Sheri, thank you for inviting me to the Polyface Hen House. There is plenty to cluck about these days, but I’ll try to stick with topics like nutrition and health since that’s my specialty.
I was raised in Pennsylvania, spent 13 years in Arizona, followed by another 25 in the DC/Northern Virginia area. A city girl for the most part, farming in Augusta County begins an exciting new chapter in my life. I could not have dreamed of turning that page without the vision and encouragement of the Salatin family, the Polyface staff, and the network of apprentices and interns that grows with each passing year. For all of them I am truly grateful.
1. What inspires you?
Young people — their energy, enthusiasm, sense of responsibility, and attention to collective consciousness. They are making the world a wonderful place to farm.
2. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully here, doing what I’m doing now, only five years better!
3. What is one of your most fulfilling hobbies?
4. What do you like to cook/favorite foods?
I love the endless variety of cultural traditions in food preparation. My favorites are the ones I grew up with — Italian, Czech and Hungarian. More recently I’ve learned to appreciate Indian and Asian cuisine. No doubt other culinary customs will find their way to my palate since I’m fond of trying new dishes. Whatever the origin, it’s always a joy to identify elements of a healthful diet that they all have in common.
5. What relaxes you after a long day of farming?
Sauna in the winter, stargazing in the summer, meditation and a good night’s sleep in any every season!
6. How do you deal with farm animal deaths?
By understanding that before they die, the animals have a full life on the farm. They seem to enjoy fresh air and pasture, changing weather, each other’s company, and good food. Without human intervention, they and we would have a more difficult life. Our interactions provide the underpinning for a meaningful existence — both theirs and ours.
7. Who do you hope to share farming skills with?
Everyone who wants to end the world’s perceived health care crisis, environmental crisis, economic crisis, and spiritual crisis.
8. What do you like to read?
Books on alternative medicine, health and healing, how-to-farm books — especially Joel’s!
9. What is your greatest asset?
Discernment and patience (I guess that’s two).