Near Newcastle, Ontario, lies Wing Fong Farm: 80 acres planted with succulent Asian vegetables destined for Chinese markets and restaurants.
It is here that Lau King-Fai (or Ma) has come to spend the rest of her days with her son. The farm is a long way from bustling Hunan Province, but after a tumultuous life in China, she has made it her home: caring for young shoots, working together with migrant Mexican workers and preparing meals in the farmhouse.
Born in 1929, Ma survived the loss of her father and two siblings during the Japanese occupation, and the death of her husband during the Cultural Revolution–which left her alone to support her family. It’s little wonder that she believes in accepting fate. As she puts it, “Empty thoughts and wishful thinking are useless.”
Shot over the course of a complete farm cycle–from tilling, to planting, to harvest, to rest — Earth to Mouth is an exquisitely filmed, meditative look at life on Wing Fong Farm. For Yeung Kwan, Ma’s son, the farm represents personal and financial independence. For Ma, it is an oasis of peace. For the half-dozen Mexican workers, it provides jobs that help support their children back home. Each in their own way, they endure the rigours of farming and savour their moments of peace.