For the small town of Hillsborough and students at Cedar Ridge, the solution to sustainability is the mutual commitment to sustainability practices between modern and traditional farming.
Andrea DeGette, videography instructor at Cedar Ridge High School, said she received the Digital Promise Global virtual reality technology grant of $1,200 to make the video in March 2019.
“I asked my upper-division students what they thought a local sustainability issue was and decided that the intersection of progressive farming with traditional, family farming was critical,” DeGette said.
DeGette pointed out the similarities between traditional and modern farming.
“What do we have in common? Well, both types of farms want sustainability for the same reasons, and different reasons,” DeGette said.
Justus Alder, a former senior and student of DeGette’s, shot and edited “Around the Same Table.”
“We were trying to show was sustainable farming practices look like,” he said.
A self-proclaimed film enthusiast, Alder said he hopes to “create environmentally conscious videos in the future, but in a fun way that people want to watch.”
Alexis Barnes, former Cedar Ridge student and graduate from UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media, helped teach Alder and the other students how to shoot using the 360 virtual reality equipment.
He worked at Anathoth community farms and garden, one of the two farming locations the video footage is from.
According to its website, Anathoth is a nonprofit farm that uses sustainable practices to grow and distribute vegetables to 200 families in the Orange County area.
“Around the Same Table” also depicts Queen B Farms, a calf-cow family farm that Cedar Ridge senior Charles Bunker remembers working at since he was in diapers. In terms of sustainability, Queen B works with local distribution centers in Mebane and uses the produce that would otherwise be thrown out by giving it to their cattle.
“If a watermelon drops on the floor, they can’t use it, so they give it to us,” Bunker said.
Alder and Bunker were in DeGette’s class when the grant was awarded, and she said she thought they would be perfect for the project.
“I knew the boys for a long time and I knew they loved the earth, and the farms, and the work they did on the farms,” DeGette said.
Although Anathoth and Queen B approach sustainability in different ways, their mutual commitment to it represents an intersection between modern and traditional farming in the Orange County area.
Thanks to the film, the small sphere of Orange County organic farming can advocate for global efforts on joint farming sustainability.
“The intent of the video is to show different voices agreeing, and how local solutions to sustainability can bring global change,” DeGette said.
Alder was invited on a paid trip to the screening in New York on Sept. 24 and 25. There, he had a booth and helped viewers navigate how to use the 360 virtual reality headset to view “Around The Same Table.”