Food Stories

Documentary shorts — unscripted — featuring farmers, artisans, and others

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A Good Food Farmer (video)

This is not your typical story, for Anthony Boutard, of Ayers Creek Farm, is not your typical farmer. Trained as a forester, he and his wife, Carol, backed into farming – as he likes to tell it.

He shares many stories, including how he goes about deciding what to grow for a particular season, and shares his wealth of farming knowledge, some of it borrowed from indigenous cultures.

Butternut Squash Curing In Winter Sun Anthony Boutard has lots of ideas and thoughts, and he’s a nonlinear thinker. As a result, I think this story stands out from the rest in terms of style. I wanted to make sure that his personality came through, and that his experience, and the rich flavors of his philosophy and approach to farming did not get left out during the editing process. Even the ending music was left out, it just didn’t fit here.

Corn Cobs If you love food – good food – I hope this story will resonate with you. If it doesn’t matter to you what you eat or where it comes from, well, then, maybe you’ll get a sense what the fuss is all about. And, why (for those who can), it’s really important to support your local farmer. Anthony and Carol Boutard love eating good food, and lucky for us, they love to grow and sell it too. For those in the Portland, Oregon area, Ayers Creek Farm sells direct at the Hillsdale Farmers Market.

Have you ever tried to grow food during the winter months? Indoors with a few herbs, or maybe a cold frame with some lettuces? Or try curing sweet potatoes and squash to bring out their sweetness? Our local farmers have so much knowledge to share to help us understand and discover the good food around us. I encourage you to visit your local farmers market, many (at least in our area) are open in the winter, too.

Who is your Good Food Farmer?

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8 Comments

  1. Leslie Pohl-Kosbau says:

    Very nice story, and Rebecca you did such a good job capturing the essence of the commitment the farmer makes. It is hard work, but a pleasure to experience quality foods, grown nearby, and by farmers personally bringing their crops to local markets and communities.

  2. KAB says:

    Great story! Really captures Anthony’s passion and humor, as well as his commitment to making a difference in our community. Thanks!

    (Loved the shot of the field and the rainbow…fabulous!)

  3. beautifully done and evocative. it’s what i’ve been thinking more and more about lately — if you’re buying food from people who you never meet, and whose raw ingredients come from people they’ve never met, how can you possibly trust it? or to put it another way, how is it that we’ve developed this amazing sense of faith in our food producers, who buy commodity crops from enormous industrial farms, who pay thousands of nameless, faceless workers the minimum possible price to prepare our food, who are given incentives to get the maximum possible dollar at the minimum possible cost — how do we have faith in them despite all the multitude disappointments (salmonella, just to begin with)?

    anyway, I love the way he thinks, and I can’t wait to try his cornmeal. I’ve seen it before at the market, and never purchased it; now I will.

  4. Tricia says:

    Makes good cornbread. Nuf said!

  5. Rebecca says:

    Keli, you’re in Canada, right? I think it’s great (considering the weather) you do have a market open all year long. I have a question about the vendors you mentioned – who get their produce from a food terminal – are they also there in the more productive growing months, selling wares from these terminals? Or, do you think they are only supplementing their farming income by selling imported produce in the winter?

  6. Keli Whidden says:

    I am! We are lucky, our local market is about 130 years old and has been indoors since the early 80′s. Many of the local farmers supplement a bit, typically with a bit of fruit and peppers. I can understand that. It is the ones that only imported all year that I don’t like. Believe it or not, even our local grocers have a tendency not to carry local produce in any quantity in season…we are in a fruit belt and I saw a lot of fruit from around the world, but not much from here this last summer. I find that disappointing as well, though when questioned the reasoning was that our produce was going elsewhere and that they have contractual obligations to the food terminal suppliers. So, we have voted with our dollars and spend most of our food budget on the local farmers.

  7. Keli Whidden says:

    Great story, worth the plurkabstinence! Our local farmers market is open year round, and there are a couple of great local produce and cheese stalls. It bothers me to see them selling beside someone who picked up their produce from the same food terminal the grocery chains do…so I pass those imported stalls by to purchase from the real farmer.