Reflections on “Nose-to-Tail Nutrition” at Polyface Farm: Faith, Fellowship, Farming, & Food
Our inaugural event, held August 12-14 at Polyface Farm near Staunton Virginia, was a huge success! All in attendance left encouraged, edified, challenged and informed. We are still beaming thinking of all the memories with new friends old and new, and the beautiful time of fellowship with like-minded people. We are so thankful for everyone that joined us and helped to make it an amazing weekend!
The first day, Friday, was spent hearing from speakers Mike "The Fit Farmer" Dickson, Rhyne “Pork Rhyne” Cureton, Tommy & Luke from “Raw Milk & Deadlifts”, and Chef James Barry from Pluck organ-based seasoning.
Mike made a compelling argument for the inclusion of animal foods from a scriptural standpoint, along with the spiritual connection to our food. He also reminded us that we were created to work, physically, for our own betterment.
Rhyne touched our hearts with the message of how our food choices affect our emotional and spiritual health, and how we can regain our strength and well-being by incorporating the foods God gave us, with gratitude.
Tommy & Luke brought faith and fitness into the food and farming realm, delighting us with their story while instilling a vision of true health through what God has given us (including the need for physical work).
Chef James taught us how and why to incorporate organ meats into our diet, and how best to introduce these important foods within our families’ meals. He inspired many to give organ meats a try!
Saturday morning started off with a challenging and fun farm workout with Tommy & Luke. We stretched, squatted, tossed haybales, dead-lifted logs, and were encouraged to get up and move, flex our muscles and overcome our exercise phobias. By the end we were all energized, sweaty, and ready for a great day!
Next Sally Fallon Morell taught us about the nutrient density of traditional foods, and educated us concerning the work of Dr. Weston A. Price. Dr. Price did not find a “vegan” culture anywhere in the world but instead found people who universally revered animal foods (especially the fat and organs). She also spoke about the benefits and history of raw milk from animals raised on pasture, as well as how dairy products have been utilized for millennia, and the dangers of modern processing.
God’s Good Table founder Maureen Diaz gave a talk about how she learned to raise her own family on these critical God-given foods, and why Nose-to-Tail Nutrition is such an important part of her family’s life.
Saturday also included breakout sessions which were quite popular. Of course a farm tour on a hay wagon with Joel Salatin at the wheel is always a big hit, and did not disappoint! Daniel Salatin gave a chicken butchery demonstration to a group of participants who were interested in learning how best to manage this important task. And Chef James, along with Maureen, gave a cooking demo to show people how easily they might prepare organ meats at home for their own families, with many surprised at how pleasant and tasty liver and heart can actually be!
We took our message seriously and as such were well-fed by the Polyface crew who prepared pulled pork, grilled chicken, farm-fresh eggs, sausage, and more, to the crowd’s utter delight! Triple E Farms and Lucky Moon provided fresh cow & goat milks and cheeses. God’s Good Table also served French Creamed Eggs and sprouted oatmeal for breakfasts.
The Diaz crew, with daughter Lauren at its helm, made gallon upon gallon of sauerkraut which was enjoyed by everyone at our lunches. Fermented foods are of critical importance to our health, contributing valuable enzymes for the digestion of proteins and fats, along with highly beneficial microbes to keep our gut health in check. Good work Lauren!
Saturday evening’s VIP dinner was also very enjoyable with a farm-to-table meal prepared by a local catering company, Nu Beginnings, and served on their lovely back patio. Our dear friend (and excellent videographer!) Gabe Wren shared his story and enriched us with his guitar and voice, lifting our hearts and minds heaven-ward!
Abby put together a fantastic children's program - they were entertained with stories, crafts, hikes, treats, and more. By the end of Saturday all of the kids were calling Maureen’s husband, George, “Poppy”, and will look forward to the next opportunity to explore together, and hear more stories from people like Pork Rhyne!
Our exhibitors and sponsors were a big part of what made our weekend a success, and we can not thank them enough! Our attendees enjoyed sampling various Green Pasture Products Fermented Cod Liver Oil formulations, and appreciated the Redmond Real Salt on their tables. Simply Ghee was a part of every meal, both in the foods we enjoyed and on the side with their sourdough breads. Pluck was enjoyed tremendously both on and in our foods (including the yummy almonds on James’s table). And, as mentioned previously, the raw milk and raw milk cheeses were a hit as well.
Maureen made several batches of wonderful sourdough breads using flours donated by Pecan Meadow Farm. The flour is an heirloom wheat variety from the early 1940’s, “Pennoll”, which the farm produces utilizing sustainable and regenerative practices.
Sally’s New Trends books were popular, with Nourishing Traditions making its way into many hands. And who could resist the beautiful soaps, tallow balms, bath soaks, and potions brought to the table by Hearth & Homestead (oh, the wonderful fragrances wafting through the air…)?!
The Pulse PEMF chair piqued the interest of many who are interested in an effective treatment for injuries and illnesses such as autoimmune disease; Maureen personally found it very helpful for her torn rotator cuff! And Share Healthcare is on the same page with freedom in healthcare and healing modalities, along with the Weston A. Price Foundation, the very organization which inspired God’s Good Table (along with, of course, the Bible itself!)
The Homesteading Family was a silent partner, and one not to be missed. In fact, Maureen is part of an exciting, online summit they have recently completed filming; she will be teaching an intensive sourdough class - do check it out at the School of Traditional Skills!
And the Raw Milk and Deadlifts guys, Tommy and Luke, rounded out the vendor lineup with lots of great merchandise (though a certain someone failed to make it over to their table to claim a t-shirt…).
We appreciate all of our vendors; thank you for being a big part of our event and helping to make this happen!
As if Friday and Saturday were not magnificent enough, Sunday was overwhelmingly beautiful. We came together to worship our Creator, sing His praises, and hear an excellent message from “Preacher” Joel. We were filled to the brim, simply overflowing with joy, gratitude, the love of God, and appreciation for one another. It was like a little taste of heaven :a beautiful and peaceful place, with like-minded people who were just as touched as our own team. That feeling remains today, and we simply can not wait for the next opportunity to be together!