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8 Documentaries that Inspire Homesteading

A collage of Homesteading documentaries.

The world weeps because she knows that more and more people are becoming interested in homesteading.

Now is not the time for me to explain why living in harmony with nature is the only way to heal the earth (was that subliminal?), now is the time to check out this list of documentaries that will explain that so much better than I ever could.

Here is a list of 8 documentaries that will show you the passion people have for foraging for goodies, the harm that we have done by taking too much from the earth, how cooking will reconnect you with nature, and what permaculture practices really take.

Related: Homesteading Books | Questions Homesteaders Should Ask Themselves | Principles of Permaculture | Kitchen Gadgets that Reduce Food Waste | Imperfect Zero Waste Practices

1. Filthy Riches

If you’re not convinced, maybe this will help you ease into the idea of homesteading by watching other people follow their foraging passions. Filthy Riches is a mini-series designed to show the inside of foraging as a way of life.

In this documentary, a film crew follows different foragers on their journeys. They learn about how to hunt worms from worm hunters, the tricks of mushroom foraging, what the heck eel fishers get up to, and how exactly you find ginseng.

Watch the trailer for Filthy Riches here!

2. Life On Our Planet

At this point, David Attenborough is probably as famous as Prince is. You’ve surely followed the many series that have been released by BBC throughout the years.

Our knighted hero came out with his personal Witness Statement this year, titled Life On Our Planet. This documentary won’t exactly inspire you into homesteading, but it will certainly make you take a hard look at the way you contribute to climate change.

Completely discouraging, devastating, heartbreaking, beautiful, and in the end, hopeful, this documentary is exactly the slap in the face that people need to wake up and smell the fuel emissions.

This is a must-watch. Check out the trailer for Life On Our Planet here.

3. Cooked

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

This documentary will get you into homesteading through the love of food. Michael Pollan goes all the way back to when humans first starting using fire and claims that cooking food is when civilization truly began to take form.

You may be familiar with certain books by Michael Pollan including Omnivores Dilemma, Cooked, In Defence of Food, and How to Change Your Mind. A mini-series has been adapted from his novel Cooked, which encourages a more emotional connection to the food we eat.

Pollan explores food preparation through the most natural thing we know of: the elements. Air, earth, fire, and water are all integral to the evolution of humans’ relationship with food.

The goal of this documentary is to rekindle meaningful relationships with the food that we eat, to reinvigorate lost food preparation traditions, and to learn how to consume responsibly. Food is the most important part of sustainable living, and watching Cooked would be a great first step towards that.

Check out more details about Cooked here!

4. Cowspiracy

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

This isn’t necessarily a documentary that will inspire, but rather a documentary that will disgust and frustrate you to the point of needing to make tangible changes in your life to try and repair some damage done by large corporations.

Two passionate filmmakers decide to uncover the one industry that is the biggest contributor to climate change: mass animal agriculture. The mass farming of chickens, cows, and pigs is the largest cause for this horrendously long list of destruction:

  • deforestation (habitat loss, species extinction)
  • topsoil erosion
  • pollution
  • water consumption
  • greenhouse gases
  • ocean health

Cowspiracy will truly shock you, and make you completely re-think the production of meat found in grocery stores.

Here’s the website of the creators of Cowspiracy.

5. Kiss the Ground

This documentary bands together with a group of environmental enthusiasts. A very diverse group of speakers; from politicians to activists, from farms to scientists, this documentary gives voices to people who are passionate about the global movement towards regenerative agriculture.

The idea behind regenerative agriculture is a solution to many of the problems the world faces today. This documentary will show you how to help the climate, ensure clean drinking water, and ways to make food deserts a thing of the past.

They’re a whole organization! Check out the Kiss the Ground website here.

6. The Great American Farm Tour

Follow a family through this docuseries, as they travel to all 50 states in America. What are they looking for? They’re going on 50 different visits to sustainable small scale farms and homesteads to pick up some tips and tricks.

A view of the rural farm residency during sunrise.

This documentary is heartwarming and down to earth and makes you realize that sustainable living comes in many different forms.

With an emphasis on permaculture practices, The Great American Farm Tour is a great place to see all of the wonderful things that come with living in harmony with your environment.

Hitch a ride on The Great American Farm Tour here!

7. The Organic Life

Did you know that the average age of farmers a mere 50 years ago was 39? Now, that average is 55. That means that more and more generational farmers are moving away from the industry, for fear of the lifestyle and unpredictability.

Casey Beck and Austin Blair want to show young viewers that farming is not a thing of the past. This young couple is trying to encourage younger generations to become curious about farming.

Follow the events in the documentary The Organic Life as these two as they make it work through hail storms and draughts, through the shifting market, pests, and poverty too.

It’s hard work, but getting into homesteading is guaranteed to bring nothing but the connection to yourself, and by proxy, everything in nature.

Learn more about Casey & Austin, and watch the trailer for The Organic Life here.

8. The Biggest Little Farm

No matter who you are and what you’re into, The Biggest Little Farm is a documentary that will put a smile on your face, and make your insides feel like they’re made of marshmallows.

This documentary follows the 8-year journey of Molly and John Chester, as they make the decision to move away from the city, to try and convert 200 acres of barren farmland into something prosperous.

They are fortunate enough to receive backing from friends and investors and partner with a nutty neighbor who teaches them all the ways of permaculture design.

It takes extreme patience to wait to discover how permaculture works, but in the end, you’ll be begging your friends to fund your new venture into farming.

Seriously, you gotta watch The Biggest Little Farm, you’ll just cry.