An interesting show that I had recorded from the local PBS (KET) station some time back and finally gotten around to watching a couple of nights ago is called Endless Feast. It is a pretty good show that is actually something I could enjoy watching on a more regular basis, but I had only recorded the one episode and do not see it on the schedule anytime soon. The premise of the show is let’s go to some specific area of the country, hook up some chefs in the area with a good venue and, most importantly, local producers of food products from the farm and/or ranch. The particular episode I watched was set in Virginia and involved Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farms – in fact, it was because of seeing the name Polyface Farms that I had recorded the show at all.
Endless Feast is a show that, as stated travels around country (also Canada) making the connection between food production and food consumption. The concept is really simple and brings awareness to the relationship between land and food. It appears, from looking at the schedule and other episodes that they always come into a location and get largely local produced products for the fare and have a local chef do the preparing of the meal.
In this particular episode, set in Virginia, there was Delfoss Winery as the centerpiece that not only hosted the dining, but provided the wine with which everything else in the meal was paired. The dinner itself was held outside and overlooked a small lake with the vineyards producing the next vintage in the distance, and beyond that of course the beautiful mountains of that area of Virginia (that makes me a bit homesick for Virginia, where I lived for five years mind you).
In addition to the vineyard, there were products provided by the Blue Herron Farms, which at least as far as I can tell do not have a website. I know the name though and have read of them. The produce, well, produce and do so in organic and sustainable methods.
Next up was the pork, which was provided by Gryffon’s Aerie Farm. I loved this segment the best, despite my initial interest in the show because of Joel Satatin. After all this was pasture raised pork using heritage breeds that are much more suited to such production methods. In addition, the lady who ran the farm, made a big deal about the fact of being ASH (antibiotic, steroid, and hormone) free meat, which is always a big plus in my mind. In fact, this is exactly what I was doing back a few years ago when I had the farm, it is what John (and family) is doing over at Hillside Heritage today with some strains of my stock, and it something I definitely want to get back too. Further, I saw more than a few Tamworths and maybe some Tam crosses roaming the grounds. Of note, they apparently provide lamb/mutton and beef from heritage grass raised animals as well.
Lastly, I suppose that Polyface Farms, with Joel and his family, must have provided chicken and maybe eggs, though it was not really clear. They did talk to Joel and his son briefly, while moving a poultry tractor out in the pasture and explaining the cycle of the rotation and how the basically pasture raised – though not necessarily free range – poultry lead to a better meat and egg product. I know they also raise beef and it looks like are doing pork ranging on the forest for finishing out, as well as other products. Matter of fact, expect some additional posts about Joel Salatin and Polyface Farms in the near future.
Bottom line, catch an episode of Endless Feast some time in the near future, check out some of the apparent yummy recipes, and as much as possible eat local!