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Around the Dell

Dancing with dinner

Industrially produced, chemically fed, and an- tibiotic-ridden food doesn’t belong on the dinner table, argues Joel Salatin, a farmer from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley who was featured in the national bestseller The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Such “prostitution food,” he said at Sen- ior Symposium, “is like a one-night stand.” It comes from unsustainable agricultural prac-

Joel Salatin

tices that are contrary to natural systems. At his Polyface Farms, Salatin uses the natu-

ral instincts of animals to create soil fertility and clean food. He does rotational grazing with cattle, and lets the chickens and turkeys scratch through the manure and eat the larvae, resulting in the combination of natural fertilizer spreading with pesticide management. In the winter barn, he com- posts manure by piling mulch on top, which he then sprin- kles with corn. As the corn starts to ferment, Salatin’s pigs aerate the compost as they search for corn. The pigs are not denied their “pigness.” His animals are not caged or fed antibiotics. As Pollan

said about Salatin’s livestock, “The animals have a wonder- ful life; just one bad day.” Through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs,

Polyface Farms serves more than 3,000 families, ten retail outlets, and fifty restaurants. But Salatin’s farming techniques have critics, including

the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Even some of his farm- ing neighbors think “we are active bioterrorists,” Salatin said. The USDA says Salatin should butcher his chickens indoors. In reply, Salatin had chicken from the grocery store tested against his. The results, he said, showed the grocery store chicken had twenty-five times more bacteria than his. Salatin is the author of six books on sustainable farming.

Polyface Inc. has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic, Gourmet, and on radio, television, and in other print media.

6 LC MAGAZINE Fall 2011

Why is there a hearse on campus?

A lavishly decorated hearse, created by New Orleans artist Kelly Israel, drew cu- rious onlookers during the opening of an exhibition of American folk art at the Daura Gallery. Yearning to Breathe Free: Contemporary Self-Taught Art from the Collection of Baron and Ellin Gordon examined both the art and the collec- tors, whose passion resulted in a world- class collection, including works by Howard Finster, William Hawkins, and Purvis Young. Baron Gordon, a 1953 graduate of

LC, and his wife Ellin, have collected contemporary folk art for years, result- ing in the first major exhibition of their work, Flying Free, held at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center in Williamsburg, Va., in 1997. The hearse, an extreme example of

self-taught art, is owned by Lynchburg locals Mollie and Ray Snead; Doris and Jim Peery; Susan Duerson; Cissa Basten; and Edna and Denny Vaughan, who generously agreed to display the vehicle during the opening reception. Other Daura Gallery displays included:

• Virginia Landscapes: Pierre Daura Watercolors was on display throughout the spring semester. The twenty-four watercolors in this exhibition demon- strated Daura’s deep involvement with

the rural scene and the landscape itself — country roads, woodlands, and the majestic presence of Jump and House Mountains in Rockbridge County, Va. In summer 1934, Daura and his family moved from France to Rockbridge Baths, Va., where Daura began the first of what would be a lifelong series of oils, watercolors, and temperas depict- ing the Blue Ridge region of Virginia.

• Their Finest Hour: Churchill, Roo- sevelt, and Stalin and the End of World War II was the subject of a semester- long project of thirteen museum studies students under the direction of Bar- bara Rothermel, assistant professor of museum studies and director of the Daura Gallery. An overview of the “Big Three” — Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill — the exhibition detailed the importance of their leadership in the U.S., Soviet Union, and England during World War II. A major aspect of the show focused on these leaders at the conferences in Tehran and Yalta. The exhibition included casts of the portrait busts done by Richard Pumphrey ‘74, LC professor of art, for the National D- Day Memorial. Other objects were loaned by the National D-Day Memorial, the Lynchburg Museum System, and Hugh Scrogham ’66, ’69 M.Ed.

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