4 July 2010 (Independence Day!)
If/When Adam and I go MIA you might try looking for us here in Asheville, NC. This is one of the places we considered when we started talking about moving to a different part of the country, and now that we have arrived we are wondering if we shouldn’t have just packed up our boots and come on down to stay for awhile.
Before I get lost in the merits of living in the Appalachian foothills, there is still a lot to catch up on from yesterday. I left of with our departure from Shenandoah, which was followed by a beautiful drive through Virginia countryside, where the dry, rolling hills reminded me a bit of Northern California and the farms, now plentiful, of a era that has mostly passed. Crumbling wooden barns, unpaved roads and young men driving International sowing or harvesting equipment guided our path towards Polyface.
If you have read The Omnivore’s Dilemma or have watched Food, Inc., then you are already familiar with the Salatin family’s self-sustaining farm, now considered a leader in the effort to return to pre-industrialized agricultural practices. Please find more information about Polyface here.
The farm was mostly quiet when we arrived, as the store had closed for the afternoon and most of the family was away working with friends on another property. Mrs. Salatin, Joel’s mother, greeted us from her doorway, pointing out a few things we should check out during our visit:
We took in our fill of the animals, the mobile feeding units and the developing kitchen garden along side the farmhouse. Speaking briefly with a few of the interns and the farm’s gardener I learned they had recently planted corn, beans and squash using a traditional Native American method sometimes referred to as The Three Sisters. This style of companion planting has been added to our growing list of future garden projects, alongside the herb hammocks from D.C. By the time we reach California we are going to have our hands full!
From Polyface, we buckled down for a long drive to Pittsboro, NC, hoping to reach Becca by dinnertime. Beautiful afternoon to evening sunshine accompanied us on the drive and we stopped several times to visit farm stands along the way. Peaches dripping juice and sweet melons made their way into my crowded passenger seat and before long we were crunching down a gravel drive towards a funky old farm house where Becca lives with other interns from the BioFarm. We set up our tent in their quickly growing dewy lawn and enjoyed a home made Indian meal with the girls, learning about the work they have been doing for the last few months as interns.
In the morning we would get to see for ourselves the brilliant set up they have over on Lorax Lane…