Polyface Farms, run by the legendary farmers Joel Salatin, sits nestled against a deep green backdrop of rolling Virginia Hills, just outside of the quiet, charming town of Staunton, Virginia. It’s here that the work of the very vocal farmer, and that of his family, has led to a rumbling of revolution, and hope for sustainable agriculture and small farms.
I visit Polyface each year, in September, in support of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting the rights of small farms from government overreach. You might recognize their work on addressing farm raids, protecting access to raw milk, and protecting the right of farmers to raise animals on pasture instead of being forced to confine them.
Polyface is an Inspiration
Polyface is an inspiration to many young, and new farmers who are seeking to not only provide an economically viable living for themselves and their families, and to feed their communities, but also to act as stewards of the land. When I toured Polyface, what became clear to me was the emphasis placed on allowing animals to express their fundamental nature (root for pigs, pecking for hens, grazing for steers) is critical to the well-being not only of the animals themselves, but of the soil as well.
It’s an extraordinary and inspiring place.
Each September, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund holds a spectacular celebration of real food and sustainable farming at Polyface. This year, it begins on Friday, September 5th with Food Freedom Fest, and I’ll be speaking about food activism and community-based solutions to improve accessibility to food for everyone. There’s also talks by Joel Salatin, and others, who will address issues surrounding national activism and food sustainability.
And in the evening, there will be a street food fare until dark, celebrating local, artisanal and sustainable cooking.
The next day will start with breakfast, and a visit to Polyface Farm, a farm tour, followed by lunch. And it’s incredible, and inspiring.
Learn more about the event here.
I’d love to meet up …
I’ll be attending and speaking at the event, and one lucky reader will not only win access to the full event (plus food, lodging and travel expenses up to $500), but also a chance to have a private dinner with me and with my friend Sarah Pope of the Healthy Home Economist.
You can purchase tickets (they’re just $10 each or 20 for $100) online here to the raffle, and your purchase also helps to support the good work of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and their continued work to support small farms. The raffle ends on Monday, so make sure to get your tickets now.