At a time when people are embracing the idea of vegan and “going raw” en masse, Polyface Farm can’t provide enough naturally-raised beef, pork, poultry and rabbits. What sets them apart from other farmers of livestock? In their own words:
“We are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture.”
All of their meats are pasture-based, organic and locally grown. This is very important with so much press about farms using growth hormones, antibiotics, and animals often living in inhumane conditions.
While Polyface makes no apologies for raising animals for consumption, they do so in a humane and healthful manner. To back their claims, they offer what they call, complete transparency. Animals roam freely, feeding off what they would forage naturally. Cows eat a new pasture paddock daily, while chickens feed on local grain. Given that the animals are all grain-fed, their manure can be used as fertilizer and nothing goes to waste.
If you have ever seen a video of how eggs are extracted from hens, it will please you to no end when you see for yourself how hens are happy to go in the eggmobile, eat all the bugs and scratch through cattle droppings as chickens do naturally. Hens allowed to “do their thing” naturally are not stressed and their eggs are healthier and taste better for you the consumer.
The family behind this rather unconventional (by today’s standards) form of farming are the Salatins. In 1961 they moved to the Shenandoah Valley and bought a worn-out and abused farm. Rather than build 1×1 chicken coups, and lay rows and rows of compartments too small for a cow or pig to even turn around, they instead made compost piles, dug ponds and began what is now referred to as “environmentally friendly” farming. While it is a fairly radical concept today, it is how people farmed all over the world prior to industrialization.
Come see for yourself, take a tour, and savor what beef is supposed to taste like without the artificial ingredients we’ve all grown accustomed to ingesting. This Virginia tourist attraction is sure to make a good impression on you.
You can drop by unannounced for a mini-tour but, to book one of the owners for a more extensive tour of this family-run business, call ahead or book your tickets on-line.
Below is their contact information and hours of operation:
Joel & Teresa Salatin, 43 Pure Meadows Lane, Swoope, VA 24479 540-885-3590
Daniel & Sheri Salatin 115 Pure Meadows Lane, Swoope, VA 24479 540-887-8194
Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern Time