Farmer John Press Archive
Press Archive / Past Media

The PBS airing of The Real Dirt and Farmer John's recent book and film tour generated extensive media activity in Summer, 2006.

La Stampa, June 18, 2006

"Star Farmer" - by Carlo Petrini, translation by Ronnie Richards - July 14, 2006
Can a farmer become a star celebrity? Judging from the internet website, his books and especially the film relating his life, you would say that farmer John Peterson from Illinois just about fits the bill. And at first sight this might cause your average Italian farmer, always plagued by his day to day problems, or your worldly-wise man in the street, to be somewhat disdainful. All the more so if they were to see this farmer holding a pitchfork, dressed in working clothes, gumboots, straw hat and Ö a feather boa!...
Read more...

National Public Radio: Fresh Air from WHYY, with Terry Gross - June 7, 2006

"A Legend In His Own Field: Farmer John" - An Interview and Article
As told in a new documentary, The Real Dirt on Farmer John, the story of John Peterson is an allegory for the woes of family farmers -- and the triumphant return to traditional artisan farming that is giving new life to small-scale agriculture...
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Metro Farm

Farmer John Radio Interview with Michael Olson of Metrofarm
 

San Francisco Chronicle - June 1, 2006

A Life on The Farm: The Real Dirt On Farmer John Filmmaker follows radical shifts in lifelong Illinois friend - An Article by Reyhan Harmanci
The key to making a good documentary profile is access: The more time you spend with someone, the richer your material. How fortunate, then, that Bay Area filmmaker Taggart Siegel and his documentary subject, John Peterson, have been friends and collaborators for 25 years...
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The Vegetable Growers News - June, 2006

Fame and Farming - An Article by Scott Christie
"Farmer John" Peterson and filmmaker Taggart Siegel stood in the fields of Angelic Organics in 1996, and the only thought going through their minds was, "How did this happen?"
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The Restaurant Guys - June, 2006

"Farmer John Peterson" - A Radio Interview with The Restaurant Guys
Farmer John Peterson talks to the Guys about the film, his new cookbook and the transformation of his farm. Original broadcast date: Tuesday, June 13, 2006
To the interview!

Tucson Weekly - June, 2006

"The Real Dirt on Farmer John" - A Short Article by James Digiovanna
This would be an interesting document on one farmerís attempt to save the family farm in the age of increasingly corporate farming, but it turns out itís much more than that. Itís also a history of family who came late to farming and struggled through three generations to hang on to it. Itís also something of a history of American farming itself. But really, this is a movie about farmer John Peterson, who is a farmer who could probably do a great job arranging your furniture. He eats dirt. He dresses in what could only be called celebratory clothing. And he loves the earth. Itís inspiring; itís a testament to an Americanís right to free expression; and itís an interesting lesson in what communities can do when presented with farming as a moral problem.
Read online...

The Oregonian - Saturday, June 17, 2006

"Growing Closer Together" - An Article by Nancy Haught
Farmer John can give you, off the top of his head, five reasons why you ought to know the folks who raise your food. The first two are no-brainers, he says, ticking them off on his fingers: "First, there are aesthetic reasons....
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L.A. Times Calendar Section - Saturday, June 17, 2006

"The Soil Tastes Good Today" - An Article by Stacie Stukin, Special to The Times
The documentary "The Real Dirt on Farmer John," airing tonight on KCET's "Independent Lens" series, opens as a bespectacled farmer named John Peterson kneels down in his field, squeezes a velvety black chunk of mud between his fingers, and eats it. After a few chews and a pensive gaze into the camera, he declares, "The soil tastes good today."...
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Columbian Missourian - Sunday, June 18, 2006

"Growing Closer Together" - An Article by Katrina Tauchen
Even in a region filled with farmers, itís not often that one makes a mark on the big screen. John Peterson, a third-generation farmer from Illinois, did just that...
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Progressive Farmer Magazine - May/June, 2006

"A Portrait of a Farmer and His Land" - An Article by Claire LeBlanc
"The Real Dirt on Farmer John" is a moving tribute to American farmers. In the first scenes of "The Real Dirt on Farmer John," the title character trudges through a muddy field. He stoops down, picks up a handful of mud and takes a bite. This PBS real-life epic, by award-winning documentary filmmaker Taggart Siegel, is an homage to his friendÖthe eccentric John Peterson, as well as the American farmer. This docudrama depicts the refreshing, but certainly gritty existence of the struggles Peterson, and many farmers, face. ...
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Beyond Organic Radio - June, 2006

"Farmer John Goes Hollywood"
[This radio broadcast ran the first week of June from an interview with Farmer John on February 1, 2006.]
Midwestern farmer John Peterson has been called a maverick, a philosopher and a devil worshipper for his approach to life, art and organic vegetable growing.
Listen...

USA Today - June 5, 2006

Farmer John, Angelic Organics and the Farmer Johnís Cookbook were profiled in this article in USA Today on June 5.

Washington Post - June 7, 2006

It had to happen. In a world where chefs are standard television fare and college kids demand fresh-from-the-field food in their dining halls, celebrity farmers were the inevitable next step. And John Peterson is a natural...
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Martha Stewart Living Sirius Radio Channel - May 22, 2006

Farmer John was interviewed about the film and his cookbook for "Afternoon Living".

SATYA Magazine - April, 2006

"A Farm of His Own"... a Film Review by Kymberlie Adams Matthews.
Farmer John has a sense of fashion New Yorkers are sure to envyóankle-length leopard print coats, boas in an array of colors, vintage dresses, and funky costumes suit him well while weeding. But his neighbors hold a different point of view. Everybody in town has something to say about their unconventional compatriot. Hippies and artists donít mix with crop rotations, even the local police spent time watching the Peterson place for signs of drug dealing and Satanic rituals. American farmers are a dying breed, but as The Real Dirt on Farmer John shows us, John Peterson has found a way to survive...
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from CuliBlog.org - November 30, 2005

"And the answer isÖCommunity Supported Agriculture"
Context is everything, although this hadnít occurred to me weeks ago when I reserved my tickets for the IDFA and Shadow Festivals. It was pure coincidence that I chose Taggert Siegelís The Real Dirt on Farmer John...
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Rockford Register Star - April 19, 2006

"Farmer and the Film; Caledonia's John Peterson focus of documentary" by Georgette Braun.
Much of John Peterson's childhood centered around a traditional lifestyle on the 350 acres his father and uncle worked along Rockton Road in Caledonia. He went to school and roasted hot dogs with 4-H friends. He tended the dairy cows and hogs, a job that rested on his shoulders at age 19 when his father died, nine years after his uncle killed himself. When Peterson went to Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., though, his world changed...
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