“Pretty Good Cheese for Most Normal People” is the first line on the website of the Laurel Valley Creamery, a small, family-run operation in America’s heartland. “This farm became part of our family in 1947 when Nick’s grandparents moved here from Boone County, West Virginia. Betty and Fuzzy raised their four children, Rodney, Richard, Cathy and Christi here on the farm. They milked cows and raised food for both the cows and the family. Fuzzy and Betty made their living here on the farm; to say they worked hard is an understatement. Nick grew up on the farm working with his grandparents, parents, aunt and uncles. Fuzzy passed away in 1994 and the farm began to decline soon after. In 2001 we moved onto the farm in a care taking capacity and began hobby farming. In 2003 we purchased the farm from granny and in 2005 we began dairy farming, and in 2009 we began cheese making. We have in no way returned the farm to its former glory, but I hope we are well on the way.”
The Nolans are hoping to produce a feature-length documentary about what its like to try to carry on their family’s farming tradition and to help people renew their relationship with food production.
“From Grass to Cheese is a feature documentary that chronicles the ups and downs of a family-run dairy farm in Ohio during it’s first year of cheese production. From Grass to Cheese will tell the story of Nick and Celeste Nolan, their five children, and what it’s like to start up a family farm in the age of industrial agriculture..
..The current goal is to raise $28,000.00 to complete a feature-length documentary in 2011. This estimated budget would allow the filmmakers 1 to 2 trips per season to the farm (6-8 trips over a year), roughly 5 days per visit, during the first year of cheese production. The estimated budget for the film will help to cover costs including: rental gear, equipment purchases, gas, and in part, post production expenses such as editing, legal, promotions, and film festivals. Upon completion, the film will be sent to festivals and the filmmakers will seek DVD distribution. The film will also be distributed to farming/food advocates in order to spread the philosophies of community based farming..”