The short documentary Our Desert Farms examines the issues of climate change, drought, and global market through the lens of a local story on Central Arizona farmers. Produced in Arizona from early September to late February this year, Our Desert Farms uncovers the challenges of staying in the farming business, the future of its practices and implications for Arizonans. The story shadows three Central Arizona farmers who either have been growers for generations or are first in their families and farming is all they know. By growing crops like cotton, alfalfa, corn and wheat, and by using both Central Arizona Project (CAP) and ground water, Arizona farmers are often portrayed as villains who should not farm in the dry land, as agriculture consumes the largest share of water in the state. The film aims to connect communities and spark a discussion about the future of farming in the state, and by including the voices of experts in climate change, agriculture, water management and economy, explores how farmers’ activity affects Arizonans.
Central Arizona farming contributes to a 17.1 billion dollar agriculture industry in the state of Arizona and is often portrayed negatively. Its huge dependency on water in the dry conditions of the American Southwest is intensified by the current state of climate change and decreasing water flow in the Colorado River. Our Desert Farms is a film that gives voice to farmers who deal with the challenges of water and global economy on a daily basis. The film’s stunning visual style is accompanied by aerial photography which provides a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the Arizona farmlands.