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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.


“If we work hard, we sleep well.” Independent Farmstead Q&A (part 2)

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

The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

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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