“Persistence” Mini-Documentary Highlights Midwestern Producers of Uncommon Fruit and Nut Crops


The Savanna Institute has produced a mini-documentary featuring Midwestern fruit and nut producers with support from North Central Region SARE and the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS). Entitled “Persistence: Midwestern Farmers and their Uncommon Crops”, the fifteen-minute documentary explores the challenges, delights, and motivations of perennial fruit and nut producers in the Midwest. The film was produced by Anders Gurda of Windborne Media LLC and is currently available on the Savanna Institute’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.


“You are choosing a life, and it can be a good life,” says Jackie Hoch, one of the farmers featured in the film. “My bank account, at many times, doesn’t look very good. But I’ve lived a life that I can be proud of. I’ve lived a life that I like.”


The film features interviews with several farmers throughout the upper Midwest and includes footage of their farms and products. Appearing in the film are:

  • Jackie Hoch - Hoch Orchard and Gardens, La Crescent, Minnesota
  • Tom Wahl and Kathy Dice – Red Fern Farm, Wapello, Iowa
  • Michael Dolan – Seven Seeds Organic Farm, Spring Green, Wisconsin
  • Jim Riddle – Blue Fruit Farm, Winona, Minnesota
  • Wandy Peralta – Branches and Berries, Wauzeka, Wisconsin
  • Rachel Henderson and Anton Ptak – Mary Dirty Face Farm, Menomonie, Wisconsin


The featured farmers participated in a panel discussion following the debut of the documentary at the Savanna Institute’s 2018 Perennial Farm Gathering in December. The documentary was also screened at the 2019 MOSES Organic Farming Conference.



© 2020 Savanna Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

site design by Yeoman Filmer | Privacy Policy

Savanna Institute

1360 Regent St. #124

Madison, WI 53715

(608) 448-6432