“Sustainable Abundance: An evening with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms”
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 2018 | 6:30 – 9:00 PM
An evening with wonderful sponsor support, amazing community engagement, and a talented speaker all adds up to what we consider a successful event! Sponsored by the ICA, Chickahominy Falls, Ellwood Thompson’s, C&F Bank and Keller Williams Realty | The Egan Team, “Sustainable Abundance” was an evening filled with inspiration and encouragement.
Planned in conjunction with the “Hedges, Edges, Dirt” exhibit at the ICA, the theme of the evening focused on highlighting the importance of sustainability in the future of our food system. After taking the time to tour the exhibit, Salatin’s talk began with a bit of a Virginia history lesson, remarking on the abundance that greeted European settlers when they arrived in Virginia. He discussed how our Native American ancestors lived as part of a manicured ecosystem that matched our climate. Archaeologists believe that more food was grown in this country 500 years ago than is grown today! As the Europeans arrived, they brought with them a knowledge of a very temperate climate and tillage based farming methods. As most folks tend to do, they farmed from experience, tilling the soil and disrupting a perfectly good ecosystem. This flipping of the soil and disturbance in the environment is much of what eventually led to the dust bowl years later.
Salatin touched on many interesting topics including the history of Polyface Farm and their mission to restore the soil, the importance of encouraging young, bright minds to become farmers, and a proposal to re-allocate funding away from chemical farming and into a carbon economy that supports composting.
He challenged the audience to think differently about nature, stating nature is an important partner to build a relationship with and work alongside, instead of one to wrestle with. Salatin believes that, if we as a human race can learn to nurture this relationship, the result will be more “sustainable abundance” than we know what to do with. Our mission as people is to realize where the hedges, edges and boundaries are in our world and figure out how to “nest” in that space. This is the true definition of “food for thought.”
Following the talk, Joel mingled and signed books, while guests enjoyed food and beverage from Ellwood Thompson’s. We were honored to host this event and bring such a sought-after speaker to Richmond.
Thanks to Tisha Mccuiston for the photos – to view more of her work please visit: https://www.tishalyn.com/
Joel co-owns, with his family, Polyface Farms in Swoope, Virginia. Featured in the New York Times bestseller Omnivore’s Dilemma and the award-winning documentary Food Inc., the farm services more than 5,000 families, 50 restaurants, 10 retail outlets, and a farmers’ market. When he’s not on the road speaking, he’s at home on the farm, keeping the calluses on his hands and dirt under his fingernails, mentoring young people, inspiring visitors, and promoting local, regenerative food and farming systems. With 12 published books, and a thriving multi-generational family farm, he draws on a lifetime of food, farming and fantasy to entertain and inspire audiences around the world.