Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Polyface Farms

Saturday we headed out to our first adventure with the homeschool group. We followed the GPS ten minutes from our house down back roads until we reached Polyface Farms.

Did you hear (read) me? We went to Polyface Farms!

Do you know that I do not know anybody in Staunton that has been to Polyface? Well, OK, I now know about twenty homeschool families. But other than them?

This boggles my mind. Polyface is one of the coolest, low-key, good-ole-country-boy kinds of farms. The Salatins are the owners. Did that help? Does the name "Joel Salatin" ring any bells?

The first time I had ever heard of Joel Salatin, we were at the State Fair. I passed by the Dairy Booth and asked the giggling college-aged volunteers if they knew of any sources for raw milk. "Raw milk?" they asked, eyes open wide and noses scrunched (which is surprisingly hard to do simultaneously -- you tried, didn't you??). "Ewww!"

Ah, yes. Cows can be surprisingly "ewww"-y.

Anyway, I politely thanked them for their unhelpful ignorance and headed out the door. A lady with a long broomstick skirt, braided hair, and Birkenstocks handed me a pamphlet about petitioning Virginia's lawmakers to change the laws concerning the sale of raw milk. Quoted all throughout the brochure was a "Joel Salatin." I liked him instantly. Aha! Someone who knew where to find a cow!

And Saturday, we found him. He very ably led our group of straggling homeschooling families all throughout his fields and then treated us to hamburgers made from Polyface pork and beef.

We loaded our plates with the other potluck provisions (and our contributions of seafoam salad and Andrea's chocolate cherry cake), watched the boys fight each other with sticks found on the massive wood pile, and welcomed children to our pile as they shyly asked about the babies ("two of them?" "You have TWO sets of two of them??").

It was yummy, the day was cool and delightful, and the farm was perfect. I've already made plans to take visitors there ... they have "an open door policy.  Anyone may come anytime Monday through Saturday to see anything anywhere" (from their website).

And the first visitor we plan to take is Ethan's mom. He just picked her up from the airport, which gives me two hours before they get here.

Ahem. I'd best get back to work. We sure are ready to have her, but the house isn't! (Will it work if I park the vacuum in the middle of the kitchen floor, take a nap on the couch, and pop up to say, "I was just in the middle of cleaning!" when they arrive?)

Gideon and Salem meeting a friend

Joel Salatin describing how different animals graze

Gideon waiting for some munchies

Jon-Jon and the chickens

"Here, chicky-chicky!"

Some of them on the hayride

(There is a video embedded in this post. Email subscribers may have to click over.)


  1. Joel Salatin is Ben's hero. He saw him in the movie, "Food, Inc." killing chickens and speaking intelligently about micro organisms at the same time and has held him above most other humans ever since...I think he's up there with C.S. Lewis already! That's how much he likes him.

  2. This is great, Rachel!!! Such an intelligent balance of what God gave us.

  3. I confess - I tried to open my eyes wide and scrunch my nose at the same time (not the smartest move, since I'm in the middle of a class...)

    That sounds like a wonderful place! Hope you take me some day (hint hint ;) )

  4. I thought of you last week when I made cherry chocolate cake. I think it's a sign. We are meant to get together, eat cherry chocolate cake and have a cup of tea.

    And the farm sounds way cool. My kids would love it.

  5. This article was written by a real thinking writer without a doubt. I agree many of the with the solid points made by the writer. I’ll be back day in and day for further new updates. Empire zoysia


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