July 12, 2008
The Essert clan: Mark, Travis, Martina and Tina attended Field Day at Polyface Farm. We were much in need of an energy boost in our little farming enterprise and, not surprisingly, the visit to Polyface did it for us.
The day was hot and we wilted quickly, Martina especially, and thus did not get to take the full-farm walking tour and lecture with Joel Salatin. We did get to explore and hear Daniel’s rabbitry/hare-pen/racken talk and that was worth every penny. We checked out the mill which had Mark drooling with delight and desire. We visited the pastured poultry shelters which gave us a bit of perspective on size and mobility, light availability and watering options. We listened to a great lecture on marketing given by Joel and we ate. And. We. Ate. The meal offered was simple and heavy on the protein: barbequed chicken, beef and pork, served with peaches and cucumbers which were unencumbered by any sort of dressing, sugar or spice and all the more fabulous because of it. Dessert was spice cake? I think. Whatever it was, it was cake, brown and had a nice, caramel colored icing and I managed to fit most of it in even after the huge plate of beef, pork and chicken, cukes and peaches. Yum!
Once our bellies were stuffed with food we decided to wander once more through the farm and buildings. We did a quick walk through the pasture uphill from the farm house to see the Eggmobile and pet the sweet doggie who was guarding the hens. We looked at the electric net fence around the turkeys and then visited the processing shack, the farm store (where we purchased ham and sausage) and then headed for the van. Our feet were blistered, I was sunburned and the kids were puddles of melted, overfull sweetness. Every single one of my family members were game to stay if I wanted to and that was really very kind of them because this was *my* thing and I don’t get a lot of that. When I said that we should leave Mark immediately sighed with relief and took off his shoes revealing blisters and raw marks…and he was willing to go on the walking tour! My feet weren’t much better off honestly, but my soul has been much soothed and healed by the experience of Field Day.
Mark and I both learned some new things, were reminded of some really important stuff that we had shunted to the back of our brains and are newly motivated to do good things with our little family farm. The children also learned some interesting things–I’m always surprised by what they pick up. I only wish we could go as a family and intern for a few months! What an experience that would be.
Field Day at PolyFace Farm
July 12, 2008