12 December 2009

Polyface Farm

I went to Polyface farm while I was in Virginia. You may have heard of Joel Salatin in one of Michael Pollan's books, or the movie Food, Inc. He is a prolific writer, so I won't even try to paraphrase his ideas. There are many other sources of information (like his books) about his methods, I just want to show you my pictures.
Look it's a raken house (for rabbits and chickens).

And who is that in the back of the house?

These pigs reinforce my suspicion that I would really struggle with raising meat animals. OK, raising them would not be the hard part, it's the slaughtering I worry about.

I'm embarrased to say it, but aren't these guys cute? And I understand they are smart too. . . Hmm, I guess I will stay a vegetarian a bit longer. But bacon sure smells good and these pigs look pretty happy. The dilemma of us omnivores. .  .

I spy Salad Bar Beef. These cattle get a fresh salad bar of greens as they are moved to new areas of pasture each day.

You can see here the line between the pasture they have grazed and the pasture they will graze the next day.

One effect of being moved so often is they get more accustomed to interaction with humans than most cattle.

These are chicken houses on the left and mobile chicken houses on the right. The chickens follow the cattle around the pasture in the mobile roosts to help process the waste left by the cattle. Even if you don't have any intention of raising livestock, Mr. Salatin's books are very interesting and will certainly explain all this better than I can.
Note to all the Texans- You do not have a monopoly on big blue skys, as evidenced above.

These chickens are out enjoying some early December sunshine.

Not to ruin the image, but this is where the chickens get slaughtered. This really is interesting for many reasons, but you should read the book, or at least watch the movie.
Don't worry, I'll leave you on a scenic note.

Mr Salatin and Family,
Thanks for letting a group of strangers wander all around your farm, peek in your barns, take pictures and ask questions.
-Veggie Virginia

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