Bouchard Family Farm
Fort Kent

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Since the late 1780’s, buckwheat has been cultivated in the St. John Valley. Due to uncontrollable circumstances, wheat crops diminished and by 1850, buckwheat emerged as the grain crop leader in the Valley, representing 40-45% of all grain production. Visitors to the Valley commented on the delicious buckwheat pancakes which local farmwives served their families at every meal instead of wheat bread.

From the 1850s until the 1950s, ployes were served in many Valley homes three times a day. Local life has changed greatly over the past fifty years, and inexpensive, ready-made breads, cereals, pasta, and cakes have largely taken the “every meal” place once held by ployes. But the ploye is still cherished as the best accompaniment for a good chicken stew, and a necessity at any meal which celebrates Valley heritage.

In the early 1980’s potato farming had endured some extremely hard times. It was during one of these tough years when Claire, the eldest of the 5 daughters, had returned from a trip to Louisiana with a French Acadian doughnut mix called beignets. As the family sat around enjoying the doughnuts one of them asked why no one has ever made a mix for ployes. The seed was planted and soon after the family started working on the perfect recipe for ployes.