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Chelsea Green Blog

WATCH: Joel Salatin on Building Resilience into Agriculture

Joel Salatin, author of Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal, Holy Cows and Hog Heaven, and others has created a resilient organic farm that is nearly self-sustaining, with minimal inputs and “stage direction” from the farmers themselves. The system is forgiving of spiking energy prices, drought, flood, disease, and the unpredictable nature of industrial capitalism.

We talk about a food system that grows enough quantity, a food system that can be distributed to the ends of the Earth, a food system that we can produce enough of to stockpile on ports and have it rot, you know, because some warlord won’t let it cross into their land.

But how about talking about a forgiving food system, a food system that’s insulated from the vagaries of politics—the liberal left, the religious right, the multinational corporations, energy prices, natural disasters, and pathogenicity and all those things. That to me is the ultimate sustainable food system, because it’s forgiving.

And the fact is that things happen. And just like we need to be building forgiveness into our marriage relationships, our family relationships, all of these—business relationships, you know—this forgiveness aspect is, I think, severely lacking in our business models, in our farming models, and certainly our entire food system is very vulnerable to little attacks.

Thanks to filmmaker Aaron Lucich for the video. Check out his site, WeAreWhatWeEatTheMovie.com, which has more on sustainable food systems and healthy eating.


Tips on No-Till Farming and Cover Crops

In the below Q&A, author and permaculture designer Shawn Jadrnicek answers questions about no-till farming and the use of cover crops from two readers (one from North Carolina, and the other from Nova Scotia). In his groundbreaking book, The Bio-Integrated Farm, Jadrnicek provides in-depth information on water flow management along with projects that use the free forces of nature—gravity, […] Read More

Reimagining Restoration as a Radical Act

Finding ways to manage “invasive” species as we’ve come to know them has sparked a vigorous debate within conservation and restoration communities, as well as farmers, gardeners, and permaculturalists.In her thought-provoking book Beyond the War on Invasive Species, author Tao Orion urges us to rethink and reimagine restoration as a way to break out of […] Read More

What Can Wisteria Do For Your Forest Garden?

Jerome Osentowski, founder of the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRMPI) in Basalt, Colorado, is one of North America’s most accomplished permaculture designers and author of the new groundbreaking book, The Forest Garden Greenhouse. Part case-study of CRMPI’s innovative greenhouses and part how-to primer, Osentowski’s book shows that bringing the forest garden indoors is possible, even on […] Read More

Tips on Perennial Crops with Eric Toensmeier

Eric Toensmeier is the award-winning author of Perennial Vegetables, Paradise Lot, and most recently The Carbon Farming Solution—a groundbreaking new book that treats agriculture as an important part of the climate change solution, rather than a global contributor to the problem. As part of our “Ask the Expert” series going on throughout the month of May to celebrate […] Read More

How to Design Swales for Optimum Water Flow

May has arrived! The birds are chirping, flowers are budding, and it’s time to officially celebrate Permaculture Month.Throughout the next few weeks, we are putting our pioneering permaculture authors to work for you in our “Ask the Experts” series. If you are looking to become a better permaculturalist, there’s still time to participate. Submit your questions here.Today’s topic is […] Read More
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