Have you ever encountered an idealistic young person with such presence that you thought, Whoa — this one might actually succeed in changing the world!?
That’s the way I felt, anyway, on meeting Severine von Tscharner Fleming a few years ago, back when I was working for UC Berkeley and she was a student there — well, she was enrolled, but she far preferred organizing her farmer-speaker series, cooking skill shares, and harvest festivals to attending dull lectures.
Severine likes to call herself a "pixie revolutionary," but she’s more like a bike-riding pirate, commandeering the hearts, minds, and available resources of all who she meets. For example, when she and the Society for Agriculture and Food Ecology (SAFE) student group picked 40+ pounds of overripe olives from campus trees, somehow she got me to agree to babysit them in my backyard for two weeks, changing their vats of soaking water daily. She spouts the most obscure facts and gambols through life like a wild-haired, long-legged baby calf at high speed. She’s done more in her 20-odd years than I’ll ever attempt. Yep, I adore her.
Almost a year ago, I wrote here about how Severine was just starting to make "The Greenhorns," a documentary about young farmers intended to inspire another generation of optimistic agrarians — and was looking for interviewees. Well, since then, she has raised quite a bit of money; made friends with the "King Corn" guys (including persuading the amiable Ian Cheney to help with shooting, along with Taylor Gentry of Wicked Delicate Films); built a great website for The Greenhorns; started a compelling blog, The Irresistible Fleet of Bicycles; and most importantly, talked to dozens of young farmers and shot hundreds of hours of footage.
They have recently been edited into a delightful three-minute-long trailer (which Eating Liberally’s Kat has just blogged too). Go watch it — it’ll make you want to grow food, and support all those who do. And in that vein, consider making a donation to help Severine & the rest of the Greenhorns gang finish the film. I guarantee it won’t be wasted.