We believe that every farmer, fisher, and artisan we work with is our partner. The WhatsGood team supports hundreds of farmers and food producers in the northeast and thousands across the country. So why post about just one new farm joining our ranks?
Folks, this ain’t just any farm-
If you know Polyface (or its leader Joel Salatin), I need not explain.
If you don’t and you care about where your food comes from, you should.
So here’s a brief background:
Polyface is one of the most famous farms in the world. Joel is literally the source of what many farmers and food producers throughout the U.S base their production methods, processes and business models. They are the premier pastured livestock farm in the U.S. Put it this way- If you were a cow, you’d want to live there.
You may recognize Joel as the farmer featured in the documentary movie, Food Inc. Or his name from Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. He has written over a dozen books himself (some of which our farmers have in their libraries), and he is a true pioneer and leader in regenerative farming practices throughout the world.
When we first heard that Joel and his team at Polyface were interested in learning more about WhatsGood, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Was it to criticize? Or would he “get” us? We wondered… would this be a blow against us or into our sales?
I mean after all, here’s THE icon of the local food movement, a self-proclaimed “Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer”, one who proudly brandishes a flip phone, inviting the founders of a mobile eCommerce tech company to his farm.
Naturally, it was one of those moments in life when you just realize there is no good way to know aside from just doing it and that the opportunity far outweighs the risk.
So we packed a bag and my wife (and co-founder) Erin, and I hopped a flight down to Swoope, Virginia to visit Polyface in person.
Not only would me saying: “I’ve never seen something like this” be cliche here, it would also be a lie. I’d seen dozens, maybe even as many as five-dozen, like it. Complete with chicken tractors and rotational grazing. Yet Polyface was special, very much indeed, for they are the originals.
Joel was running behind for our meeting and tour of the farm. We gave him a break- he was baling hay in his back field (I’m so using this excuse in the future). We waited for him to grab some water and catch his breath before embarking on our tour. He and his farm family were extraordinary hosts. Immediately it was apparent we were walking through fields that had proliferated the things I had seen over the past 5 years on many farms throughout the country. A farming mecca; the cradle of biodynamic food production, a product of time and human innovation.
Polyface moves with the precision and synchronization of a swiss timepiece. Joel’s team, consists of his children, grandchildren, a devoted staff, and a dozen or so interns. Working together as one unit. In complete harmony with nature, experimenting, perfecting and doing it together.
Even the farmer with a flip phone had realized that the road ahead for his business and family required new ideas and the application and execution of technology, eCommerce, and advanced logistics. The same wielded by retailers embroiled in the industrial food supply. It became clear we were not going to end up being shamed by a luddite. Quite the contrary. After many hours we decided that “marrying Polyface with WhatsGood” (credit to Sheri Salatin on that proposal) could lead to a model that could be templated and replicated throughout the world and fundamentally change food systems for the better.
WhatsGood is pioneering a warehouseless logistics model that leverages powerful proprietary mobile eCommerce technology to provide consumers with an “uber-convenient” way of getting nutrient-dense, fresh, local food direct from farmers, delivered to their homes and workplaces. For farmers this means zero waste, growing sales, and a significantly reduced cost of doing business.
Polyface has pioneered the ability to produce food by mimicking nature, going beyond organic and responsibly scaling its production without sacrificing quality, care or transparency. Its production model is a leader and icon for thousands of other regenerative food producers.
We currently serve the Rhode Island, Boston, and
now together with Polyface, we will launch a new type of model connecting thousands of Americans in the D.C./Virginia markets.
Partnerships will be forged via the WhatsGood @work program joining local food producers (like Polyface Farms) with companies devoted to increasing the accessibility of wellness food to their teams and employees.
We are excited to announce that beginning August 15th, consumers in the DC/VA cities of: Arlington, Alexandria, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, and Richmond, can order local veggies, cheese, meats, and more delivered right to their door.