25 Weeks: A Wisconsin Pizza Harvest
The true story of a an ancient crop, a farmer, and a pizza.
In March of 2020, I buried the legs of a sturdy tripod into one corner of my organic wheat field and began filming. For the next 25 weeks, every day, I recorded everything that happened at that field, on the homestead, and in the life of the farm that I call home. The result is a hour-long film documenting the planning, dreaming, and reality of a Wisconsin wheat harvest. "25 Weeks: A Wisconsin Pizza Harvest" covers the Anarchy Acres homestead, where all work is done by the farm's donkeys, as well as the rental field where historic Wisconsin bread wheat is grown for market.
"25 Weeks: A Wisconsin Pizza Harvest" is the story of the 2020 wheat harvest on Anarchy Acres, a tiny farm in Wisconsin. This unusual farm is working hard to re-create the wheat of 19th century Wisconsin by growing out rare wheat cultivars from samples held in seed banks. Anarchy Acres uses a team of miniature donkeys for some field work, and pays close attention to sustainable farming practices. Food, the environment, and mutual respect are lived out in a millennia-old cycle.
"25 Weeks: A Wisconsin Pizza Harvest" is a creation of the farm. Instead of the varnished, idealized view of a farm seen from the city, we enter into an intimate portrait of how a farmer, three donkeys, two tractors, and a flock of chickens sustain themselves while creating food for the marketplace. The perspective is fresh and unvarnished.
Every good life has a center, a goal. For farmer Charlie Tennessen, that goal is to make healthy, good-tasting pizza using as many ingredients from the farm as possible. Charlie has sourced over 25 rare wheat varieties from the 19th century and earlier, in the hope of finding the perfect traditional wheat for pizza and bread.