We recently had the incredible opportunity to visit Joel Salatin's Polyface Farms - huge thanks to Kathy for finding this place and figuring out that we could all visit on a weekend tour. We are big fans of Joel and his family's ways of farming and also of their efforts to promote local food and change the way people treat animals. Joel's book "Folks, this ain't normal" is full of thought-provoking ideas on possible changes everybody could make (and it is an excellent audio book that Joel himself reads).
Gathered with Bob, Kathy, and Kathy's Dad before our tour of the farm:
We were all excited to be there:
"Support your local lunatic farmer"
We met some rabbits who were interested in any blades of grass we felt like poking in their cages:
The least friendly animal on the farm must be this "Guard Goose"
Getting ready for a hay ride into the hills:
The man himself - Joel is an excellent speaker and super friendly too.
John and I followed the hay ride on foot. Here is John wondering what I'm taking a picture of:
Everything was so very green:
Talking about the "pigness of pigs" at the half-acre where the pigs were currently rooting around (before being moved to stir up another part of the woods):
The field with the broiler chicken cages. Previously the cows had been through here, then the Egg-Mobile (the egg-laying hens), now the broilers in staggered pens.
Talking about cycling animals through the field and how it produces rich grass and healthy animals:
Demonstrating how the cages are manually moved each day for fresh grass:
We were the first group to tour his neighbor's land. Joel and his family are just starting management of it and are working to reduce erosion and improve the health of the grass.
The "Pigaerator" where the winter cow manure is combined with hay and corn and then turned into compost by the corn-happy pigs:
Heading back to the main house and barn:
Piglets are so cute!
Joel hung out and answered questions for as long as anyone wanted to stay and talk - we loved every minute of it.
Adoring fans :)
That was certainly a recent highlight for us!