Guild Session 12 – Polyfaces screening
It was a wild and windy evening in Coburg East as thirty or so Guild Designers and permaculturists alike descended upon the Newlands Community House for the twelfth Guild Session. A lot of people had travelled quite a way to join us – some from as far as the farming regions of the Yarra Valley! Many familiar and new faces mingled and exchanged stories, good conversation and more than a few laughs. The early-birds got the prized comfy couches, and Catherine of Newlands provided plates of apples, dates and chips with drinks for all, as well as ensuring everyone was comfortable and relaxed.
Isaebella Doherty of the Regrarians introduced the documentary, and spoke eloquently of how her family first met Joel Salatin and his clan, and the journey taken both literally and metaphorically for the film to be made.
The film itself was wonderfully inspiring. It didn’t shy away from the realities of farming; raising, feeding and butchering animals, working every day of the year regardless of rain, hail, shine or public holiday status, the hard work involved in changing the landscape of the land for ponds, etc. Most importantly it comprehensively demonstrated a true alternative to the accepted methods of agricultural farming – and the change that it makes not only to the livestock, produce and the soil… but to the community that supports Polyface Farm and is in turn supported by the farm itself.
This is not to overlook the transformative effect upon the soil that the farming methods espoused by the Salatins have – this is often the star of the film, underpinning so much of what is achieved. In permaculture, people often say that they want to leave their piece of land in a better state than when they started working it – and Polyface farm is a wonderful example of this in action.
If you haven’t seen the film, we heartily recommend it – it’s an uplifting experience that reaffirms the value of good soil, good practices and good food. Once you’ve seen it, you’ll want to be a farmer too!
For those who missed the screening, copies of the DVD are available for sale through the Polyfaces website. All proceeds for the evening were donated to raise funds to translate the film into as many languages as possible, as well as ensuring subtitles for the hearing impaired.