St. John Valley

Bouchard Family Farms hopes for early harvest

This summer’s dry weather may mean an early harvest of buckwheat, seen here Wednesday afternoon, at Bouchard Family Farms in Fort Kent.

Joey Bouchard said the crop is normally harvested around the third week of August. The Bouchards planted 400 acres of the grain this year, which is mainly used to make buckwheat flour, a key ingredient in the traditional Acadian pancakes known as ployes. “All of ours is used internally,” Bouchard said, for next year’s seed and flour production. The farm mills its own buckwheat and uses it to create a ready-made ploye mix which is marketed around the world. Other growers in the St. John Valley also grow and market buckwheat flour and ploye mix. The Bouchards also take part in the annual Fort Kent Ploye Festival, which is this weekend, Aug. 11 and 12. The family has been creating the world’s largest ploye, reaching diameters in excess of 12 feet, as part of the community event.  

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