“Meet Yer Eats”

Free Union Farm, free range grass fed peking ducks

The Farmer’s market in Charlottesville Virginia along with relayfoods.com and a few other wise foodies put together a fantastic farm tour on Labor Day. There were 19 farms open for touring that day. Some too far for us to travel to but the few farms we did manage to visit were more than interesting. And certainly inspiring.

Processing center at Free Union Farm

Free Union Grass Farm is run by Erica Hellen and her partner Joel Slezak. It was great seeing farming on a small scale. I’m terribly interested in small scale.

Erica apprenticed at Polyface several years ago. The two of them butcher all of their ducks, hens, and broilers. Over 1500. It’s impressive. With just 2 people they sometime end up processing for up to 10 hours. Ducks take a long time.

British White Cattle

They started their farm in Spring 2010 on Joel’s family land of 13 acres, and lease an additional 25 acres. They raise hens, ducks, broilers, and british white cows. This year they added guinea’s for meat, speciality item for restaurants.  Their duck sells for $7/lb. We purchased one and can hardly wait to taste it!

Appalachia Star Farm

Predator free movable chicken and duck pen

So many fantastic small farms. We visited Appalachia Star a vegetable farm on 5 acres. They have almost no predator issues thanks to their wonderful guard dog and their hen and duck movable shelter. They have several acres in vegetables production, goats, 2 cows, ducks for eggs, and hens.

Guard dog at Appalachia Star Farm

Virginia is such a beautiful place. These farms are tucked away in somewhat remote places. The farmers serve restaurants in CVille and sell at the farmers markets. Some of them do a lot of driving. We know all about that living out in Bath County. You can learn more about this event at www.marketcentralonline.org. What a great day and an excellent way to get to know  yer farmers!

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About Grace

Grace and her husband Michael manage Buxton a Polyface satellite farm. Her first passion is to align with radiant health. She knows intimately that when you have your health you can do anything. Next, her passion for vibrant healthy food and beautiful landscapes along with her interest in permaculture influenced Grace's decision to align with the Polyface farming model. With 20 years of experience in the healing arts, she feels growing food and pasture raising animals is one of the greatest healers and a true source of personal empowerment. It's been said, "if you're not living on the edge your taking up too much space." Grace lives joyfully on the "leading edge" surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the appalachian mountains where her and Michael steward 1000 acres with profound appreciation."

6 Responses to “Meet Yer Eats”

  1. What a great way to spend Labour Day…and the farms you visited look really interesting. It’s amazing how creative and resourceful people can be. Very inspiring.

  2. Leilani says:

    I love seeing what other farmers are doing, you always learn something and get ideas.

  3. Kathy says:

    I’m so glad you were able to visit on Labor Day! I’m the Farm Tour coordinator for Market Central, the ‘Friends of the Market’ group that puts on the tour every year. The farms change a bit year to year, so every year you can make a different route. We look forward to seeing you again next year! 🙂

  4. Cyndi Lewis says:

    How fun! I’m jealous. That was an awesome way to spend a holiday. I can see that I might need to organize something like that in my area!