A Farm Picture
Documentary filmmakers Glenn Gebhard and Mario Congreve, along with Frank Turano of SUNY @ Stony Brook have completed “A Farm Picture,” a documentary that examines the history and current status of the region’s family and commercial farms, beginning in the pre-settlement periods of 1640 up to the present day, as farms vanish from the Long Island landscape. This is Gebhard’s 2nd film in a series on endangered occupations on Long Island. Long Island farms are at a critical juncture. Faced with historical development pressures that began after World War II, many families eagerly sell their land to real estate developers. Others struggle to preserve their family and occupational heritage. In order to address this complex negotiation Gebhard examines the lives of 6 farmers from Nassau and Suffolk County. They include Liz Grossmann of Grossmann’s farm in Malverne, Fred Terry of Orient who participates in New York City’s Greenmarkets program, Dick Hendrickson of Bridgehampton, a retired poultry and dairy farmer, potato farmer Marilee Foster of Sagaponack, vegetable farmer Phil Schmit of Rosedale, Farmingdale and Riverhead, and Lyle Wells of Aquebogue, an 11th generation farmer. Using historical footage, paintings by William Sydney Mount, photographs from the Hal Fullerton collection contemporary and interviews, Gebhard asks us to consider the future of Long Island’s farmers and how we can preserve this occupation.