Bouchard Family Farm
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Name:         Bouchard Family Farm

Location:     3 Strip Road

                     Fort Kent, Maine  04743

Phone:         1-800-239-3237


Fax:             207-834-7422



Products and Services:


-buckwheat flour

-ployes mix, specialty gift packages


What Makes Bouchard Family Farm Unique?

The Bouchard Family Farm is one of only five remaining farms growing potatoes in the Fort Kent area of Aroostook County.  The extremely dry conditions during the summer of 2012 proved exceptionally challenging for the potato farmers throughout “The County.” Without income from the other diversified operations of their farm (ployes, cattle, buckwheat, oats, farm store, vegetables, hay, online sales, and wood) the Bouchards would have faced a staggering challenge to keep afloat.

The fourth (Alban), fifth (Joseph), and sixth (Philip) generations of Bouchards and several family members are actively involved in running the Bouchard Family Farm today.  In 1997, Alban Bouchard, and his son Joseph, located a dismantled 7500 square foot mill in Grand Falls, Canada, and reconstructed it on their land.  It now houses their mill and packaging facility for their highly successful ploye business.

Ployes are a rich part of the Acadian history in

the St. John River Valley of Maine.  A ploye has similarities to a pancake and a crepe.  It is made with buckwheat flour, wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and water.  It was traditional to serve ployes as a substitute for bread at all three meals when Alban and Joseph Bouchard were growing up. Ployes have a lot going for them as they are fat free, cholesterol free, lactose free, and sugar free.

The buckwheat flour that is used to make the Bouchard’s ployes is made from the buckwheat that is grown on their farm.  One of the facts about buckwheat which surprises many people is it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel and it is not a grain.  Buckwheat is often recommended for people who suffer from Celiac Disease and are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain glutens.  While buckwheat flour is gluten-free, ployes are not.  Ployes; however, contain no eggs, milk, sugar, or oil.

If you have never had the opportunity to see a

buckwheat field before it is ready to be harvested, it is truly an impressive sight of a mix of bright red, yellow, orange, and green colors.  The Bouchards use all parts of the buckwheat.  The hulls of the plant are used for bedding for the cattle, and the combination of the hulls and the manure created by the cattle are reintroduced into their fields to help fertilize the soil.

Ployes are still very popular in the region and many people navigate to Fort Kent in August to celebrate this French Acadian food at the annual Ploye Festival which is held in conjunction with the Muskie Derby.  A gigantic ploye (twelve feet in diameter) is made and covered in butter and enjoyed by hundreds of onlookers at the Ploye Festival.  Fort Kent is apparently into doing things in a big way.  They hold the title to the “World’s Largest Ploye.” 

When it comes to the production of ployes, the Bouchards also are conducting business in a big way as their creativity and energy have moved their ploye business beyond the scope of a small-scale operation.  They have expanded their sale of ploye mix to several stores throughout New England and different parts of the country.  They carry three types of specialty ploye gift packages - blueberry, breakfast, and maple syrup.  Their customers can also purchase buckwheat flour, buckwheat hulls, and two books that focus on ployes.  All of these products are found on their online store which can be accessed through their website: 

The ploye business that the Bouchards have embraced began when Claire Bouchard came back from a trip to Louisiana with a mix for French Acadian doughnuts called beignets.  It was this mix that prompted the family to consider creating a mix for ployes.  When the profile for this website took place, three generations of family members - Alban, Joseph, and Philip, were all busy harvesting the buckwheat.  When the photo of the ploye display at the Maine Harvest Festival in Bangor was taken, the exhibit was being run by Joe Bouchard and his sister, Jane Crawford. The combined efforts of many different family members have been a major factor in the success of this farm enterprise.

Janice Bouchard runs the “On The Corner” farm store and craft shop on the farm.  Potatoes, flowers, and various produce from the garden are available for sale.  Inside the shop there is an assortment of locally-made crafts, Bouchard ploye mixes and gift packages, ceramic pieces, greeting cards, handpainted glassware, various ornaments, and seasonal items.

Another factor in helping the Bouchards in their farm operation is the way that they have been able to effectively market their products. They make the effort to attend various events such as the Maine Harvest Festival in Bangor, the New England Craft and Specialty Food Fair in Salem, New Hampshire, the Annual Brunswick Hockey Booster Christmas Craft Show in Brunswick, and the Castleberry Christmas Craft Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts.  They operate a healthy online business and an active Facebook page.

An extremely focused work ethic has also played a part in their success.  Tasks are addressed with efficiency.  The feeding of the cattle took place in an amazingly short period of time.  There are many chores that need attention and it seems as though the Bouchards have learned to tackle all the tasks with great energy and efficiency.

The Bouchards have managed to truly make their farm business a family endeavor that has combined the efforts of several generations. If you have the opportunity to read their beautifully-crafted French Acadian Cookbook, the importance of family is immediately apparent. The cookbook was written by Janice Bouchard and her mother-in-law, Rita Bouchard.  The  publication was lovingly designed by Kelsy Bouchard, the daughter of Joe and Janice Bouchard.  Family photos can be enjoyed throughout the book.  Several of the recipes were contributed by Uncle Royden.  There are recipes for ploye mix, stuff and wrap dishes, gluten-free buckwheat creations, and directions for various foods using buckwheat flour.

Hats off to the Bouchards for their ingenuity,

courage, and persistence in creating their ploye business.  They have enabled their farm operation to remain vibrant for the sixth generation and beyond.  By reassembling the old mill from Canada and putting it back in operation, they have embraced the concept of pursuing local endeavors and also demonstrated the values of recycling and repurposing equipment and buildings.

The mill at the Bouchard Family Farm enables the locally grown buckwheat to be utilized on the farm for the production of buckwheat flour and the ploye mix.  The Bouchard’s ploye mix operation gives hope to other farmers who are thinking about branching out and diversifying in an area where the lumber and potato industries have faced many challenges.

Through the establishment of their ploye business, the Bouchards have honored the rich heritage of the French Acadians in the St. John River Valley by making the traditional French

Acadian food available for everyone. For those who appreciate special culinary treats the Bouchards  have provided a homegrown product that can be served and enjoyed in many different ways.  If  you are interested in learning more about the many uses of ployes it is suggested that you refer to a copy of the French Acadian Cookbook.   Bon Appétit!

Farm Store
& Craft ShopBouchard_Craft_Shop.html

Joe Bouchard (on left) is shown talking with his father, Alban Bouchard.

The harvesting of the buckwheat takes place in August.

Joe Bouchard is shown talking with his son, Philip Bouchard.

Joe Bouchard and his sister, Jane Crawford, at the Maine Harvest Festival in Bangor.

The Bouchard Family ‘s French Acadian Cookbook. offers many recipes, beautiful photographs, and a great background on the history of ployes.


The Bouchard family is pictured at a show in Boston. From left:  Phil, Joe, Janice, Julie and Kelsy.