*notcot in nature , 08:06

Polyface Farm- 06.02.08

polyface.jpgPolyface Farm ~ it was one of the few pit stops we’ve made here in Virginia while visiting family… and WOW. While i will openly admit, i know little about sustainable agriculture and farms - dan has been raving about this place and their philosophies and systems ever since he read “Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan (where the author actually lived on the farm for 2 weeks to fully understand their incredible process!)

“At Polyface, we want every animal to eat as much salad (green material) as its full genetic potential will allow”

Knowing i can’t do the full story justice, consider this post a launching board to poke those of you who are remotely interested to find out more… but here’s my quick version. First thing to grab me driving up was definitely the logo ~ such a cute entrance sign! With the fish in the chicken in the cow in the tree! Poly-face certainly makes a lot of sense with its multifaceted farming. Essentially the beauty of this farm is its earth/life centered approach, which thrives on a fantastic sense of balance achieved through understanding what these animals and plants need to thrive year round ~ instead of optimizing for speed or fattening things up, they’ve managed to create a sustainable farm in harmony. Most of their species are in a rotation - to keep the cows from overgrazing and consuming their own waste, to give the chickens a chance to pick through and find all the best grubs as well as feed, to turn pigs into “Pigaerators” (tasty corn ferments encourage them to aerate all fertilizer for the farm naturally), water that is collected in their various ponds and wells from winter runoff keep them self-reliant, and so much more i can’t even begin to explain. And from a design perspective, i was fascinated reading about the ways they utilize mobile electric fences and Eggmobiles to facilitate this whole process!

Bottom line? The eggs, sausage, and bacon i tasted were truly incredibly tasty and worth the drive (if you go out there, def get the apple juice too, we thought the jug was HUGE, but it disappeared in about a day - who knew even the toddlers would love it so much?)… the family running the farm was intelligent, kind, and passionate about every aspect of their process, and eager to share their wisdom. If you make it to these parts, you definitely want to roadtrip over and try some of the goods - since they are only available there, and in select restaurants nearby! So, continue your journey, read more about Polyface Farm here!

p.s.
i was out wandering far out in the fields visiting some chickens and their adorable, huge guard dog ~ and got caught in a thunderstorm, which left me completely drenched in a little green sundress ~ so not as many pictures as i would have liked to show you on the next page - but i was a bit preoccupied with the wetness and protecting the camera! Still - some fun ones! (and big thanks to Robert Frysinger for contributing some of his pics as well.)


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Next on the fascinating food related reading list? Dan has been happily devouring “The Jungle Effect” by Daphne Miller - claiming its the perfect book to read following Omnivores Dilemma
Book Cover

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4 Notes

I’m just reading the Omnivore’s dilemna and i had to look up Polyface to see if it really exsisted…we live on a farm in southwestern ontario and i raised chickens and rabbits and sold veggies at the road and we had pigs that we sold to the italians (60 sows and they had a happy life in the pasture…) Its appauling today what they have done with our food and the poor young people today will never know the difference …only the lucky ones that were raised on a farm like polyface….We are finally debt free this year and all our farms are paid for…and i will always have my own garden and buy my meat from my neighbours…Its funny how people’s perception of food is so complacent…something like all us canadian…we need the fire like the americans have…..keep up the good work and i will spread the word down here…thanks

----- mariette 24.03.09 05:52

I plan on visiting polyface farms too. I just read the book “Everything I want to do is Illegal” by Joe Salatin and it is awesome! I work in the agriculture industry in Virginia and it is truly amazing the points brought on by the books author. Kudos for someone finally telling the truth about farming!

----- shanee 02.06.08 10:49

Thanks for posting about this. We’ve just moved from Atlanta to Richmond and have been looking for places like Polyface. They have a great story. Can’t wait to try their food!

----- Bruce 02.06.08 09:00

My brother used to raise chickens that ran free in his yard. Every once and awhile I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of the surplus eggs. I have never come close to getting that taste in an egg from a supermarket. The yolks were an incredible shade of golden yellow, and the taste was just indescribable. Must of been all the insects they consumed, and the fact that they were free and happy? He got rid of his chickens (new wife didn’t see the value) and I haven’t had a good egg since.

----- toontz 02.06.08 08:42

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