Something Old, Something New

There are only two ways to reduce the excessive levels of greenhouse gasses that are driving up the earth’s temperature. The first is to reduce the amount of carbon we are putting into the air.  Second, we need to capture and sequester carbon.  

Yes, we need to stop burning fossil fuels.  This gets most of our attention but is proceeding far too slowly.

Just as importantly, we can also work on removing the greenhouse gasses already in the atmosphere. No one is suggesting we should slack off on reducing emissions.  However, we must be much more aggressive about removing carbon dioxide.  Carbon dioxide makes the atmosphere retain the heat that is contributing to wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Something Old…

Do you remember learning in grade school that trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen? Trees are among the oldest “technologies” in nature; they are an essential part of our living ecosystem. Indeed, scientists estimate there are currently about three trillion trees on the planet.  The scientists also estimate those trees are holding approximately 400 gigatons of carbon dioxide.

carbon capture and sequester
Trees are on the front line of carbon capture and sequester

That makes the continuing deforestation of the Amazon basin not only irresponsible but life-threatening. Now, however, we have a powerful rationale to demand stopping and reversing deforestation.

Ecologist Thomas Crowther and his colleagues at ETH Zurich, a Swiss university, presented a report at this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science Conference in Washington, D.C., arguing that planting additional trees is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases.

Crowther believes planting 1.2 trillion new trees around the planet would sequester about 160 billion tons of carbon dioxide. That is the equivalent of about a decade’s worth of global emissions.

But how could we ever plant a trillion trees in a decade? That’s 100 billion trees a year, a staggering number. But this is where “something new” comes in.

Something new…

A company called BioCarbon Engineering, based in Oxford, England, has developed a flying drone that can plant 100,000 tree seedlings a day.

The drones are can fly over a target area firing small “bullets” into the ground at precise predetermined locations. Each biodegradable bullet contains a seedling and appropriate nutrients.  The drones fire the bullets at exactly the velocity required to bury seedlings at the right depth in the ground.

The company, in conjunction with a nonprofit called the Trillion Tree Campaign ( envisions a flying army of 10,000 drones that would be able to plant a billion trees a day (do the math). With that capability, we could plant those trillion trees in less than four years.

Now that may seem like science fiction, but it is clear that the limiting factor in planting a trillion trees is not our ability to do it, but our will – our readiness to allocate the financial and human resources needed to make it happen.

Progress Is Underway

carbon capture and sequester
Youth around the globe are planting trees.

But the good news is that there are several organizations and global campaigns underway that have already planted billions of new trees. Plant for the Planet was founded in Germany in 2007 by Felix Finkbeiner, then 9-years-old. Four years later Plant for the Planet included young people in 93 countries around the world who had planted over one million trees.

By August 2018 that number had grown to over 15.2 billion trees planted in 193 countries.

In 2006, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) launched the Billion Tree Campaign. It has since been renamed the Trillion Tree Campaign and folded into the youth-led nonprofit Plant for the Planet organization.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UNEP program, commented, “… what is most remarkable is not its scale, but its spread. People from all around the world have enthusiastically joined the campaign and planted trees in their own communities.”

I am excited about these tree-planting drones that blend new and old technologies. I am particularly impressed  these campaigns have largely been led by young people all over the world.

Of course, it is equally important we continue to reduce new greenhouse gas emissions. We also need to leave as much of the remaining carbon-intensive fossil fuel resources (coal, oil, natural gas) as possible in the ground. That too is a matter of political will.

What does all this mean for us in Rossmoor? We can individually donate to the Plant for the Planet campaign (visit the website for more information).  As a community we can also support the landscaping initiatives in our Mutuals and by GRF. When we remove older trees we can replace them with new plantings. That’s the least we can do.

Courtesy of Rossmoor News, August 21, 2019.  Email James Ware, PhD, at



Wednesday, November 13, 7 pm, in Peacock Hall

Native American Nations’ History

Natives of both North and South America know things about the earth that modern man has ignored. For centuries they have lived in ways that maintain the earth’s bounty and protect it. This connection to the earth affected the way their governments evolved. And it shapes their struggles today.

This 1-hour PBS film “Nature to Nations” explores the rise of great American nations, from dynastic monarchies to participatory democracies. Archaeologists who’ve studied ancient hieroglyphs in the Peruvian Andes and the stories told by totem poles in the Pacific Northwest, reveal the history of Native Americans’ science grown from their connection to the earth, its animals, and the sky.


Immediately following the film, Denise Varner, RN – a descendent of the Muscogee Creek tribe – will draw on her experience as a consultant to bridge Indian communities and surrounding local and state health boards and advisory committees. Now semi-retired, she served many years in Indian Healthcare Programs in CA, OK, MN and ND in primary care, urgent care, trauma and public health nursing roles. She currently facilitates wellness and prevention for Native American urban youth, particularly regarding preserving the identities of urban Indian young women as a means of preventing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

America’s First Democracy

Centering on the democracy of New York’s Haudenosaunee Peoples — also known as the Iroquois Confederacy — “Nature to Nations” reveals how elements of the natural world drive


governance in Native America. The story of Hiawatha and the Peacemaker, as told by native elders, demonstrates how shell helped end war among five tribes and bring about America’s first democracy 500 years before the United States. Ben Franklin and the Founding Fathers would later integrate key ideas from their government into the United States Constitution.

Native American Governmental Systems

Building on these revelations, the episode traces evidence that nations across Native America use beliefs from the natural world to support governmental systems, from dynastic kingdoms to shamanistic rulers. Science and oral tradition reveal how corn, cedar, shell, and the jaguar each inspire new nations and plant the seeds of great empires. All are part of an incredible 3000-year narrative of nature, nations and cultural sophistication in Native America.

Segments from the film:

Lessons from farming (2-minute video):

The history of corn (3-minute video):

Look to Past for Today’s Recycling

By Kathy Epperson

We cannot continue recycling like we have since the 1990s. Our recycling habits have gotten sloppy. Smart recycling is easy, simple and straightforward.

Until recently, we stuffed vast piles of plastic and paper refuse onto giant container ships and sold them to China. Unfortunately, many of the bales of plastic sent to China were worthless. They also ended up polluting land and ocean. A 2015 study found 1.3 million to 3.5 million metric tons of plastic flowed into the ocean from Chinese coastal sources each year.

Fortunately, China decided to stop serving as the world’s trash compactor. This forces us to reckon with reality.  Much of what we blithely toss away is wet, dirty or worthless.

We need to recycle closer to what we did in the 1970s. The recycling operations that continue to thrive and remain profitable offer clean, high-quality plastics and paper to domestic markets. They focus on keeping material clean and separated, and they ask residents to do just a little bit more. This also saves a lot of money for everyone.

Be a Smart Recycler

Some of us are guilty of “wishful recycling.”

We have the vague hope anything we put in the blue containers will be repurposed. Recycling doesn’t work this way.

Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery Center separates and bales materials for sale to manufacturers. Our newsprint goes to paper mills; cardboard, to box makers; aluminum, to beverage-can makers; and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, to makers of water and soda bottles. Anything our recycler can’t resell ends up in landfill.

Sadly, 50% of what we put into our recycle containers ends up in landfill. When in doubt, keep it out of recycle.

Putting trash in recycle containers is worse than not recycling. It increases our monthly coupon. It also undoes careful efforts by others to separate recyclables from landfill trash and compost.

Recycling is easy if you follow these four steps: Know what to recycle; make sure everything is empty, clean and dry; put everything loose in recycle containers (except bags of plastic bags or shredded paper); and make sure each item is larger than a credit card.

Know what to recycle:

Smart recycling is simple and straightforward. Only six categories belong in our recycle containers:

1) Hard plastic containers (if empty, rinsed and dry)

2) No plastic bags (unless in a bag of bags)

3) Metal (but no pull-tab lids)

4) Glass jars

5) Paper (but no napkins, paper towels, cash register receipts, plastic-coated paperboard like milk cartons or ice cream boxes)

6) Flattened cardboard (must fit in cart)

That’s it! Nothing else goes in recycle containers.

For more specific information:

Make sure everything is empty, clean and dry:

A Starbucks coffee cup with liquid at the bottom can contaminate a whole container, causing it to go to landfill.

Put everything loose in recycle containers: (except bags of plastic bags or shredded paper). Never bag or bundle your recyclables. Republic Services picks up recycle at no extra charge – if the container only contains recycling. But Republic charges Mutuals extra if recycling containers include trash, have bagged recyclables or are overflowing. These charges increase our coupon.

A bag of recyclables contaminates the recycle container – even if the bag only contains recyclables. If a driver sees more than 1% contamination, everything in the container is sent to landfill. If a bag of recyclables makes it to our recycling center, it is sent to landfill.

Make sure each item is larger than a credit card: Size matters. Loose plastic bags, straws and plastic wrap frequently clog the conveyor belts. Anything too small to go through sorting equipment can shut down operations.

Let’s do our part. Smart recycling is simple and straightforward if we follow the above steps. For more information, the Sierra Club’s July-August 2019 magazine has four interesting articles: 2019-4-july-august .

Courtesy of Rossmoor News, August 14, 2019. Email Kathy Epperson at

Are We in Wonderland?

Are rapidly changing climatic conditions is making our world unrecognizable? Have we slipped down a rabbit hole and come out to another world?

All this because of what has been “an inconvenient truth” that many have ignored far too long. If we hold a “looking-glass” up to our eyes, what will we see in this futuristic world?

One area of great change is agriculture, worldwide. Last April, Janessa Olsen spoke about environment and modern agriculture during Sustainable Rossmoor’s monthly meeting. Ms. Olsen represents the Ethical Choices Program, which presents outreach programs to area schools. Much of her presentation addressed the effects of factory farming (“industrial agriculture”) on the environment. She said genetically modified crops contain pesticides and herbicides.  She said they also have damaging effects on the soil.

Dangers Posed by Factory Farming

We learned industrial agriculture cultivates single species crops for efficiency.  But this practice is problematic, as it makes them more vulnerable to disease. Crops that feed us, and the animals we consume, also can contain pesticides within their DNA. The effects of these GMO’s on our own DNA, however, are often unknown. The foods derived from these crops can play havoc with our “microbiome” (gut) and can even cross the blood-brain barrier.

Olsen also described the abuse of animals in factory farming. Cattle, pigs and chickens often live in overcrowded holding pens. Agitated, the chickens peck at each other. Farmers crop the chicken’s beaks in an effort to prevent this.

Dairy cows are separated from their newborn calves after giving birth.  They are also milked by automatic-milking machines. Many of these are also on a revolving platforms, which cows resist and have to be prodded aggressively to enter.

Factory farming leads to other major environmental problems. Beef cattle farmers clear swaths of rain forest to provide grazing areas.  The practice significantly elevates greenhouse gases, notably methane and carbon dioxide. Uncontrolled waste runoff from pigs and cattle also into the ground water polluting ground water.  The pollution causes the current crisis involving Listeria and Salmonella in crops harvested for food.

Innovative Farming Practices

Rapidly changing climatic conditions demand new solutions.  Innovative responses to counter environmental toxins and such cruelty to animals have proliferated in recent years. First, indoor “vertical farming” is growing in large cities. Secondly, cultured, or cell-based, meat and fish produced in laboratories, can provide “meat” without killing or harming animals. Third, alternative “milks,” derived from plants such as soy, almond, cashew and oats are replacing dairy milk and milk products. Let’s take a closer look at those first two innovations.

Vertical Farming
Lettuce is grown hydroponically indoors without pesticides

First, “vertical farms” are springing up in urban areas throughout our country and the world. The farms eliminate the need to transport food long distances, thereby reducing the food’s carbon footprint.  Located in warehouses, shipping containers and converted factories, these “farms” are viable year-round.  They are also many times more productive than soil-based farms. By using LED lighting and hydroponics with nutrient-rich water, without the need for pesticides, they also save water and energy.

One such project is Square Roots in Brooklyn, New York.  Square Roots is a compound of 10 steel shipping containers.  The farm grows soil-free crops indoors under LED lights. Chef/restauranteur Kimbal Musk (brother of Elon Musk) and Tobias Peggs co-founded Square Roots. Its lights require less energy than conventional lighting, give off little heat and are focused to optimize plant growth year-round.

Some critics argue these urban farms don’t guarantee the ability to feed the world’s projected population explosion.  However, proponents believe they are key to our future survival. As early as 2016, Musk and Peggs realized people between ages 25 and 34, approximately 69% with college degrees, were increasingly becoming farmers concerned with environmental safety.

For more, see this USDA report

Meat Alternatives

Second, creating “meat” in laboratories eliminates the need to kill animals. The film The End of Meat illustrates world-wide efforts to accomplish this. The film addresses the impacts of meat consumption.  It also highlights the benefits of a vegan diet and the roles animals can have in society in the future. Sustainable Rossmoor and Plant-Based Rossmoor also featured the film in June. For more information, visit .

What local efforts have emerged to counter rapidly changing climatic conditions? One of a growing number of startups is Memphis Meats. Founded in 2015, it is based in Emeryville. The company believes traditional production damages the environment and unnecessarily harms animals.  Memphis Meats co-founder Uma Valeti, a former cardiologist, also believes his company will “continue the choice of eating meat for many generations … without putting undue stress on the planet.” The company was featured in an NBC Bay Area article this July. For more information, see .

Numerous research articles have probed the effects of this major change on greenhouse gases and their warming impacts on our Earth. Such research remains a future area to explore with our “looking-glass” in this “Wonderland” of our time.

Courtesy of Rossmoor News, August 7, 2019.  Email Joy Danzig at

Is Climate Change Really a Hoax?

By Brad Waite

We have all seen news reports or read articles claiming climate change is not happening.  Some say it is an intentional hoax. Others say if it is real, humans are not the primary cause.

For example, you can find plenty of recent survey results on this question online. About 60% of respondents agree climate change is happening and humans are the primary cause. However, a different story emerges when you break that 60% total down between Republicans and Democrats. Only one-third of Republicans agree, while more than 90% of Democrats do. This is very interesting. Ninety-seven percent (97%) of climate scientists agree about climate change and human activities.

Scientific Consensus

Here I should note the 97% figure is not a guess. Authors of seven climate consensus studies co-authored a paper concluding this.  The authors looked at more than 12,000 climate study papers. They found between 90% and 100% of the published climate scientists agree humans are responsible for climate change. Further, the greater the climate expertise among those surveyed, the higher the consensus on human-caused global warming.

To be clear, those seven authors each did their own study of the published studies, and then they compared results. The composite result found a 97% consensus among published climate scientists.

So if 97% of climate scientists agree, why would only 30-some percent of Republicans agree? Surely a lot more than 30% of Republicans must believe in science. Especially since the Trump Administration published in early 2018 the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment, which supports the consensus view.

Merchants of Doubt

Climate Change
More powerful hurricanes are causing greater devastation every year

What’s going on here? Naomi Oreskes, one of the seven authors, supplied the answer. Ms. Oreskes wrote a book titled, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. The book is now a documentary.

In the book/movie, historians Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to intentionally mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades.

In the 1950s, Big Tobacco developed a disinformation campaign playbook to debunk growing concerns over cigaret smoking.  It used the playbook for decades, while millions died from smoking related illnesses. Since then, other industries used the playbook to debunk the dangers of acid rain, the ozone hole and DDT.  Now they are being used in the  climate change debate.

I’ll confess I have not read the book but have seen the documentary twice and highly recommend everyone do so. In it, the players admit what they are doing, how and why. And it still occurs today.

A Little Doubt Goes a Long Way

Climate Change
Wildfires are on the increase throughout the western US

The Brennan Center for Justice reports the oil and gas industry spent $1.4 billion in the past decade telling the federal government climate change didn’t/doesn’t exist. The Brennan Center is a nonpartisan law and policy institute at the NYU School of Law. On the surface $1.4 billion seems like a lot of money. Yet, it’s a small cost for the oil and gas industry.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports net income for 43 U.S. oil producers totaled $28 billion in 2018 alone.

Just like they did for big tobacco, they didn’t need to or try to convince everyone. They just needed to sow enough doubt to delay action being taken against their product as long as they could, in this case literally decades. And when this is coupled with the huge political contributions made to key politicians, the results were/are very effective.

Our best method to counteract this is to speak loudly and authoritatively to everyone who we can get to listen, especially our elected officials. Watch this column for future articles on specific actions you can take and consider attending the monthly Sustainable Rossmoor meetings.

Courtesy of Rossmoor News, July 31, 2019. Email Brad Waite at


“Death by Design” is our film on Oct 9.

This film exposes the extent to which the booming electronics industry damages the environment and impacts public health in many countries where our devices are made and materials are extracted and processed. But, it also helps the viewer make more informed choices and join effective channels of activism.

Consumers love – and live on – their smartphones, tablets and laptops. A cascade of new devices pours endlessly into the market, promising even better communication, non-stop entertainment and instant information.

The numbers are staggering. By 2020, four billion people will have a personal computer. Five billion will own a mobile phone. But this revolution has a dark side, hidden from most consumers.

In an investigation that spans the globe investigates the hidden underbelly of the electronics industry and reveals how even the smallest devices have deadly environmental and health costs.

Searching Electronics Waste pile

From the intensely secretive factories in China, to a ravaged New York community and the high tech corridors of Silicon Valley, the film tells a story of environmental degradation, of health tragedies, and the fast approaching tipping point between consumerism and sustainability.

Some of the film’s heroes are whistleblowers, innovative recyclers, and a small Irish company that builds a fair-trade/sustainable computer.

The 73-minute film has SDH captions and will be followed by an optional discussion.


Yosemite’s Disappearing Glaciers

By Jennifer Mu

My husband and I spent a week in Yosemite National Park in April. It had been two decades since our last trip to Yosemite.

A week before we left home, I heard on the radio that Yosemite’s last two glaciers are fast disappearing. I went to the National Park’s website, and it predicted that Lyell’s Glacier could completely disappear in 2020. I thought this could be our last chance to see it, or whatever is left of it.

Melting glaciers are not news. It has been happening all over the world. From Himalaya to Peru, from the Arctic to Antarctica, glaciers are fast retreating. For years I’ve had this sense of urgency to see glaciers before they have all melted away.

We drove to the Canadian Glacier National Park in British Columbia years ago and there was not much there. On a tour to the Arctic, we saw retreating glaciers and chunks and chunks of floating ice with beautiful blue hues. We still haven’t made it to the Glacier National Park in Montana, but have read articles about its shrinking glaciers. The melting glaciers in Yosemite are too close to home to not check them out in person.

Yosemite’s Glaciers

Studies of Yosemite’s glaciers began in 1872. John Muir drove pine stakes into an ice field on Mount Maclure to measure its movement. He eventually convinced the world glaciers carved Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite's disappearing glaciers
Yosemite’s majesty is inspirational in all seasons, yet we are ruining its ecosystem.

After it was designated a national park, Yosemite’s scientists continued the regular survey of the two remaining glaciers, Lyell and Maclure. The most recent data indicated that the glaciers’ surface has shrunk from 300 acres to 60 acres, an 80% loss of glacier ice, since 1883 when they were first mapped and photographed. The Lyell Glacier has completely stopped moving, so it’s no longer a glacier by definition. In other words, it’s dead. Yosemite’s geologist, who was interviewed on the NPR program that I was listening to, described today’s Lyell Glacier as “a stagnant ice patch.”

Glaciers have come and gone with nature’s cycles, advancing and retreating about every 100,000 years. Scientists agree the current accelerated melting of Earth’s glaciers is due to the warmer temperatures caused by human activities. I don’t need to repeat here the consequences of melted glaciers, rising sea levels and warmer sea surface temperatures; we are already living some of them now.

Theoretically, more snow in the winter and colder temperatures could restore the glaciers. But the Earth is already in such deep trouble that I don’t know how to stay optimistic. There were news reports a Russian town near the entrance to the Arctic Ocean registered a record high 84 degrees on one weekend in May this year. The town’s average high temperature is normally around 54 degrees that time of year. During the same weekend Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory registered the highest concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in human history.

The Importance of Yosemite’s Glaciers

Yosemite's disappearing glaciers
A calf from a glacier casts a blue shadow on the ocean.

According to Yosemite Park’s geologist, even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases today, it would be too late for Lyell and Maclure. Click here to see photos demonstrating the retreating glaciers. This is not something we can just feel a brief moment of sadness about and forget. The effect of their disappearance will touch each of us in the Bay Area in our lifetime.

These two glaciers provide for the headwaters of the Tuolumne River, keeping it flowing during summer and fall. The river is the primary source of drinking water for San Francisco. It also provides irrigation water for parts of the Central Valley. The glacier’s deaths will bring drastic changes in the ecosystem – that we are part of – for centuries. The lifestyle we know, and take for granted, will be no more.

It also means future generations will only learn about these glaciers, and their significance to the ecosystems and communities relying on them, in the park museum.

Courtesy of the Rossmoor News, July 10, 2019.  Email Jennifer Mu at

Single Use Plastic – 450 Years or More

By Dale J. Harrington

All of us have read and heard about why we should stop using single-use plastic water bottles. While a mind-boggling number of them are recycled, too many of them still go unrecycled.

I decided to check on how long it can take a plastic bottle to decompose; if it is not recycled and instead placed in landfill. The answer – 450 years or more, according to an article on the Balance Small Business website. Even worse, the plastic bags we use in our everyday life can take 10 to 1,000 years to decompose.

These figures should cause all of us to reconsider when we use plastic and certainly how we dispose of it.

Decomposition: Organics versus Plastics

single use plastic
Unless recycled, plastic degrades into micro particles in sunlight and enters the earth’s ecosystems.

This same site explained why plastic takes so long to decompose. It’s “because petroleum-based plastics like PET don’t decompose the same way organic material does. … This kind of decomposition requires sunlight, not bacteria. When UV rays strike plastic, they break the bonds holding the long molecular chain together.”

By comparison, vegetables take five (5) days to one (1) month, aluminum cans 80 to 100 years, glass bottles one (1) million years and Styrofoam cups 500 years to forever.

Plastics will degrade into small pieces until you can’t see them anymore (so small you’d need a microscope or better to see them). But, do plastics fully go away? Most commonly used plastics do not mineralize (or go away) in the ocean. Instead, plastics break down into smaller and smaller pieces.

How many animals die from six-pack rings? Plastic rings have been available for four decades, and they are now more heavily regulated than they were when first produced. In 1987, the Associated Press reported six-pack rings kill one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals every year.

Another article, on the website Sciencing, noted it takes 100 years for a flashlight battery to decompose.

Rossmoor’s Compostable Alternative

single use plastic
Single use plastic is ubiquitous in today’s marketplace: straws, pens, product wrapping, and all types of bottles and bags.

With composting now available in Rossmoor, it is a good idea to look for items that are compostable when having a picnic, such as eating utensils, plates, cups, napkins, etc.

My wife and I recently hosted a family reunion here in Rossmoor and we used compostable utensils, plates, and napkins. To avoid confusion for the guests, we had containers with notes that listed the items for disposal. They included recycling, landfill and compost items. However, instead of listing these words on the labels, we provided a list of the items for each, such as cans and bottles, utensils, plates, cups, pizza boxes and napkins.

Courtesy of Rossmoor News, June 26, 2019.  Email Dale Harrington at



When: Wednesday, September 11, 7 PM    Location: Peacock Hall

This multiple-award-winning film is a testament to the immense complexity of nature as it follows two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and to farm the land. Emmy-winning wildlife filmmaker John Chester and his wife Molly, a chef, leave their apartment in Santa Monica to discover what restorative farming could do for 200 acres of abused, barren land. Through unflagging perseverance and embracing the opportunity provided by nature’s conflicts, the Chester’s unlock and uncover a bio-diverse design for living that exists far beyond their farm, its seasons, and our wildest imagination.
This film features breathtaking cinematography, a wide variety of animals, and an urgent message to heed Mother Nature’s call. It provides us all a vital blueprint for better living and a healthier planet.
The farm’s residents came to include pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, guinea hens, horses, highland cattle, Emma the pig, and  Maggie the brown swiss dairy cow. The land consists of biodynamic certified avocado and lemon orchards, a vegetable garden, pastures, and over 75 varieties of stone fruit.
The film is 92 minutes. 
It has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 
No captions
The writer/director, John Chester, is interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s FRESH AIR, on May 6, 2019. 13 minutes.
“… the documentary does show that an eco-conscious farm is viable and sustainable, even in the dust bowl of drought-parched California. That the Chesters’ spread is exceptionally picturesque is just a bonus.”