Begun in a root cellar somewhere in the bowels of Northern Portland, the Farmer General is a bracing Scotch, an earthy terrine, your mother’s pancake, and the knighthood of backyard chickens everywhere, as recorded by a rotating cast of literary eaters. From farm to table, hoof to mouth, and all stops in between. The Farmer General was founded by Sarah Kanabay and Chris Onstad.
Of Farmers and Generals
What’s in a name? Roses, scents, and syllables aside, we name things to make them visible to others. To convey meaning. And in choosing to call our magazine The Farmer General, we were no different–but, it all began with a man.
In addition to being possessed of deformed flipper-like hands, Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de la Reynière was a thrower of elaborate dinner parties, the first food critic, a lover of tastes, a gourmet grocer long before Sur Le Table ever thought of selling you a whiskey stone, and the son of a man who belonged to the fermiers généraux– the original farmer generals. These men were responsible for collecting farm taxes for the king during the 17th and 18th centuries, but, are remembered first and foremost for being extravagantly generous patrons of the arts.
When the time came to choose a name for our publication, it was this spirit of catholic gustatory revelry that moved us to select a title that would be at once specific and far-reaching–a name that would encompass all that we hoped to accomplish with our efforts. From farm to table and back again, The Farmer General aims to be a publication that celebrates all things food-specific, farm-supportive, and geographically general. We are here for the history, we are here for the hearty chuckles, we are here to celebrate the written word, and, most importantly: we are here for the food. à votre santé!