Thoughts on Polyface Field Day
I attended Polyface Farm's field day in Swoope, VA on Saturday. Polyface's importance, techniques and methods are widely covered, much more thoroughly than I could do justice. These are just my off the cuff remarks:
I'd say about 90% of the attendees were farmers.
The name tags listed where people were from, and the draw was insanely wide. We saw people from Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, all over the US, and (unconfirmed) from Chile/Argentina.
It was quite the diverse group- everything from a lot of Mennonites to stereotypical farmers, to counterculture types to foodies to some some ex-specops types.
There were lots of healthy, well-behaved children.
I didn't talk to a ton of people, but no one, not even the WAPF booth, had heard of primal or paleo. I was pretty surprised at that.
One of the things I really liked about Joel Salatin was his honesty, especially when it comes to the compromises he makes in order to make his system profitable for the small farmers he wants to adopt his techniques. He freely admits he gives his free-range birds feed to supplement the pasture as it allows him to profitably sell his eggs for $4/doz instead of $15/doz which would also kill off most of his market. He'd rather sell a 90% pure product to create a market and allow people to sell/buy reasonably than sell a 100% pure product to a tiny niche. I know there are absolutists here that are appalled by that, but I believe his approach will yield better total results.
His focus seems to be on first profits, then the land, then nutrition of the food, though I'm sure he would say they are inseparable.
His thoughts on carbon were interesting- I had expected him to be a GW skeptic, but he talked about proper farming techniques sequestering carbon in the ground.
He said it takes a *century* to undo the damage of tilling once.
He's working with students and professors at pretty much every university within 100 miles on various projects- so far the data is very good.
One of the studies was amount of bacteria on a chicken. The store bought, chlorine-bathed chicken had *25X* as much bacteria.
The reason they don't raise goats is that goat's forage takes 8x longer to grow back than cows.
Tests show their land and water have 0 contamination from run-off.
I had a blast, and plan on going back next year.
I would love to go see his setup.
Just a n00b
It's worth the trip.
Originally Posted by NomadRip
Originally Posted by dragonmamma
Thanks for the review of your visit. Definitely something I need to plan in the future.