What better way to start off the school year than with a family field trip to a farm? But not just any farm, Polyface Farms! My husband and I had first heard of Joel Salatin of Polyface farms through one of those "recommended videos" on YouTube. I remember watching through a video of him talking and being inspired! We remember noticing that he was from the Shedendoah Valley and thinking, "hmm that's not too far from us," but kind of just left it at that. Then when I saw a list of speakers at a homeschooling convention I was thinking about attending this year, I saw his name. Interesting. Maybe his family homeschooled. Maybe he's a Christian. Maybe I should check out what this farm is all about. So. I did. I went to hear him speak during one of the convention sessions and let me tell you, it was life changing. Our family wants to live more of a sustainable lifestyle, growing and raising our own food and having enough to share and sell for a living. But how in the world, in this economy, do you do that?
After hearing Joel Salatin speak we decided to go visit his farm for a day. They offer 2 hour tours several times a month led by Joel Salatin or his son, Daniel, hayride style! When we first arrived we were immediately drawn to the rabbits. Grass fed rabbits. Little lawn mowers. Brilliant. We are soooo getting some and placing them in between our garden rows!!! Then we checked out the hoop houses. Immediately, my five year old asked if he could go inside while they were picking tomatoes to sell in their store after the tour. He attached himself to one of the girls and learned all about how to pick the right tomatoes!
The tour consisted of visiting the broilers, egg layers, cows, pigs and turkeys. Each stop the kids were allowed to get down and run around and explore with the animals! The tree pictured above had a wild honey bee hive in it doing their honey bee thing!
Our family had a blast. My six year son even found an egg at one of the stops and Mr. Salatin let him take it home. And yes, we had it for breakfast the following morning! I enjoyed meeting another homeschooling mom on the hayride and greatly enjoyed the fellowship! I would highly recommend visiting the farm if you are ever in the Staunton, VA area! Just be warned, your perspective on life might be challenged!