Howdy from Scranton, PA! It was a long and awesome day! We woke up early this morning, since the hotel alarm thought we needed to have a dance party at 6:30am. I definitely wasn't ready to wake up since Corbin kept attacking my neck last night (RANDOM!? I don't know what his deal was) but all good, because we were able to get the car loaded and down to breakfast as soon as the dining room opened. We had an awesome waiter and while I thought that the people in the swanky hotel would be anti-kids, they were all actually very kind and even happy to talk to the kids. I sense another trip to Staunton, Virginia in our future, truly! Maybe we will find a place to stay there for a month or so if daddy deploys.
We left the hotel in very overcast weather. We all said a quick prayer that the weather would be clear enough for us to explore the farm and take a million and two pictures. Even though it poured on the way there, by the time we pulled up it was only sprinkling.
The drive out was spectacular, the Shenandoah Valley is as stunning as the mountains surrounding it! The farm is nestled in these rolling green patchwork hills. The kids were completely stoked when we pulled up.
I have read a few of Joel Salatin's books and we've listened to/watched lots of his speaking engagements. I had a vision in my head of what Polyface would look like and this was not it. It was even better! Pulling up and walking around while busy people waved and smiled was like coming home. The first thing to greet us as we followed the "Parking" signs was the smell of a smoke house (intoxicating) and a couple cages full of bunnies.
|A very large chicken and rabbit party. I believe these are just some of the egg laying chickens and all the meat chickens are up in the pasture in the rolling coops|
|The colors are so stunning against the stormy backdrop|
|Violet was so at-home|
|babies in the brooder|
|check out the clouds rolling in!|
|This was in the country store. That chicken puzzle next to Violet is all jig-sawed from wood. Someone has some serious skills!|
|The store was so spacious and cute and well-organized. We picked up Joel's new DVD- Pigs n Glens and a coloring book as well as some yummies. they have a shirt I want, but not in my size, so I'm going to have to stalk the website|
|Pasture-raised beef, pork, chicken, eggs OH MY!|
|Note the good little piggies inside the coop on the right? Note the naughty little pig on the left that my children chased all over that barn. "Why is that pig not wif hims mommy!? I will put him wif hims mommy!"|
GraceAnne has been on the "I want to be a farmer in these mountains!" kick since Day 2, when we started driving into some mountain terrain. Today she said, "Is farming hard work?" and we talked about how much hard work it takes to raise animals and plants and make your living off the land. Then she said, "Do farmers ever get a break?" I reminded her that when we had our hens it was hard to leave town, because even when we're tired or it's cold, the animals still needed us. But we also remembered fun things about our hens. A little further into the walk, we found these farmers' break behind the chicken shed:
|A little b-ball between chores is nice|
|The girls are halfway to New York by now...haha|
|That busy, fidgety, independent spirited little boy found out WHY momma told him to stay away from the fences today...|
|When we came back down the hill the kids "needed" to see the bunnies again|
|Our car, loaded down on the farm. Rolling hills, dark skies, simply breathtaking!|
And then, reluctantly, because the skies were growing darker and the time was slipping away and we needed to get to Scranton, we loaded up and drove away. I have dreamed a long time of visiting this place and I hope I get to come back one day. It would be so wonderful to do an internship here. Allan and I have even discussed him doing one when he was unemployed so that we could learn how to do all these things and replicate them. Like I said in the Day 3 post, our lives look different than we imagined them right now, as we are basically transient for however long he keeps this job, but we know that the earth calls us to itself too strongly to let this go on forever. Maybe in a few years our "vacation time" will be a basketball hoop behind the chicken house and a pool in the yard (sorry, didn't get a picture...) but until them I'm grateful for places like Polyface that provide us with the awesome food, knowledge and hospitality.
Tonight we are in another amazing hotel (WHY did I not ever know about the government rates before!?) in Scranton, PA and we ate pastured chicken, heirloom tomatoes, sprouted whole wheat pasta and other local, fresh food for dinner off the hotel menu. The taste difference truly is remarkable (and the fact that none of our bellies hurt for the first time all week is pretty remarkable, too!) and without places like Polyface Farm, we couldn't have such authentic food experiences. So-take the time to find your local farmers and encourage them by supporting their business and getting to know them. Sometimes the food they have is a little more expensive than what you would pick up from your local big-box store, but I guarantee you it is far tastier and if that's not enough motivation, it probably won't give you cancer. This daughter of a celiac figures that is more than reason enough!
|Thanks for stopping by today!|