Happy Thanksgiving! We want to thank all the farmers, men and women who work the land to provide us with the food we eat at our holiday celebration. We wanted to share a video of one of these farmers, Daniel Salatin, who works with three generations of his family at Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia. Our very own Sherry Williams shot the video of Daniel below.
Polyface Farm has become quite famous for promoting local, organic, sustainable agriculture and inspiring consumers to know where their food comes from and how it gets to their table. When you meet passionate, hard working people like Daniel and his family, you realize how much the efforts of small, local groups can radiate outward into the larger community.
Snapdragon Cafe in Staunton, Virginia
We witnessed the power and influence of the Salatins' local action first hand when we went to Staunton, Virginia after visiting Polyface. The 20 minute drive there was spectacular to say the least. Upon arriving, we parked in the quaint downtown of this city of approximately 23,000 people nestled in the splendid Shenandoah Valley. Hungry, we were intrigued by the sign for Snapdragon, a Vietnamese-inspired cafe.
I knew I wanted a bahn mi sandwich, a treat I first discovered at the edge of Manhattan's Chinatown. I was delighted to see the steak on the sandwich was from Polyface! We also discovered, just down the street from Snapdragon, a local market with a sign up sheet to order your Thanksgiving turkey from Polyface Farm! Everything was so connected and we felt connected to it.
Blackboard Menu at "The Store" in Staunton, Virginia
We spent the last night of our mind blowing, nine day trip to Virginia at the Howard Johnson at the edge of the historic downtown of Staunton. It was a quiet, restful night. We sipped our last bottle of steel fermented Church Creek Chardonnay from Chatham Vineyards on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
The next morning we were in ready need of a good cup of coffee and something to eat. At the edge of the mostly vacant parking lot we noticed a nondescript storefront cafe in a not particularly inviting strip mall. Thinking there was no other option, Sherry and I walked across the large, empty lot with no expectation. Boy were we wrong! We had discovered this hidden gem,"The Store", a cafe and market opened by Nu-Beginning Farm in Greenville, Virginia.
Everything "The Store" made and sold was from local ingredients. They did not carry Polyface meat, but had a variety of meat, all from nearby farms in the cornucopia that is Virginia.
"The Store" opened by Nu-Beginning Farm, Staunton, Virginia.
We were delighted to learn that this small, out of the way cafe started by Nu-Beginning Farm was so successful it was expanding into a 4,000 sf building just behind the strip mall. Again, small groups of local advocates radiating outward, creating and building community.
Thank you Polyface and Nu-Beginning Farm for the perfect end to our trip. And, thank you to all our local farmers and advocates here in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York.
Copyright 2017 Paul E McGinniss