Join us at
September 29 & 30
Before you get in the kitchen…
you need to head out to the FARM!
America’s Farmer, Joel Salatin, opens this amazing 2-day event with what will prove to be inspiring and motivational. Joel and his team will share their knowledge and resources to help us realize a world we can build for ourselves through gardening, cooking from scratch, building compost piles, and taking a personal interest in our health. It is our hope that this experience will ignite a spark in all who attend.
About Polyface Farm
Polyface Farms is nestled in the quiet countryside in Swoope, Virginia. Joel Salatin along with his family and a team of dedicated farmers, spend their days developing environmentally, economically, and emotionally enhancing agricultural prototypes that can be duplicated throughout the world. The philosophy of this working farm is cyclical regeneration which focuses on the symbiotic relationships between humans, plants, animals, and nature.
The farm represents America’s premier non-industrial food production oasis. Producing salad bar beef, pigaerator pork, pastured poultry and eggs, forage-based rabbits, and forestry products is what this farm is all about. “We’re really in the earthworm enhancement business. Stimulating soil biota is our first priority. Soil health creates healthy food,” states Joel.
Polyface direct markets everything it produces to a customer base that numbers 2,000 families, 25 restaurants, and 10 retail outlets.
Joel and his team share their knowledge with visitors from all walks of life. Now they are sharing it with us in this 2-day on-of-a-kind event.
Join us for 2 days of 5 Intensive Workshops
- Soil Health & Composting
- Raising Salad Bar Beef
- Raising Pastured Poultry
- Urban Balcony Farming
Exhibiotrs & More!
- A 2-hour Lunatic Farm Tour where lunatic farmers sound forth on everything from earthworms to earth muffins
- Four Polyface farm-raised, freshly picked, hand-crafted healthy meals
Friday, September 29
|Registration, 7-8 a.m.|
|Breakfast, 8-9 a.m.|
|Freedom through Participation – Joel Salatin, 9-10:30 a.m.|
|Break, 10:30-11 a.m.|
|Soil Health – Composting and Carbon Cycling, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.|
|Lunch, 12:30-2 p.m.|
|Lunatic Farm Tour, 2-4 p.m.|
Saturday, September 30
|Breakfast, 8-9 a.m.|
|Hobby Farm Beekeeping, 9-10:30 a.m.|
|Break, 10:30-11 a.m.|
|Salad Bar Beef – Perennial Prairie, Infrastructure, Principles, Etc., 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.|
|Lunch, 12:30-1:30 p.m.|
|Pasteurized Poultry – Everything from how to to ingredients, 1:30-3 p.m.|
|Break, 3-3:30 p.m.|
|Urban/Balcony Farming, 3:30-5 p.m.|
Workshops & More
This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see and learn firsthand.
Joel and his team have an amazing lineup of workshops to share with us!
Freedom through Participation -with Joel Salatin
America’s Farmer, Joel Salatin, opens this amazing 2-day event with inspiration and motivation. Joel will share his knowledge and passion for farming with the hopes that it will ignite a spark inside you. For decades now Americans have been told to quit participating in their own diet, health, food, and kitchens all to give us more freedom. Where has all that freedom gotten us? Those of us who gardened, cooked from scratch, built compost piles, and took a personal interest in our health are now the ones enjoying true freedom. It’s time to start taking a look at how we can get back in the kitchen by first going back to the farm.
Soil Health – Composting and Carbon Cycling
Worms glorious worms! Who would have thought that the earthworm could rein such a high and mighty place in the food chain? From rocks and gullies to verdant fields, the fertility transformation at Polyface is legendary. In this workshop, Joel takes you through basic and practical methods to maintain fertile and abundant soil. With topics like composting and carbon cycling you will learn what it’s all about. The Polyface recipe revolves around organic matter, composting, and as little soil disturbance as possible. Yes, it’s all about the worms and dirt!
Lunatic Farm Tour
Friday 2-4 p.m.
As we dig deep into the inner workings of a truly amazing farm with a healthy sustainable philosophy, we are excited to see things as they live and breathe on this farm. The Polyface team will lead us through fields and forests on a genuine hay wagon tour. This meandering driving tour stops at all the different pastured animals, where the Polyface lunatic farmers sound forth on everything from earthworms to earth muffins. More fun than a theme park roller coaster ride, this tour has something for everyone. You’ll never be the same. Epiphanies are normal.
Did you know that a single hive of honeybees can produce up to 90 pounds of honey in a single year? That’s a lot of bee spit! Pollinators generally and honey bees specifically are struggling in the U.S. due to chemicals and mono-cropping. Honey is nature’s original and ultimate sweetener, used long before cane sugar. Undoubtedly the most amazing livestock to farm, bees are perfect as a hobby or income-producing side hustle. In this workshop, you’ll be introduced to hive social structure and construction.
Salad Bar Beef – Perennial Prairie, Infrastructure, Principles, and More
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m
Joel coined the term “Salad Bar Beef” several decades ago to differentiate Polyface beef from conventional grain-fed feedlot beef. The term salad bar indicates freshness, variety, color, and no bread (grains). A more recent riff on the theme is mob stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization; you’ll understand all of this at the end of the workshop. Join us for what will prove to be one of the most fascinating educational adventures you will ever embark upon!
Raising Pastured Poultry – Everything From “how To” to Ingredients
What better way to raise chickens than as they were built for, scratching in the dirt foraging for worms, bugs, and seeds? The centerpiece and most famous aspect of Polyface Farm is its various pastured domestic fowl: broilers, egg layers, turkeys, and ducks. This workshop will touch on all of these, but concentrate mostly on the meat chickens (broilers) as both a hobby and business. From commercial to backyard scale, this model creates nutrition and soil fertility.
Don’t have open fields to farm? No problem, in this workshop you will learn that limited space doesn’t mean that you can’t produce loads of fresh produce for your table. What can you do with either limited or no land? The cumulative benefit of more people growing things—anything—is hard to quantify in a nation where food security and quality are in question. You’ll learn what you can grow in a pot, on a porch, in a postage stamp garden, or wherever you may live. Taking charge of some of your own food is both strategic and enjoyable.
America’s Farmer Presents
Freedom through Participation
Joel F. Salatin is an American farmer, lecturer, and author. Salatin raises livestock on his Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. Joel is passionate about the way he and his family have approached farming and revels in sharing the farming methods and philosophies they have perfected over the years.
Joel will kick this event off with a powerful message addressing his thoughts on the past, present, and future. For decades now Americans have been told to quit participating in their own diet, health, food, and kitchens. We’ve been told that others can take care of all these things for us, leaving us more time to watch TV, attend football games, and play video games.
Where has all that freedom gotten us?
Rather than giving us liberty, such convenience living enslaved us to drugs, international industrial food conglomerates, disease, and nutrient-deficient menus.
Those of us who gardened, cooked from scratch, built compost piles, and took a personal interest in our health are now the ones enjoying true freedom.
Join us for two days interacting with attendees that are eager and ready to get started on their journey. The five intensive workshops and Lunatic Farm tour are sure to inspire all who attend to put into action all that they have learned. This is where our exhibitors come in. We are hand-selecting a group of exhibitors and sponsors that can provide supplies, equipment, materials, and expertise specific to the topics covered in workshops as well as self-sufficiency and hobby farming practices.
More information about all the exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are available in the event prospectus linked below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Polyface Farm Event FAQs:
What Does My Registration Fee Cover?
You will enjoy two days of intensive learning.
|Day 1 (Friday, September 29th)|
|8-9 am||Breakfast/Visit Vendors|
|9-10:30 am||Talk||Freedom Through Participation – Joel Salatin|
|10:30-11 am||Break/Visit Vendors|
|11 am-12:30 pm||Workshop #1||Soil Health—composting and carbon cycling|
|12:30-2 pm||Lunch/Visit Vendors|
|2-4 pm||Tour||Lunatic Farm Tour|
|Day 2 (Saturday, September 30th)|
|8-9 am||Breakfast/Visit Vendors|
|9-10:30 am||Workshop #2||Beekeeping|
|10:30-11 am||Break/Visit Vendors|
|11 am-12:30 pm||Workshop #3||Salad Bar Beef—perennial prairie, infrastructure, principles, etc.|
|12:30-1:30 pm||Lunch/Visit Vendors|
|1:30-3 pm||Workshop #4||Pastured Poultry—everything from how to, to nutrients|
|3-3:30 pm||Break/Visit Vendors|
|3:30-5 pm||Workshop #5||Urban/Balcony Farming|
PLUS, you’ll get coffee, and a farm-fresh breakfast and lunch each day!
What If I Have Food Allergies/Sensitivities?
Polyface offers a variety of food items for each meal but cannot accommodate potential religious, dietary, or allergenic requests. Anyone who thinks food may be a problem should bring their own.
How Should I Dress for This Event?
Polyface Farm is a working farm. We recommend wearing comfortable clothes and shoes that you won’t mind getting a little dirty. It’s possible you’ll be walking through pastures that may be moist or even muddy.
While we are hoping for warm weather, this event takes place at the beginning of fall. Bring layers of clothing with you and keep an eye on the weather forecast so you can be properly prepared.
Can I Enjoy the Farm Before or After the Event Hours?
Polyface Farm is open to the public 24-7, 365 days a year. You are welcome to arrive early or stay late to walk around the farm independently.
Will the Polyface Farm Store Be Open?
The store will be open from the beginning of the event until one (1) hour after the end of the event. Guests are also welcome (and encouraged!) to purchase items ahead of time for pickup after the event to help decrease lines and wait times afterward.
Click here to pre-order items from the Polyface Farm Store.
Can I Bring My Child(ren) to this Event?
While children are always welcome around the farm, we ask that you do not bring children under the age of 13 (including infants & toddlers) to this event. To register children 13 and older, click here. This is an intensive two-day educational experience for which attendees are paying. We LOVE young children. However, they may get bored and need your attention, taking you away from the learning experience. Plus… you deserve a little “you” time.
Which Airport Should I Fly Into to Get to Polyface Farm?
Click here to find the best airport near Swoope, Virginia.
What Accommodations Are Available?
Click here for information about travel and accommodations in Staunton, Virginia (the closest city to Swoope, where Polyface Farm is located).
Are There Animals on Polyface Farm?
Yes! Polyface is a working farm. They ask guests to look around all they wish, but please don’t touch, feed, move, or harvest the animals or plants. If you see a problem or are concerned about an animal, please inform a Polyface staff member.
Should I Bring Bug Repellant?
YES!!! The weather in the Shenandoah Valley can be quite warm at the end of September, and typically the first frost that kills the pesky bugs does not arrive until the middle of October. We are also going to be on a farm, and where there are animals, there are bugs. So, if you are sensitive to bug bites be sure to bring bug repellant with you.
Don’t Miss Polyface Farms
Space is limited so register now for this amazing event!
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