This is the story of two friends who hit upon a novel way to try to stop an herbicidal spraying campaign in their bucolic canyon: They found a green company to make the spraying’s target, an invasive cane species called Arundo donax, into a commercially viable crop. If they succeed, Monsanto, makers of the herbicide used in the campaign (Roundup®), might just back down. This alternately light-hearted and hard-hitting documentary captures real-life quest in an amusing tale that also lays bare the perils of pesticide use and corporate rule. Patty Pagaling, an Ojai valley resident finds out that Monsanto’s legendary glysophate (a derivative of RoundUp) is being sprayed in her pristine Matilija Canyon to kill the “devil weed” Arundo donax. Problem is glysophate is known to cause serious health problems including lymphatic cancer with impacts to wildlife and water systems.

Patty, who has a background in Native American culture and education decides to take on one of the largest chemical corporations in America. She forms a local group, Pesticide Free Ojai Valley and pretty soon they find themselves in broiled in a series of random “sprays” for apple & gypsy moths and other pests the county and state of California has deemed deleterious. Patty takes her case to the county supervisors but finds political ineptitude and indifference, with a long standing insidious relationship to the chemical giant. Deciding it’s better to fight fire with fire, Patty and her activist friends decide to harvest the Arundo reed and turn it into everything from perfume, bread to couture underwear. Going from her hippy digs to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills on a quest to find the best product ideas for Arundo, along the way her journey exposes Monsanto’s chemical treadmill and the revolving door between the chemical giant and the EPA, as well as the viability and beauty of Arundo and it’s incredible history as a cure all with multiple uses. The film uses humor, adventure and the personal courage of it’s activists to engage the audience.

PFOV Campaign Leader: Patricia Pagaling
Producer: Patricia Pagaling
Consulting Producer: Carolyn Scott

Status: In production summer 2009. We will be producing a promo to raise funding.

For a full treatment contact: Patricia Pagaling

Pesticide Free Ojai WEBSITE:
contact Patty Pagaling:

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