Changing the World…One Neighbor at a Time

With the weather slowly warming up, we were able to put cows back out to pasture on Monday.  This is one of the times that Polyface really shines, because our pastures start growing way before anyone else barely has green showing.  Last year I just stood in awe of the difference and wondered, if our pastures show, time and time again how spreading compost, rotational grazing, and running poultry benefits the land, why don’t all the farmers around do these things?  Of course now I understand completely, but this year I actually get to help the Polyface team make a neighbor’s farme come alive!  You see, one of Polyface’s neighbors saw the difference and wasn’t afraid to admit it.  In fact, he came to Joel and wanted him to make his farm look like Polyface!  Talk about a courageous and humble man.  What he did took guts and I deeply admire him for asking.  His farm is one of 5 tracts that were all originally one farm back in the 1800’s.  5 siblings split the farm into the 5 tracts.  Polyface is 2 of those tracts.  Joel has said that the neighbors piece of land looks exactly like Polyface did 50 years ago.  It is like going back in time…but it won’t take 50 years to turn it into a vibrant healthy farm.  The Salatins know just what to do to begin to build up and feed the soil.  It is going to be breath taking to watch as the soil comes back to life this summer.  We are going to see huge changes.  Today we started with spreading compost.  This stuff is going to grow some grass!

Compost on the pasture!

Compost on the pasture!


A view from the neighbors farm.  Notice the green of Polyface?  Oh, and also the broiler pens?  Chicks go out today!

A view from the neighbors farm. Notice the green of Polyface?!



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About Leanna Hale

Leanna Barth, born and raised in NC, first came to Polyface in July 2010 to attend one of the Intensive Discovery Seminars. She loved it so much that she applied for an internship position and was accepted for the 2011 season, after which she took the inventory/gardener position. Before coming to Polyface, she sold produce from her family’s market garden, along with homemade baked goods. This venture was mostly inspired by having read “You Can Farm” by Joel Salatin. Having always loved the outdoors, animals, and gardening Leanna is excited about this coming year, all that she will learn, and how the Lord will use this job later on in her life.

10 Responses to Changing the World…One Neighbor at a Time

  1. yeahflyingsquirrel says:

    That’s a great move of your neighbor! I totally understand him. I would love to have a farm like Polyface, but I live in Bavaria/Germany. Land for agriculture and farms, even the old and shabby ones, are really expensive. Plus I don’t know enough about the regulations of farming. Yet! It’s in the works.
    Keep on your work! You are inspiring people all around the globe!

  2. Just watched Allen Savory’s TEDX talk on saving the world from Climate change using mob stocking of herbivores. Amazing. I want to learn to do this and do it!

  3. Leslie says:

    Oh how I wish I could move my farm next to Polyface! It could use a PolyfaceLift!

  4. Katrina says:

    People believe more of what they see than what they hear. Love Polyface!

  5. says:

    This post is timely! I am reading Michael Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma” and last night the chapter was all about the compost and how it inevitably creates the new grass to feed the animals. Thanks for sharing – I am in awe of the Salatin’s farm.

  6. I was already on my way to free thinking… but Mr. Salatin has pushed me over the edge! He IS inspiring people all around the globe! I wanted to share some things he has inspired my family to leap into. Our Facebook page and website are both free ways to advertise this new way of thinking.!/pages/Overgrow-the-Government/521934427852204
    And we are giving away free chickens to families who believe that we can release ourselves from the fear asscoiated with being a totally dependant society.
    P.S.~ My husband wants to be an intern @ Polyface, lol… If you knew my husband you would understand why Mr. Salatin is the man! He has convinced the inconvincible!!!

  7. Corin Gillis says:

    This story almost made me cry. Seriously.

  8. Faith Price says:

    When we visited Polyface a few years ago we were “shocked” that the neighbors wouldn’t want the same look as Polyface has. It was a distinct difference just across the fence. Pride keeps people in slavery.

  9. It is beautiful. I know you guys do so much hard work there, but wow. It stirs up such a desire in me to live on more than a postage stamp and take care of my own food source like you wouldn’t believe. How can it be that your pasture is a work of art – but it is! Keep on changing the world!

  10. Liana says:

    Really I don’t have any words to say…