BOISE — A video made by the crew of an organic farm in Boise quickly went viral, chalking up more than half a million views in two weeks.
The video, titled “Freaks of the Garden,” was posted May 26 and had 660,000 hits as of June 16.
The video was created by the employees of Peaceful Belly Farm, a 60-acre organic operation located in the Dry Creek Valley area of the Boise foothills that grows vegetables, herbs, flowers, berries and chickens.
“We’ve gotten a pretty good response from it. It’s been crazy,” said farm owner Josie Erskine. “I’m getting calls and comments from around the world.”
Jake Putnam, broadcast services manager for Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, said his organization posts videos on its website and is happy to get 5,000 views in a month.
“That’s a lot of views,” he said of the Peaceful Belly video. “I would call that super-viral. There’s no other word for it than phenomenal.”
The video was posted to advertise the farm’s May 31 plant sale in Hailey, Idaho.
“It was fabulous for our plant sale,” Erskine said. “It really did its job of letting people know who and where we are.”
The video is a parody of a 1998 rap song, “No Diggity,” and can be viewed by searching for the key words, “Freaks of the Garden Hailey.”
While a theme of the video is that the farm’s plants are grown without pesticides or genetic modification, Erskine said it is not meant to be an anti-GMO video.
“We’re organic, so we can’t use GMOs,” she said. “The people that are purchasing from me, that’s what they’re looking for. It was all about sales.”
Guy Hand, an Idaho-based food writer who produced the video, said it took about four hours total to shoot it. He believes the reason for its popularity is that it’s creative, humorous and entertaining.
“People are starved for something that is humorous and kind of tongue-in-cheek,” he said. “I think that’s what stuck.”
Erskine, who spent $600 on the video, said she has heard from a lot of farmers who saw it and realized that’s one way they can reach a large audience without spending a lot of money.
“Wouldn’t it be great if more farms and farmers started to make fun videos about who they are, even if they don’t sell local,” she said.
Putnam said more farmers and ranchers are realizing that social media is a direct and inexpensive way to tell their story.
“You have no gatekeepers saying viewers wouldn’t find that interesting,” he said. “They’re going straight to the people and people are judging. They’re … finding that people are very interested in their food.”