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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.

[bliptv=Aemkc4axCA]

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


New French edition of The Resilient Farm and Homestead available

Great news for French-speaking fans of Ben Falk’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach. The French language translation is now available from Imagine Un Colibri, from French booksellers, and on Amazon.fr. Falk’s book is a technical manual that details the strategies he and his team have developed for […] Read More

How to Make Biochar

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by […] Read More

Generosity as Activism, and Other Homesteading Principles to Live By

“Like everyone I know, we occasionally find ourselves faced with a decision to which there is no obvious answer,” says Ben Hewitt, coauthor of The Nourishing Homestead. “Do we borrow money to build a bigger barn, or do we keep getting by with what we have? Do we spend our meager savings on trees and […] Read More

Pass the Walnut Syrup?

Everyone knows and loves maple syrup, and in some states (like Chelsea Green’s home state of Vermont), it’s big business. However, it’s a widespread myth that maples are the only trees that can be tapped to produce sap, according to Michael Farrell, sugarmaker and director of Cornell University’s Uihlein Forest. Sap can also be collected […] Read More

4 Books for Growing Food in Winter

Don’t let cold weather stop you from producing and enjoying your own food. For many, the coming of winter simply means cultivation moves indoors or under cover. Small farmers, homesteaders, home gardeners, and commercial growers can extend the growing season with techniques outlined in these essential books. There’s no need for urbanites and small-space dwellers […] Read More
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