Now that spring is here, I've got two things on my mind: gardening and eating the efforts of my gardening. We talk alot at PEC about eating local and these are two people who get the local food hero award in my book.
I first heard of Joel Satalin while watching the documentary Food, Inc. I then saw him again this spring while watching another documentary Fresh and decided that he went to the head of the class (as my dad would say) for local food and farming. Joel has a 550-acre farm in Virginia where he practices alternative agriculture, such as rotating cows from one pasture to another instead of feeding them corn. He then follows behind with chickens in portable coops that dig through the remaining cow dung to get to the coveted fly-larvae, all the while leaving their droppings as fertilizer in the field (can you see the natural, cyclical process in that?). Read more about sustainable farming practices as his farm's website: Polyface Farms.
|Joel Satalin holding one of his free range chickens. via|
|Diane Endicot, via|
After moving back to her family farm and aiming to have it be self sustaining, she and her husband eventually encountered the hurdles that exist in selling small-farm goods to large grocers. After some trial and error, Diane soon that an alliance model would work best and they now have more than 100 family farms in Kansas and Missouri that sell their products to local grocers. The products with the Good Natured Family Farms label include beef, chickens, eggs, milk, sausage, ham, bacon, Heritage turkeys, eggnog, bison, Farmhouse cheese, and honey. The best part? Not only do those buying these products get to enjoy the delicious flavors of the locally-produced goods but they can also be encouraged by the fact that their dollars are directly benefiting local farms and helping to keep that heritage alive. I'd say that's something worth shaking a stick, or maybe a turkey leg, at. Read more about Diane's story here.