Chicken shift Showcase Farms
Producers who are doing it right!
Falling Sky Farm
Falling Sky Farm, owned by Cody and Andrea Hopkins, is small diversified farm located 100 miles north of Little Rock in the heart of the Ozarks. The mission of Falling Sky Farm is to establish a profitable, environmentally-friendly demonstration farm in the Ozarks, which promotes a local food system that produces nutrient rich foods, works in harmony with nature, and reinvigorates the local economy. Falling Sky Farm, mirroring the symbiotic relationships found in nature, uses livestock management and rotational grazing schemes that maximize productivity, meat quality, and the land’s ability to sequester carbon, while decreasing non-renewable resource consumption. On this farm, cows graze, pigs root, and chickens scratch. Cody and Andea head up the Grass Roots Farmer's Cooperative. In collaboration with Heifer USA, they provide a handful of apprentice farmers, chosen from a pool of applicants, startup capital, agriculture equipment, technical assistace, market access and financial training. This mentorship program serves to cultivate new local food systems around the state and to reinvigorate the rural economies on which they depend.
Interview with Heather, working hard on Greenmont Farm for Polyface. She is the chicken breeder extraordinaire and you will want to watch her interview below and see what she is up to!
Polyface Farm, Virginia
In 1961, William and Lucille Salatin moved their young family to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, purchasing the most worn-out, eroded, abused farm in the area near Staunton. Using nature as a pattern, they and their children began the healing and innovation that now supports three generations. Today the farm arguably represents America’s premier non-industrial food production oasis. Believing that the Creator’s design is still the best pattern for the biological world, the Salatin family invites like-minded folks to join in the farm’s mission: to develop emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises and facilitate their duplication throughout the world.The Salatins continue to refine their models to push environmentally-friendly farming practices toward new levels of expertise. The Polyface Farm guiding principles are:
TRANSPARENCY: Anyone is welcome to visit the farm anytime. No trade secrets, no locked doors, every corner is camera-accessible.
GRASS-BASED: Pastured livestock and poultry, moved frequently to new “salad bars,” offer landscape healing and nutritional superiority.
INDIVIDUALITY: Plants and animals should be provided a habitat that allows them to express their physiological distinctiveness. Respecting and honoring the pigness of the pig is a foundation for societal health.
COMMUNITY: We do not ship food. We should all seek food closer to home, in our foodshed, our own bioregion. This means enjoying seasonality and reacquainting ourselves with our home kitchens.
NATURE’S TEMPLATE: Mimicking natural patterns on a commercial domestic scale insures moral and ethical boundaries to human cleverness. Cows are herbivores, not omnivores; that is why we’ve never fed them dead cows like the United States Department of Agriculture encouraged (the alleged cause of mad cows).
EARTHWORMS: We’re really in the earthworm enhancement business. Stimulating soil biota is our first priority. Soil health creates healthy food.