ISBN: 9780963810960 Year Added to Catalog: 2010 Book Format: Paperback Book Art: Photo insert Dimensions: 6 x 9 Number of Pages: 300 Book Publisher: Polyface, Inc. Release Date: September 30, 2010 Web Product ID: 549
Joel Salatin is America's most celebrated pioneer of chemical-free farming – but if you want to taste his beef or chicken you'll have to move to Virginia. He talks to Gaby Wood about why local is best and his role in the documentary Food, Inc which attacks the giants of industrialised food production
Joel Salatin is pulling on his braces. He's just had his picture taken wearing a suit – our photographer wants to show that he's not just a hands-on local farmer but also a new- era businessman – and now he's getting back into his work gear: muddy jeans, straw hat, and a farmhand's shirt that reads, in embroidered script, "Roy".
"Roy?" I ask.
Salatin follows my gaze to his chest and laughs. "The cleaner sells unclaimed ones for 50 cents each," he explains. "I might be Pedro one day, and Roy the next."
Such is the unpredictable world of Joel Salatin, hero of the new local food movement, feted for his ingenious chemical-free farming methods and admired for his outspoken articulacy on the horrors of industrial food.
10 Minutes With Joel Salatin - Hobby Farms picks the brain of sustainable-agriculture advocate Joel Salatin.
Joel Salatin is one of the most well-known sustainable-agriculture advocates in the U.S. today. More importantly, he’s a full-time, third-generation farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. His family farm, Polyface, Inc., services more than 3,000 families, 10 retail outlets and 50 restaurants with “salad bar” beef, pastured poultry, “eggmobile” eggs, “pigaerator” pork, forage-based rabbits and forestry products. His mother, Lucille; wife, Teresa; daughter, Rachel; son, Daniel; daughter-in-law, Sheri; grandsons, Travis and Andrew; and granddaughter, Lauryn work together full-time on the family farm.
Hobby Farms: When and how did you find yourself becoming a voice for sustainable and pasture-based agriculture?
Joel Salatin: It really started in about 1989 when our family hosted a Virginia Association for Biological Farming field day on our farm and Roger Wentling, a columnist for The Stockman Grass Farmer magazine, attended. He wrote a column about the day, and it stimulated Allan Nation, editor/co-owner of the magazine to come to the farm for a visit. He asked me to write a monthly column for his new and bankrupt magazine, and I agreed. A year later, he convened the first national grass-farming conference in Jackson, Miss., and asked me to speak. The rest is history.
The interest in the pastured poultry was high, and with this initial exposure, the phone started to ring. To show how naive I was, I decided to write a pastured poultry manual in order to make the phone quit ringing. That only opened the floodgates, and we sold 1,000 of those simple little photocopied manuals in one year. The Pastured Poultry Profits book followed in 1993, and the other books came as I began trying to answer the hot question of the day.
Teresa and I certainly never sought to be in this position, but we've been pushed onto this platform, and now we are just trying to be faithful with the responsibility on our shoulders.
Perhaps it would be more honest to start further back, when my grandfather adopted organic gardening and invented the first walking garden sprinkler. This bestowed on my father an environmental ethic, to which he added a degree in economics. My mother was a debate coach, and I competed on debate teams both interscholastically and intercollegiately. That flair for public speaking, plus a gift for writing, combined with my love of farming to create a theatrical creative farmer. Let the show begin. ...
American farmer Joel Salatin, the star of the documentary Food Inc, has become a "pin up boy" for the growing food "re-localisation" movement. On a recent visit to Canberra, he gives his take on food politics after a lifetime of experience in natural and profitable farming.
Salatin came to prominence with his ideas about creating abundance on a family farm. His methods include learning how to mimic nature and arrange the facets of farm life so they don't operate as independent operations, but rather a system of "intertwined cycles".
Disregarding conventional wisdom, the Salatins planted trees, built huge compost piles, dug ponds, moved cows daily with portable electric fencing, and utilised portable sheltering systems to produce all their animals on perennial prairie polycultures.
Salatin believes we're now living through an age of a "food inquisition", not unlike the religious inquisition of 500 years ago, where the powers behind industrialised agriculture and food production are putting heretical farmers like him "on the rack".
In this talk, organised by Milkwood Permaculture in association with Slow Food Canberra, Salatin lays out twelve false assumptions peddled by the "inquisitors" which sustainable farming methods counter.
Read the whole article and watch the video at ABC.net.au.