Farmer John’s Cookbook Tour
Highlights of Farmer John's Twelve-City Book & Film Tour:

Farmer John's Film & Cookbook Tour is now complete!

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico - Screening, Booksigning, & Buffet

Farmer John's cookbook and film tour concluded with great fanfare on August 14 and 15, 2006 in Mexico. Lesley Littlefield sang to introduce the event in the public library's ancient Teatro Santa Ana. It was a full house! After the film and Q&A, everyone enjoyed yummy samples from Farmer John's Cookbook, thanks to the enthusiastic efforts of the library kitchen staff. While people mingled and yummed, John signed books.

Rockford, Illinois - Barnes & Noble Booksigning

About 100 people converged in the Rockford, Illinois Barnes & Noble on Friday, July 7, 2006, including many of the Angelic Organics farmworkers, for one of the biggest and most high-energy cookbook signings yet. Lesley Littlefield opened the event with a few of her songs, and John went on to read excerpts from the cookbook. Many people who attended were John’s longtime friends and neighbors, and some of them even grew up with it was extra exciting when the conversation moved into an enquiry of the harsh community gossip brought up in the film. When it was time to sign cookbooks, the line wound around the stacks. One woman brought a huge flower bouquet for the book signing table! (Or perhaps it was just for John...)

San Francisco, CA - The Red Vic Movie House

For four nights in a row in June, twice each night, The Real Dirt screened at the rugged and charming Red Vic Movie House on Haight Street. Lesley Littlefield sang for several of the screenings, and afterward, John signed copies of the cookbook. After the screenings, John and Lesley went out for drinks at Zam Zam with audience members who wanted more farm and film talk. One of the outings led to Glamour Night!

Mountainfilm in Telluride, CO

Farmer John and his fellow bumblebee Lesley Littlefield spent 5 days in late May, 2006 at the Mountainfilm in Telluride Film Fest, where "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" sold out all 3 venues where it screened, garnering raucous standing ovations. It received the Sustainable Planet Award & the Viewers' Choice Award. Bumblebee Lesley performed all over Telluride. Author Farmer John and Assistant Editor Lesley signed "Farmer John's Cookbook" in a book signing spree… the inventory of 50 cookbooks was gone in about an hour.

On the last day of the fest, the two bumblebees attended 4 parties. Farmer John had a hard time walking...not because he was drunk... but because he was inundated with well wishers. Arlene Burns, director of Mountainfilm in Telluride, and her staff, and the Mountainfilm Festival goers are the best!

Check out Lesley's CD, "Little Songs" for some mp3's and the infamous Bug Song music video download.

More Book & Film Tour News:
  • Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora and Asia Nora in Washington D.C. hosted authors Michael Pollan and Farmer John and several others at a festive dinner party at her home on May 20.
  • Marsha Weiner and Slow Food D.C. sponsored a Farmer John book signing event at Agraria, a new D.C. restaurant supporting family farms.
  • Gibbs-Smith Publishing featured the cookbook & a screening of "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" at Book Expo International in D.C., with Farmer John in attendance, presenting the film and doing book signings.
  • Also, in the D.C. area in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Allan Balliett's Fresh and Local CSA and Slow Food D.C. sponsored a fabulous screening and book signing event at the Shepherdstown Opera House, followed by a gathering at the Yellow Brick Bank, where the gracious bartender stayed open several extra hours for the film crowd.
  • After D.C., Slow Food, Just Food & GreenMarket welcomed Farmer John at a Manhattan screening and book signing.
  • Farmer John presented the film to a sold out Jacob Burns Film Center in Westchester County, NY…another long line formed to buy Farmer John's Cookbook.

Told on the Tour:

During the after, after hours at the Yellow Brick Bank in Shepherdstown, Farmer John heard many heartrending stories about people being uprooted from their farms. Tears for lost farms...

  • One former farm teenager now sells window blinds to the people who live in the subdivided woods that his family's cattle used to roam…woods that he used to harvest for heat for his family. As he measures windows for the blinds, he tells the people in their new big homes that the trees outside their windows used to be his for climbing.
  • Another farmer shared that when her family lost their large vegetable farm and orchard, she had to sneak into the repossessed farm home at night with a flashlight to retrieve her personal belongings.


Weird Tour News:

In NYC, the farmer spent an afternoon at a costume store getting made up to look like a bearded young'n so he could slip into a venue in disguise where his film was screening (an event to which he was not invited, even though he had offered to attend.) He felt if he attended in disguise, he could find out what the experts had to say about his life. He found out.

Yes, this is Farmer John after spending an afternoon at the costume store on 11th & Broadway in Manhattan.

Touring Taggart:

The director of "The Real Dirt on Farmer John," Taggart Siegel, his wife Jenny and baby Olive recently returned from a festival tour of Europe.

Taggart presented the film at festivals in Ireland, Poland, Germany, and Italy. In Italy it won the Slow Food on Film Golden Snail Award for Best Documentary.

Upon returning to the States, Jenny, Taggart, and Olive relocated from San Francisco to Portland, OR. Portland is the city where The Real Dirt has had its longest run so far (3 months).

Other News

About the Mountainfilm awards, Farmer John's bag weighed 61 pounds when he flew into Telluride, and 72 pounds when he flew out. The awards weighed, yup, 11 pounds. The film has now received 25 awards. Fortunately, some of them are light.

What Else Comes up on Tour?

"New kind of farming for Farmer John" by Conklin
an article in the Wisconsin State Journal, Friday, April 21, 2006 @ 1:19 p.m.

It's the eve of the year's first Dane County Farmers' Market - our annual rite of spring. And what better way to get in the mood for fresh, local vegetables than going to see the movie, "The Real Dirt on Farmer John," which documents life, survival and feather boas on an unusual farm.

A run at Westgate Art Cinema starts tonight with an intro at 6:45 by L'Etoile chef Tory Miller and Bob Bower from Angelic Organics, Farmer John's farm. A Q&A session follows the 7 p.m. showing.

"Real Dirt" was the hit star of the 2005 Wisconsin Film Festival, winning the Audience Award. And because the friendship between farmer John Peterson and filmmaker Taggart Siegel began at Beloit College in 1979, it also won the Jury Prize in the Wisconsin's Own competition.

And Farmer John has become a celebrity - at least judging from an interaction he reports from a Q&A session that followed a recent movie screening in a cornfield park in downtown L.A. (Yes, it has at least one.)

Under a full moon, no less, he says a woman in the audience raised her hand and told him, "Farmer John, you should know you should make your sperm available to humanity. You should be contributing to a sperm bank ongoingly. Or at least you should somehow be contributing your sperm."

How did Farmer John react to this rather forward public challenge? He says it stumped him.


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