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Louisiana Eats: Farm Yards and Vineyards

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Poppy Tooker
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Louisiana Eats
Wild Bush Farms

“Farming,” according to poet Brett Brian, “is a profession of hope.” On this week’s show, we introduce you to sons and daughters of the soil who are living their dreams on the land. We begin in St. Tammany Parish with Monica Bourgeois and Neil Gernon, founders of the small-batch wine company, Vending Machine Wines. The New Orleans couple has been making wine in Napa Valley since 2009, operating the business from their native Louisiana. Their newest venture, WIld Bush Farm & Vineyard finds the two overhauling 13 acres of a former winery in the rural Northshore town of Bush. There, Monica and Neil hope to create a perfect location for winemaking in our state.

Then, we visit JD Farms in Poplarville, Mississippi, where Donald Van De Werken and Jeff Brown have been growing the biggest, sweetest, best blueberries in the region. Unsweetened blueberry juice is just one of a myriad of products they've created with their short but delicious annual crop.

Finally, we speak with Philip Jones, sixth generation chairman and CEO of Jones Dairy Farm in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. The ingredients that make up their signature breakfast sausage are the same today as they were when his forebearer Milo C. Jones founded the company in 1889. It may surprise you to learn that their products have been a favorite on Louisiana breakfast tables for almost a century.

For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.

Poppy is the host and executive producer of the weekly show, Louisiana Eats! Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table.