Chelsea Green Publishing

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Calling All Young Farmers: This Land is Your Land

If you’ve seen Food, Inc., read Michael Pollan, or heard of Polyface Farm, chances are you’re familiar with Joel Salatin—the charismatic leader of the local food movement and arguably America’s most influential farmer.

Salatin’s latest book, Fields of Farmers, is a response to the aging farmer phenomenon (the average farmer is now 60 years old) and a call to action: To inspire a new generation of young famers to take over the fields from their aging mentors.

“If you own land and don’t know what to do with it, this book is for you. If you want to farm, but don’t know how to start, this book is for you. If you are an aging farmer struggling with a succession plan, this book is for you. And if you are a farmer’s child trying to make a place for yourself on the family farm, this book is for you,” writes Salatin in the Introduction. “We are all utterly and completely dependent on soil, honey bees, raindrops, sunlight, fungi, and bacteria. Neither the greatest scientific discovery nor the highest gain on Wall Street compares to the importance of a functioning carbon cycle or dancing earthworms.

Based on Salatin’s decades of experience at Polyface Farm, Fields of Farmers discusses problems and solutions surrounding the land and knowledge transfer crisis of the present day.

The problem is widely discussed in the farming community. For example, take The Greenhorns
—a grassroots non-profit dedicated to promoting and supporting a new generation of young farmers, or the National Young Farmers Coalition — an organization that works to mobilize and engage young farmers. Everywhere you look, there are people and organizations working to combat the problem of the aging farmer.

“As usual, Joel Salatin is once again on the cutting edge of change, writes Allan Nation, Editor and Co-owner of The Stockman Grass Farmer, in the Foreword. “Whether you want to be an intern, or hire an intern, reading this book will be invaluable for you.”

Fields of Farmers: Interning, Mentoring, Partnering, Germinating is available now and you can get for 35% off as part of our Holiday Sale with discount code CGS13 until the end of the year. Read the introduction below.


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Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More

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Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More
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