With the population of the planet at six billion and rising, is it possible to sustain both ourselves AND the Earth? Is the only choice between modern agricultural techinques, which destroy the environment but produce a surfeit of food, and ancient agrarian practices that are subject to natural disasters and limited yields, thereby dooming many to starvation?

At a remarkable organic farm in northern New Mexico, a middle ground is achieved. After 20 years of farming with chemicals, the land was in poor shape when purchased in the late 1960s. Today, after decades of working the fields organically, the farm has soil that teems with microbial life, grows certified-organic grains for poultry feed and for seed, and produces free-range turkeys for the holiday table.

Nestled beside the Rio Grande River, these stewards of the land are growing living soil, and turkeys are an integral part of that cycle. Outside in fresh air and sunshine, turkeys run through fields, eating insects and grubs, clawing and scratching their own fertilizer, right into the soil. Unlike their brethern on factory farms, their beaks and claws are not burned off, nor are they injected with antibiotics, or crowded "beak-by-jowl." Even as it is harvested, each bird is individually thanked for the nourishment its body will provide. The happiness and health of the birds are reflected in the quality and taste of the meat. Humans and Earth herself benefit from the production of these proud fowl.

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