The Farmer who hears the grass growing

“Give him three years. The place will be covered in weeds.” Michael Simml convertedto organic farming in the early 1980s. He was a pioneer – one of the first organic farmers in Germany. He did his best to ignore the neighbours’ sceptical whispers.

Nowadays, Simml brings in bumper harvests from just 18 hectares of ground in the Bavarian Forest. And the doubters? They’ve long changed their minds. So what’s Simml’s recipe for success? Crop rotation, working together with earthworms and beetles, and the ability to understand what the ground is trying to tell him when weeds start growing out of it.

“The Famer who Hears the Grass Growing” has so far won six prizes. Most recently, it was named “Best Ecological Film” at the Greenscreen Festival in Eckernförde, northern Germany.

Director(s): Bertram Verhaag
Script: Bertram Verhaag
Production: DENKmal Film, Bayerischen Rundfunk
Year: 2010
Duration: 42 min
Our age recommendation: 16
Language (audio): German
Country of origin: Germany
Shooting Locations: Germany
Screening rights: DENKmal Film Verhaag GmbH ()
  • This film can be watched for a fee at the top.


Main topic(s): Global Food
Secondary topics: biodiversity organic soil courage spirituality
Mentions: courage agriculture soil biodiversity spirituality pesticides

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