On the Farm

Field Day 2014Whew! Summer! Whoever coined the phrase “Lazy days of summer” was certainly no farmer. There’s nothing lazy about it, is there?

I’m sure you are reading this post right now and thinking about all the other things you should be doing instead. Goodness, I’m writing this post and thinking it! 🙂

Here at Polyface, we’re gearing up for our last field day ever. With numbers topping out around 1,200, it will be quite the crowd. Lots of energy, education and excitement.

For the last 20 years or so, we hosted a Polyface Field Day once every 3 years. We invite all former interns and apprentices and all our favorite vendors to attend.


Acres USA does all the booking and promotion for us and we host the day with tours, short educational sessions and great food!


Just look at this schedule! It’s packed with activities and all of it is conducive for the whole family. In fact, Kids under 15 are FREE!!


6:00-7:30 a.m. — Early bird walk-about. Feel free to see what Polyface looks like at dawn while the grass still sparkles with dew.

7:30-9:00 a.m. — Registration

8:00-10:30 a.m. — Whole Farm Tour with Joel Salatin. This is a one-mile walking tour with hay wagon transportation provided for those needing assistance.

9:30-10:30 a.m. — Rabbit production with Daniel Salatin. For 24 years, Daniel’s linebred forage-based meat rabbits illustrate nativized genetics.

10:00-10:30 a.m. — Chick brooding.

11:00-noon — Interns, apprentices, and young farmer germination with Daniel Salatin.

11:00-noon — Horticulture, mushrooms, and layering complementary production enterprises at Polyface Farm.

11:00-noon — Hay shed, deep bedding and Pigaerator composting with Joel Salatin.

Noon-1:30 p.m. — Lunch: Barbecued chicken, barbecued beef, barbecued pork, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, chocolate buttermilk cake.

1:30-4:00 p.m. — Whole farm tour with Joel Salatin (repeat of the morning tour — same route, same conditions).

2:00-3:00 p.m. — Rabbit production with Daniel Salatin (repeat of the morning discussion).

2:00-3:00 p.m. — Metropolitan buying clubs, Zen Cart and software with Sheri Salatin.

2:30-3:00 p.m. — Chick brooding with Kristen Nia Long (repeat of morning discussion).

4:00-5:00 p.m. — Horticulture, mushrooms, and layering complementary production enterprises at Polyface Farm (repeat of morning tour).

4:00-5:30 p.m. — Questions & answers with Joel Salatin.

4:30-6:00 p.m. — Evening chores. Stay and observe the Polyface Farm team in action.

What You’ll See & Learn

Raised in moveable, floorless shelters, these meat birds net $2,000 per acre and cycle every 8 weeks. The ultimate alternative to vertically integrated, inhumane, industrial factory chickens.

Mimicking the natural mobbing, moving, and mowing of native herbivores, cows receive a fresh pasture paddock of perennial polycultures every day. Beeves finish on grass rather than grain, eliminating feedlots and enhancing the environment.

Portable housing for laying hens, this production model utilizes birds as pasture sanitizers behind herbivores. An ideal stacking enterprise that creates income and high-quality eggs from salvage operations.

Commercial pastured egg production utilizing high-tech electrified poultry netting and portable hoop structures — ultimately marrying the heritage “chickenness” of the chicken with the latest technological innovation for symbiosis.

Portable Gobbledygos provide shelter for turkeys, especially aggressive poultry grazers.

Harepens give weanlings all the forage they want but with enough movement flexibility to stay ahead of pathogens. This model cuts feed costs dramatically and produces a rabbit in constant demand by the best gourmet chefs. A wonderfully quiet nutrient-dense animal for small acreages and backyards.

See pigs on pasture, slowly converting wooded areas into savannahs. Portable feeders and electric fences provide hygienic and aesthetically pleasing outdoor production models. It’s truly hog heaven.

Polyface now offers a full array of vegetables from hoop houses and beds utilizing microsites around the farm like barn eaves and southern terraces. This is an independent layered business operated by a former intern.

Lightweight and portable, bandsaw mills offer value added opportunities for woodlot owners and huge money savings for construction projects. The Polyface mill will be operating throughout the day.

Carbon and biomass accumulation can be generated efficiently on the farm with commercial PTO-powered chippers. Watch the Polyface chipper turn brush and slab wood into compost-sized nuggets.

From earthen ponds to gravity fed water, Polyface uses low-cost, low-tech systems to supply pressurized water to every corner of the farm.

Do-it-yourself portable and low-cost electric fencing systems are the key to reducing costs and improving management. You’ll see new ideas for managing animals.

In the winter, these structures house rabbits, laying hens, and pigs. In the spring, summer and fall, Polyface enjoys season extension for vegetables under these tall tunnels.

Visit with organizations and suppliers that keep Polyface functioning smoothly. By invitation only, these businesses and groups will put you in touch with the latest greatest supplies and ideas in the pastured livestock and local food movement.

Arguably the most comprehensive selection of eco-friendly books in America, you’ll want to take home plenty of mind-expanding books to maintain the momentum gained during this memorable day.


If you’re interested in attending, it’s not too late to sign up. Visit the Acres website for the full scoop and even more information about the big day.

I hope you’ll come!

Happy Friday!


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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.

9 Responses to On the Farm

  1. Paula Sims says:

    The last field day ever? Really???? Why is that?

  2. Stephanie says:

    Oh.. We wanted to come some day… I guess we erred thinking you’d always be doing it.. Why is it the last one?

  3. Steve says:

    Last field day ever? Why are you not continuing it?

  4. Shannon says:

    Why is it the last field day?

  5. Monte Turner says:

    Why is this the last one ever, has it gotten too big??

  6. Rose says:

    I’m so sad that this will be your last one!! I want so badly to come but I’m not sure we can swing it this year. I hope it goes beautifully for you!! Y’all are my heroes. <3

  7. Paul J. LaGrange says:

    Sheri, I just registered my family for the event. We plan to stay in a pop-up camper and wanted y’all’s recommendation on a near by campground. Are you familier with Montebello Campgrounds off Route 56 on Crabtree Falls Hwy in Montebello? Please provide some feedback.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Paul, I’m not familiar with that campground, but that doesn’t mean anything. I’m not the best person to ask about camping in our area. I’m usually home. 🙂 You could try the folks at our visitor center – http://www.visitstaunton.com/