Last September, we packed our bags and headed east to the verdant hills of the Shenandoah Valley to visit Polyface Farms in Swoope, Virginia for the Farm-to-consumer Legal Defense Fund‘s annual fundraiser. Visiting Polyface, the home of the iconic farmer and advocate for sustainable, localized food production Joel Salatin, had been a long-held dream of mine and of my husband as his books Folks, This Ain’t Normal and Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal sit on my bookshelf, dogeared and thumbed over from countless readings while his style of pasture-based farming has influenced an entire generation of young ranchers who now bring healthy, nutrient-dense real food to our farmers market, and my family’s kitchen table.
While at last year’s event to benefit the Farm-to-consumer Legal Defense Fund, a not-for-profit dedicated to championing the rights of farmers while also offering legal assistance, my family settled into the stunning Stonewall Jackson hotel, and made our way down to Polyface the next morning where we took a hayride tour of the iconic farm, before settling in for a shared lunch of real Virginia barbecue, and a selection of seasonal salads and other local foods while we listened to Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Traditions, and President of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
It was an intimate moment, deeply moving, and profoundly inspirational to come together not only in joy and celebration, but also to support the work of the fund which not only protects consumer access to the foods of our choice like fresh raw milk, but also assists small farmers in the wake of crises.
The Work of the Farm-to-consumer Legal Defense Fund
The Farm-to-consumer Legal Defense Fund is, perhaps, one of the most important advocacy groups working in the real food movement right now. They work tirelessly to protect the relationships between small farmers and the consumers that support them, fighting against farm raids and unreasonable legislation that might otherwise hinder farm or consumer rights.
When a health department representative poured bleach over a Nevada farmers farm-to-table dinner, the farmer called the fund. When a farmer faces $700,000 in fines for having the gall to raise heritage breed pigs outside, he calls the fund. When a buying co-op is raided by armed government officials, they call the fund. Their work continues. The fund is always there, and the need is growing.
An Invitation to Polyface
This year, September 7 and 8th, you’re invited to Virginia for the Farm-to-consumer Legal Defense Fund‘s biggest event of the year: an entire weekend of farm tours, workshops, and real food. As a long-time member and advocate for the fund, I’m donating my time to conduct two live workshops for the event, but not only will
Saturday, September 7
A Celebration at Polyface:
- Start off with breakfast and a hayride with Joel at Polyface Farms followed by a Farmstead Lunch, Wine Tasting, Children’s Activities and remarks by Sally Fallon Morell and more. Check it out here.
- Settle in for a screening of American Meat and a panel discussion with its film makers, followed by a pastured pork cookoff by some of your favorite paleo chefs. Check it out here.
Sunday, September 8
P3 – Paleo, Polyface, Porkfest:
- Start off the morning with a farm-fresh breakfast buffet, followed by morning lectures with best-selling author Robb Wolf of the Paleo Solution.
- Enjoy a spectacular farm-fresh lunch and keynote talk with Joel Salatin.
- Join me for 2 workshops as I teach you all about fermented foods and nose-to-tail eating! Check it out here.
How to Attend
Ready to support the fund and enjoy a spectacular weekend of farm tours, film screenings, workshops and farm-fresh real food? You can check out the details of individual events here and register online. You can choose to participate in individual events for as little as $17, or celebrate with the full weekend for $395! Check it out here.
How to Help if You Can’t Attend
If you cannot attend, please know that you can still support the good work of the Farm-to-consumer Legal Defense Fund by making a donation. Funds are urgently needed to support the growing legal expenses of farmers, like those mentioned above, who are under fire.
You can make a donation here.
Win Registration and Hotel for Two
Filmmaker Kristin Canty of Farmageddon is generously giving away a weekend for two for the event to support the Farm-to-consumer Legal Defense Fund. You can win full registration to the event, plus two nights’ lodging at the Stonewall Jackson, the hosting hotel. The package is valued at $1,174. Click here to enter.