Friday, December 04, 2015

A Trip Down Memory Lane

For this post I'll take you on a lovely trip down memory lane.. and a long trip it is! All the way down to Virginia and back. Actually twice. Us girls went down the end of August, and then Mom and Dad went down the next weekend. Following is a brief overview of our girls trip down to visit Josiah down at Polyface farm, where he was interning over the summer.

It was indeed a looong trip. 11 hours! We took my little car, Cubby, who was a champ going up hills... up big hills... up bigger hills... up mountains. Of course the best part was whizzing down the other side of the mountain (book reference not on purpose..) followed by Semi trucks and trying to stay out of their way!!

Finally after many curves and corn fields we arrived at Polyface farm!

It was wonderful to see "the boy" again! We made it in time for dinner, and had a wonderful time meeting all of Josiah's friends, eating a wonderful meal, and getting to listen to a talk by Joel Salatin. After dinner we headed back to Staunton (the nearest city) to rest up after our trip, and be prepared for the day of touring the farm with Josiah the next day!

The little motel we stayed at had a lovely garden in the courtyard. The owners were from India and he showed us some of his favorite plants from there that he was able to grow here.

It also had an elevator with Mirrors on both sides.... made for a unique view......

Driving to the Farm was always fun.. Lots of back roads, quick turns, beautiful scenery, roads just wide enough for wiggle room, but thin enough that you really hoped you didn't meet someone coming the other way. And then the road that the Farm was actually on, was dirt with some lovely potholes, but you didn't dare swerve to avoid them too much, cause the other side... 20-30 foot drop off! So much fun!!

This is the "Hunt camp" where the Guy interns lived. It actually is a very nice house, with a full kitchen, laundry, and a big loft room upstairs, and 2 smaller apartments on the side. Josiah got the reputation of being quite the cook while there. He made biscuits for the guys, pancakes, not to mention Jams and Jellys from fruits harvested mainly around the farm!

Please meet Mr..... Yep that's it. That's his name..  The Cat was Mister, and one of them had a dog named.... wait for it...

After breakfast, made by the boy himself, he took us on a tour of the hub of the farm, through the store, the packaging room, the greenhouses etc. All the while he kept up an informative commentary. 

We spent a looong time at the outdoor butchering station looking at their set up, and discussing ways to implement certain things into ours back home.

We stopped by their enormous Brooders and talked to the thousands of little chicks scratching around inside. We also visited the starter pig pens, and got to walk through their cattle sorting "chute" (made after Temple Grandin's model).

One of our favorite places was the "Rakin" (Rabbit/Chicken housing) I mean just look at these little faces!!!! In fact when Josiah came home in October he actually brought home a pair of Salatin Apricot colored Rabbits for Faith to add to her "warren."

One of the many other things done at Polyface is harvesting lumber and planing it into boards. Josiah became the professional stacker while there.

After lunch Josiah took us up the mountain!! This was our mode of transportation. Faith and I got to ride in the back. It was quite the ride!

I don't know the exact point of elevation we got up to.. but I will tell you this. It was a loooooong way up! Along the way we saw Turkeys, the feather net for the chickens, the cows, their many pig pastures, as well as the multiple ponds they had dug for help in water control. It all was very fascinating and beautiful scenery.

We concluded the farm tour by visiting the broiler pens and sitting around in the grass discussing plans and ideas. Afterwards we went back to Staunton and visited the "Duck park," a delightful little place with a large pond full of waterfowl!

Dinner found us at an Intern favorite (though a first for Josiah.. he didn't take time to go out to eat much) New town Bakery, which had THE best Wood Fire cooked Pizza's ever!!!! We finished off the evening strolling down town and walking past it's many unique shops and restaurants and ended up at the Split Banana, a Gelato shop - Delicious.

The trip was wonderful, and the time spent with Josiah fabulous. But like all good things, it too came to an end.

We were able to go to church with Josiah and got to meet the Pastor and his wonderful wife and daughter, and ended up going to their home with the rest of the interns for dinner! 

After that it was homewards!! This time a lovely sunset accompanied part of our journey, and we arrived home late (well technically early).

And there is a little glimpse of what Josiah has been up to! I hope to get him to do a guest post with more details soon! We shall see.