Art’s Farm Stories

From the liner notes of the dvd that I created as a present for my dad on his 71st birthday.

During the early 2000s, my husband Scott and I visited the Puotinen family farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and recorded dozens of hours of video. A small portion of this video was used in two 25 minute documentaries about the farm and the Puotinen women. Even as we were editing the footage down, I had plans for a third film, one that would give voice to the stories and experiences of the Puotinen men, most notably my dad, Arthur Puotinen.

Now, over ten years later, and after losing the farm (sold in 2004) and my mom (died from pancreatic cancer in 2009), I have finally been able to return to the footage.

It’s powerful to revisit the footage so many years later. And it’s wonderful to remember the stories that I grew up on but haven’t heard since the farm was sold. I’ve included some (but not all) of my favorites.

And from a blog post about the project:

The process of crafting/documenting some of my Dad’s classic stories has been amazing. After my parents sold the farm and my mom died, I lost (some of) my interest in these stories and the connections to my Puotinen heritage that they helped to reinforce. But revisiting this footage and remembering the farm and its inhabitants (and my mom as healthy and happy…for the longest time I could only remember her as sick) has reminded me that those connections are important, especially the connections that link me to the rich tradition of storytelling that exists within my family.