Craig and Tara Smith, proprietors of Tara Firma Farms, came into Central Market for dinner the other night. Coincidentally (or not) I had just been poking around their website earlier that day. In fact, I emailed them about a special dinner they are sponsering for now-famous Virginia farmer, Joel Salatin. If any of you read The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan's treatise on the benefits of sustainable farming and the negatives of Monsanto and their corn/cow industrial machine model, you will remember Salatin as the owner of Polyface Farms, where he rotates his fowl and cattle systematically to increase the recovery period of the grazed grasslands, and maximize the animals' natural grazing and foraging behaviors.
At dusk Craig and his staff corral them back in to ensure safety from the racoons, opossum, and coyotes that would love a fresh plump chicken dinner (and I can't quite blame them). The pigs, well they are another story. Loving the mud and rooting around in the dirt, they couldn't have looked happier. Large sows laid on their sides, teats exposed for the little 2 week olds running around. There were about a dozen 2 month olds and quite a few beheamoths oinking and snorting and sticking their noses through the fence. I wanted to stay there all day watching them be their pig selves.
Tours Sundays starting at 10.