Polyface Farm

Address: 43 Pure Meadows Lane
Swoope, VA  24479
Hours:

Click to view hours

Phone: (540) 885-3590
Website: polyfacefarms.com
Categories: Farm

• Located west of Staunton, Virginia, this farm is considered a standard-bearer in sustainable agriculture.

• It has been run by the Salatin family, headed by Joel Salatin, for several decades.

• Foodwaze has visited the farm a few times to learn first-hand about their practices, and we have spoken directy with Joel Salatin.

• Using rotational methods of pastures management, they raise 100% grass-fed beef, pastured pork, pastured meat and egg chickens, and rabbits. 

• Pastured pork and chickens are supplemented with non-GMO grains.

• The farm has an open-door policy and encourages visitors to attend their regularly scheduled tours. They also operate a farm store on the property. 

• Please read more about them under our Details tab, and click on the Places tab to connect to their farm store.

 

 

Polyface is located about eight miles west of Staunton, Virginia. It is considered by many experts to be a trailblazer nationwide for its commitment to a sustainable, polyculture farming system. Foodwaze has visited the farm and spoken directly with owner Joel Salatin, who is not just a farmer, but an author and an outspoken critic of industrial farming.

Polyface uses a grass-based system that strives to replicate natural habitat patterns, where pastured animals are rotated regularly to new “salad bars” throughout the more than 500 acre property. This ensures happy and healthy livestock, nutritional superiority of the food supply, and consistent regeneration of the farm landscape. It is a design that validates the viability of a modern farming blueprint that is free of pesticides, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and all the other maladies found in factory farming.

Under management of the Salatin family, Polyface produces a variety of products, starting with 100% grass-fed and finished beef. Cows are the cornerstone of the polyculture system. They are herbivores and need to be fed only forage to maximize their health as well as the nutritional value of their meat. The cows are rotated to new fields just about every day. 

Once the cows “mow” a section of fields, egg laying hens and meat chickens are brought in to cleanse the soil by eating their natural diet of grass and bugs, and helping the manure decompose and fertilize the soil for fresh new grass to grow. The farm hatches its own layer birds to ensure quality, rather than buying chicks from off the farm.

These types of symbiotic systems are found throughout the property. Another example is the use of pigs to help in the aeration and formation of compost through the winter months. In the summer and fall, the pigs are turned loose in savannah pastures and woods, and are rotated regularly. The farm raises a wide variety of pigs, including several heritage breeds, but that is not a prerequisite for them. They buy in from off the farm and seek out 1950s phenotypes to ensure genetic quality. Polyface also raises forage-based rabbits, as well as pastured turkeys in the summer. 

Great care is paid to all aspects of the operation, such as the use of local, non-GMO supplement for the pigs and poultry. They also practice sustainable harvesting of lumber from the vasts forests throughout the scenic property. The farm is a veritable “open-door” and encourages visitors. Tours are held regularly and are absolutely worth the time if you are interested in learning more about the production of a healthy food system.