Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

The Hook: Joel Salatin Named Person of the Year

Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist-lunatic farmer and “high priest of the pasture” (New York Times Magazine) Joel Salatin has been farming sustainably for decades. His fiery oratorical style and verbal dexterity has earned him legions of fans and followers. Now, after a glowing profile in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and a couple of star turns in some big documentaries on food safety, most notably Food, Inc. and Fresh, people are really starting to sit up and take notice.

For instance, The Hook just named Salatin their Person of the Year. From ReadtheHook.com:

It’s been quite a year for Joel Salatin. The Shenandoah Valley farmer starred as himself in two popular food documentary films and  received a $100,000 award from the Heinz Family Foundation for his creative, eco-friendly practices.

“The big corporate farms can no longer tell us that pollution will always come with farming,” said Foundation leader Teresa Heinz. “Mr. Salatin’s work shows us that is not true, because on his lands, farming is no longer part of the problem; it is part of the solution to a better environment.”

While Salatin’s solutions have long been known in Central Virginia, he received a bumper crop of publicity in Michael Pollan’s 2006 best seller, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. In turn, the producers of the documentaries Food, Inc. and Fresh helped make him America’s most famous  farmer since George Washington Carver.

“I first experienced him in the 1980s when he premiered his idea of an ‘eggmobile’ at the first  [Virginia Association for Biological Farming] conference,” says Tanya Denckla Cobb, associate director of UVA’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation. “He was a firebrand and electrified the crowd, receiving a standing ovation. Nobody had ever seen the likes of him. Now the rest of the world is starting to catch up.”

46 restaurants and stores
Since Salatin declines to ship his food and discourages everyone else from buying food from sources more than 100 miles from home, his success has become Central Virginia’s good fortune.

Of the 46 restaurants and food stores in Virginia where Salatin’s salad bar beef, pork, chickens, turkeys, and rabbits are available, half are in the Charlottesville area. Last year, gourmet burrito chain Chipotle, which has 900 locations in the U.S. and Canada, chose its Charlottesville store to begin sourcing local pork because of its proximity to Salatin’s Polyface Farms. Today, 100 percent of the Charlottesville Chipotle’s pork is supplied by Polyface.

According to the 53-year-old Salatin, it all started with his late father. William Salatin, an accountant, had tried to start a sustainable farm in Venezuela in the 1950s but lost the land amid that nation’s turmoil as it transitioned from a dictatorship to a democracy. The family then returned to the United States and started over, buying some dirt-cheap land in Swoope.

Read the whole article here.

Photo: Dave McNair/The Hook

 

Related Articles:


What’s a Carbon Sink?

World leaders met in Marrakech this month as part of COP22, to discuss the next steps to reducing global climate emissions. One of the solutions being discussed is carbon farming. Author Eric Toensmeier participated in COP22, in part, because he literally wrote a book on it. First off – what is carbon farming? It’s a […] Read More

Get Ready, Get Resilient

Are you resilient? How about we put your answer to the test, literally. Now, we know that assessment is always an important, albeit imperfect, subjective, and incomplete tool. In order to understand one’s skill in living a resilient lifestyle, Ben Falk, author of the award-winning The Resilient Farm and Homestead, developed the following assessment tool. […] Read More

Happy Holidays from Chelsea Green Publishing!

Today we kick off our Holiday Sale — with 35% off every purchase at our online bookstore. Simply use the code CGS16 at checkout from now until the end of the year. Along with this great discount, we are offering free shipping on any order over $100*. Are there homesteaders or organic gardeners on your […] Read More

We are Farmily: Everyday Life on Sole Food Street Farm

Food is the medium. The message is nourishment in its most elemental and spiritual form. That’s how author Michael Ableman sees the role of Sole Food Street Farm and the food it sells to markets, restaurants, and individuals. In the following excerpt from his new book, Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the […] Read More

Who Produces More Eggs: Ducks or Chickens?

During our monthlong focus on homesteading in September, we received a number of great questions with several of them centered on … ducks and chickens. Here is one such question that came in via Facebook: “I have read that ducks produce more eggs over a longer lifetime of productivity than chickens, but recently talked with […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com