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Posts tagged "agriculture"

Sweet Grass Farm, The Best Beef For My Family

Posted by Leonard on March, 13, 2014

One of my favorite recent projects has been working with Scott Meyers of Sweet Grass Farm on Lopez Island here in NW Washington state. SGF is raising Kobe Wagyu beef, that is considered by local chefs and food writers to be some of the best beef in the world. I spent some time on the farm with Scott on 2 separate trips, both times shooting b-roll around the pasture, and speaking on such a wide variety of topics including water conservation, bovine terminology, grasslands management, seasonal care, birth and calving, slaughter, and so much more.
SGF mainly direct markets their beef, so the majority of their product goes to families in the region who they sell directly to with no middle man. They also sell to a few select markets and restaurants but the vast majority is straight to the consumer, where they don’t slaughter any animals who haven’t already been accounted for before hand. For me, this type of marketing video is the most clear expression of what Pangeality Productions is best at- giving you the ability to connect with your customers in an authentic voice, telling your story and sharing your values. Segments that came out of the project which SGF now uses in their marketing include The Best Steak Ever? Why I Call Myself a Farmer and Not a Rancher, What’s In a 30lb Box, and Ear Tagging and Selenium Injection. This is a short video that gives the best overview of the work I produced for Sweet Grass Farm, and here is a testimonial that Scott did for Pangeality Productions, discussing how this approach of creating a series of short videos that each stood as it’s own video worked to reach, educate and entertain their customers. We’ve still got another hand full of videos in the pipeline but these were the first set that Scott chose to roll out.

Why I Call Myself A Farmer Not A Rancher from Pangeality Productions on Vimeo.

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PCC 60th Anniversary Video

Posted by Leonard on March, 5, 2014

PCC (Puget Consumer Co-op) is turning 60 years old in 2014 and Pangeality Productions has been hired to produce the video celebrating this great legacy.  What began in a household basement as a food-buying club of 15 families in 1953, is today the largest consumer-owned natural food retail co-operative in the United States, with $200 million+ in sales last year at 9 Puget Sound area stores. The videos  will combine a huge collection of archival footage, old newsletters and articles from local print media, membership cards from over the years,  interviews with various people who’ve contributed to the success. I’ll also be shooting footage from a variety of their stores and operations, highlighting their farmland conservancy program, cooking classes and other community initiatives. PCC is opening new stores in Greenlake in June this year and in Columbia City in 2015.

The project consists of telling 6 5 minute stories, each representing a decade in the life of the co-op. As a PCC member, it’s an exciting opportunity to work for it. I also produced the board candidate videos which the membership community will watch and vote on at
Here’s more info about their upcoming event

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New Video: Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance Fundraiser ‘An Incredible Feast’

Posted by Leonard on August, 13, 2010

My dear friend Catherine Burke is the market manager for the Columbia City Farmers Market, my neighborhood market that I love and regularly patronize (you may remember her from the goat birth video and others I’ve produced). Well the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance is having their big annual fundraiser ‘An Incredible Feast‘ which raises money to support both the market’s educational programs and outreach as well as the Good Farmer Fund, a fund dedicated to supporting farmers in need in case of flood or fire, family emergency or other special situations that require immediate financial assistance. Catherine and I were having dinner recently in my garden when she asked me about producing a short video to help publicize the event. So I did, in this case in exchange for a few tickets to the feast, not quite a 100% donation but definitely a heavily discounted contribution to an organization doing great work, hosting markets all over that contribute to a great sense of community throughout this wonderful city while providing delicious organic produce and other healthy locally grown and produced foods. The feast partners individual farms with chefs from great local restaurants for a special night of community and joy with awesome local food, live music and other prizes and games. Click here for more information about ‘An Incredible Feast’, which is happening soon on Sunday August 22nd. Get your tickets now. Hope to see you there.

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Saving an Iconic Seqouia Tree in Downtown Seattle

Posted by Leonard on July, 26, 2010

I got a call late one afternoon recently from my client Cedar Grove Composting to ask me to come film some footage of a special project they were working on. Together with the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities, Cedar Grove Composting was involved in trying to save a very special tree. The giant Sequoia tree is in the heart of downtown Seattle at the corner of 4th and Stewart, that was originally planted on Aurora Avenue, but was relocated in 1972. The tree is also the official Christmas Tree downtown every year. Over the years, the tree continued to grow but recently, birds had infested it and their droppings were both damaging the soil below as well as the canopy was slowly becoming covering with their acidic poop. Not sure about how to save the tree, SDOT approached international tree specialist James Urban, author of the book Up By Roots who had been in Seattle recently and paid the tree a house call, diagnosing the problem and prescribing the solution that this group eventually implemented.

So using an air spade to blow out vertical holes and a giant sucker truck to take the dirt away, a number of 4 ft deep vertical columns were dug around the base of the tree, and filled with fresh compost donated by Cedar Grove. Better irrigation and gas flow to the roots was the goal to supplement the pruning they’d already done.

Here is the video I produced about the work.

From Aurora Ave N. to Downtown

From Aurora Ave N. to Downtown

Sequoia on Aurora before being transplanted, 1972

Sequoia on Aurora before being transplanted, 1972

Placing the tree downtown at 4th and Stewart, Seattle

Placing the tree downtown at 4th and Stewart, Seattle

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Filming a Goat Giving Birth & Appreciating the Beauty of Life

Posted by Leonard on March, 26, 2010

Every once in a while you experience something that makes you really appreciate the beauty of life. I try to produce media that brings that richness to the world with my videos as much as possible. Not just the beauty though, also the pain, truth, wonder, freakyness, and joy. Based on the feedback I get from people around the world on my YouTube channel, I’m doing a pretty good job. This video is no exception.

Earlier this week I had the blessing to be present and able to film my friend’s goat giving birth. I’ve been working on a longer documentary about them and their adventures raising farm animals in the middle of Seattle, and we were building toward this moment for months. A while back they’d taken their 2 female goats to a farm for “buck service”, where they leave them there for a few days with a horny male goat, and when they come back, they are supposed to be pregnant. So my friend’s kept a small rag with the male goat’s scent on it in a plastic zip lock bag to take out when they thought the girls were in heat. If they reacted a certain way, they were definitely in heat and it was time to head for the farm and get busy.

As time passed their bodies grew and they were clearly pregnant. The golden 145-155 days of gestation approached and I was on alert for a phone call that could come at any time, to race down to their place about 1.5 miles from my house to try and catch the moment on film. There were certain signs that were supposed to tip one off to entering into a 12 hour window when they could expect the birth; a stiff upright tail, a certain mucous that would appear, licking patterns, and adjustments in the shape of their bloated bellies. And one afternoon while I was filming some interviews about their emotions approaching the birth, what they’d learned from the vet, other goat owners, and online resources about what to expect, in the middle of talking my friend Catherine realizes that Fern was showing all of the signs that she was in the middle of talking about. And at that moment, we assumed we were within the 12 hour window. The only problem was, that despite months of waiting and planning, I was supposed to be leaving town the next morning and might be unable to be present to film. The hope was that it would happen in the middle of the night, with time to film and still get out on time.

The morning came and went and no goat babies. I left town disappointed with the assumption that I’d be gone for the big day. Half way through the week, Sukie, Fern’s sister gave birth to 3 “kids” and the fear and expectation was that Fern would also go into labor while I was gone. Well good old Fernie held out for me and waited til I was back in town. I got back 6 days later at 11 PM. That night Catherine called to say she thought she was on the verge and to expect the call. The next morning at 7, I got the call to come now. It was a rainy and gray and cold morning. By the time I got there, one kid had already been born. Moments later 2 more arrived.

I was so impressed and in awe of how beautifully and smoothly she and Justin handled the whole thing. While Fern did all the work, as soon as the babies emerged Justin and Catherine were right in there with the receiving, preliminary support and desliming. By watching this vid, you’d never know that the first goat had given birth at night when the farmers were asleep and that this was their first time ever doing this. They handled it like pros. An amazing morning, totally incredible and powerful in a way few things can be. Stay tuned for the longer piece coming soon. Enjoy. For more info about urban goat raising, check out the Goat Justice League.

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