First, the “Meat” of This Post
Last night was a real treat! We were invited to a Mary Baldwin College “Global Food Politics” class and meal featuring Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. Here’s a photo of Brian scrambling eggs with Joel.
For anyone unaware: Salatin is as close to “rock star” as any modern farmer could be…He was featured in the New York Times best seller Omnivore’s Dilemma and author of numerous books including the perfectly titled Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal. He discussed in energetic terms his farm’s alternative methodology.
As a long-time vegetarian I’m concerned about animal cruelty in modern food production. For years I thought the best solution was more vegetarians or vegans. Unfortunately, the reality is that most people will continue to eat meat. So, it only makes sense to me that farms should reject the factory model for one modeled on a smaller scale eco-system. The health of the environment and animal treatment in this model racially changes… (An option many vegans, including my sister and brother-in-law, do not find agreeable. Food politics!)
Anyway: the small, intimate setting was very inspiring! We were really happy about the invitation.
Now, the Heart of the Matter
Two things have cropped up regarding progress at Jefferson.
First, our neighbor to the south called to say that she is filing a complaint with the city. She’s pissed about the crumbling stone wall. In fairness: the wall IS a disaster and she’s trying to sell her house. But, hello! This house has been abandoned for 25+ years. We’re working, but we’re not miracle workers! That repair will cost in the mid-five figures. We’ll get to it, alright?!
Secondly, we’d hoped to salvage the heart pine floors. However, once the debris was cleared and inventory taken it was a different story. There are enough needed repairs that the floor would cost more time and money to salvage than replace. So we’re faced with two options:
1. Easy. Go in, rip out, and throw out.
2. Hard. Go in, dismantle, salvage and sell what’s possible. This costs significantly more – even factoring in the potential resale value. Why? Labor costs. But this the greener option and what I’d prefer to do.
So, we’re brainstorming possibilities. Perhaps we can locate someone willing to extract the floors for free in exchange for whatever market value the boards will bring? The boards are painted so I’m guessing that affects potential value.
If you’re interested or know someone who might be… I’ve got 3,500 sq feet, about half of which might ultimately be of value.