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December 20, 2016

It has been too long since I have last posted and things have changed dramatically.
I will start by filling you in with the changes in my life, then the film and then the big picture.

Well, changing to a new city, home and job(s) created a lot more chaos than I expected. I was uprooted and transplanted. When you transplant a fully grown plant it can be a shock to it. It may go through a stage where you don’t think it’s going to make it. Then little by little you see it starting to recover, it is a little less droopy, new leaves start to appear, but you are still disappointed when it fails to blossom the first year. Ok, that last part is about the doc project, the relocation was hard on my creativity and drive. I no longer am a member of a community garden nor do I hang out with other filmmakers as much. My filmmaking support system is a bit too far away, it is still there but, just not as easily accessed (kind of like trying to fertilize a plant from across the yard). I am making an effort to connect with them more and have been actively working on the the film. Also, I now have a new community and job that I love very much, I started teaching yoga about a year ago. Yoga provides the balance I need to continue to be creative when most of the filmmaking work is done in front of a computer.

I started From the Ground Up when George W. Bush was president. Looking back, a lot of the decisions I made about the film were very much influenced by where the country was at that time politically. Then things changed, Barack Obama has been a very different leader and our country has changed so much in the last 8 years, in retrospect I think making the film felt less urgent. Now, a huge political shift is taking place and finishing this movie has never felt more urgent. The main film is very close to being finished, final editing, a couple of animations and music is all that is left to do. I have been working on finding ways to finish the last steps as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Some of the short films are finished and can be seen on Vimeo, there are other short films that will have to wait until the main one is done.

Why do I feel like this film NEEDS to be finished and seen? From the Ground Up is about much more than growing food, vegetable gardening is like a trojan bunny – cute an innocuous – until you open it up and see how many things includes (climate change, water safety, local economies, self-reliance, food security, etc…). All three stories in the main documentary are about people who are taking action to make their cities better, from changing a front yard garden ordinance to feeding the hungry and getting involved in local politics. We see these ideas through the urban farmers as well as through the WWII propaganda films that remind us that getting involved in community action is also patriotic. We plan for the video to be used for outdoor screenings, where organizations can distribute how-to guides, seeds, and information about urban farming and local food organizations. We think this will be helpful in rural college towns as a tool for people with different backgrounds to be able to come together over something that they have in common, growing good food.

We could use your help to finish the film, we are trying to raise $1,000 by the end of the year so we can start 2017 ready for action. Please consider donating any amount through our fiscal sponsor and your donation will be tax-deductible. Please go here:

Thank you and you will be seeing more from me very soon.

Kristi Stephens Adams

PS – If you have any questions please feel free to email me at

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