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Some of the piggies from Polyface helping mix the compost.

Some of the piggies from Polyface helping mix the compost.

Growing up, I didn’t think about where my food came from. And sadly, I have to say the same about my twenties. Then, I started a family, and pregnant with my first child, I started to question everything I put into my body. Where did it come from? How was it grown? Was it sprayed with any chemicals? I began to venture out, starting small. I watched a documentary called Fresh, and was blown away by a guy named Joel Salatin. The way he argued his points and explained his passion for sustainable farming draws you in. His vocabulary is eloquent, and his speech is lyrical, forcing you to want to listen. You can see a glimpse of it here, but if you just search Joel Salatin on YouTube, you can find a plethora of interesting videos from Joel. I began ordering meat from his farm, Polyface Farm located near Charlottesville, VA. Polyface delivers to various host sites in Northern Virginia on a monthly basis.

After baby #2, I discovered Fields of Athenry on a Saturday afternoon drive with the kids while Jonathan was busy at the salon. I met the owner, Elaine on our visit there. She shared a lot of great information with me, but what I remembered most was her caring nature. One of her chickens had just had baby chicks. She showed my children and let them hold one of the chicks, then explained how they hatch. She also took them outside and had one of her girls set us up with feeding the baby lambs. I quickly made visiting FOA farm a Saturday tradition that summer, taking the kids to see the animals and learn about where food comes from as well as picking up delicious, fresh meats for the week.

Feeding chickens at Chicama Run Farm

Feeding chickens at Chicama Run Farm

Through my continued exploration of Virginia farms, I signed up for CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), finding a winter CSA through Moutoux Orchard. (It’s now a year-round food club). Rob at Moutoux grows the most delicious, chemical free peaches I have ever eaten. I discovered another farm from a friend right next to Moutoux called Chicama Run. Dana, the owner and operator of Chicama Run is an amazing woman. I am not even sure if amazing is a big enough word to describe Dana. She cares for her farm, for her family, and for her community. She truly, truly cares about what you feed yourself. She shares a ton of great information on her blog and Facebook page. A great part for the kiddos about visiting her farm is being able to feed all the free range chickens!!

If you haven’t guessed yet, our April community outreach for Salon Khouri is to introduce you to some of these wonderful farmers. Earth Day is later this month and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than thanking these guys for helping care for the earth through better, smarter farming.

We will also be donating $1 from every haircut this month toward a scholarship to help send a lucky individual to a Polyface Intensive Discovery Seminar where Joel helps teach others sustainable farming practices. If you’d like to donate, you can do so through our Community Page.

* updated 5/25/2013, in lieu of sending someone to the Polyface Intensive Discovery Seminar, we donated to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.