Ryan Parker is a farmer, writer, artist and musician. He currently lives in Central Maine with his wife, two children, a golden retriever, some pigs and chickens. He raises pastured and forested animals and grows a diverse range of vegetables without synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or taxpayer subsidies.
In 2007 Ryan was working for the United States House of Representatives at the discretion, as the House puts it, of Mike Michaud. It was a good job, as such things go. But it was a job that involved sitting in front of a computer for the whole day, every day under fluorescent lights and suspended ceilings. He simply wasn’t meant to sit all day, let alone inside.
Meanwhile, the first home Ryan and his wife owned included a small garden plot where he started growing vegetables just for the two of them in the summer. During lunch breaks at Michaud’s office he would walk to the Bangor Public Library or one of the parks around Central Street and read. One day he stumbled upon a book titled “The New Organic Grower” by Eliot Coleman. Mr. Coleman wrote it as a reference/text book. But it was so interesting Ryan read it cover to cover, twice in three days. By 2007 he was ready to farm full time.
And that’s what he’s been doing ever since. Ryan sells vegetables, herbs and pastured pork and beef directly to his customers through the Parker Family Farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and also services the Brewer Farmer’s Market and the Hampden Farmer’s Market which he helped to create.
This blog is another of his efforts to reconnect you, the reader, to the land through your stomach. Here you’ll find information about what CSA is, what local food is, the local food movement here in Maine and the rest of the world, how to use local, seasonal food including recipes, why you should be buying locally grown produce and local meat from ethically raised animals. Here you’ll be joining Ryan on the farm and he’ll be joining you in your kitchen. Local food, global change. Eat well. Be well.