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About Joel Salatin
Joel F. Salatin (born 1957) is an American farmer, lecturer, and author whose books include You Can Farm and Salad Bar Beef.
Salatin raises livestock using holistic methods of animal husbandry, free of potentially harmful chemicals, on his Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. Meat from the farm is sold by direct-marketing to
consumers and restaurants.
In high school, Salatin began his own business selling rabbits, eggs, butter and chicken from his family farm at the Staunton Curb Market. He then attended Bob Jones University where he majored in English and was a student leader. He graduated in 1979. Salatin married his childhood sweetheart in 1980 and became a feature writer at the Staunton,
Virginia newspaper, The News Leader, where he had worked earlier typing obituaries and police reports.
Tired of “having his stories spiked,” he decided to try farming full-time after first getting involved in a walnut-buying station run by two high school boys. Salatin’s grandfather had been an avid gardener and beekeeper and a follower of J. I. Rodale, the founder of regenerative organic gardening. Salatin’s father worked as an accountant and his mother taught high school physical education. Salatin’s parents had bought the land that became Polyface after losing a farm in Venezuela to political turmoil. They had raised cattle using organic methods, but could not make a living at farming alone.
Salatin, a self-described “Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist-lunatic-Farmer” produces high-quality “beyond organic” meats, which are raised using environmentally responsible, ecologically beneficial, sustainable agriculture. Jo Robinson, the author of Pasture Perfect: The Far-Reaching Benefits of Choosing Meat, Eggs and Dairy Products From Grass-Fed Animals (2004) said of Salatin, “He’s not going back to the old model. There’s nothing in county extension or old-fashioned ag science that really informs him. He is just looking totally afresh at how to maximize production in an integrated system on a holistic farm. He’s just totally innovative.”
Salatin considers his farming a ministry, and he condemns the negative impact on his livelihood and lifestyle of what he considers an increasingly regulatory approach taken by the agencies of the United States government toward farming. Salatin now spends a hundred days a year lecturing at colleges and to environmental groups.
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In today's conventional food-production paradigm, any farm that is open-sourced, compost-fertilized, pasture-based, portably-infrastructured, solar-driven, multi-speciated, heavily peopled, and soil-building must be operated by a lunatic. Modern, normal, reasonable farmers erect "No Trespassing" signs, deplete soil, worship annuals, apply petroleum-based chemicals, produce only one commodity, erect Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and discourage young people from farming.
Anyone looking for ammunition to defend a more localized, solar-driven, diversified food system will find an entire arsenal in these pages. With wit and humor honed during countless hours working on the farm he loves, and then interacting with conventional naysayers, Salatin brings the land to life, farming to sacredness, and food to ministry.
Divided into four main sections, the first deals with principles to nurture the earth, an idea mainline farming has never really endorsed. The second section describes food and fiber production, including the notion that most farmers don't care about nutrient density or taste because all they want is shipability and volume. The third section, titled "Respect for Life," presents an apologetic for food sacredness and farming as a healing ministry. Only lunatics would want less machinery and pathogenicity. Oh, the ecstasy of not using drugs or paying bankers. How sad. The final section deals with promoting community, including the notion that more farmers would be a good thing.
Salatin, hailed by the New York Times as "Virginia's most multifaceted agrarian since Thomas Jefferson [and] the high priest of the pasture" and profiled in the Academy Award nominated documentary Food, Inc. and the bestselling book The Omnivore's Dilemma, understands what food should be: Wholesome, seasonal, raised naturally, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a profound reverence for the circle of life. And his message doesn't stop there. From child-rearing, to creating quality family time, to respecting the environment, Salatin writes with a wicked sense of humor and true storyteller's knack for the revealing anecdote.
Salatin's crucial message and distinctive voice--practical, provocative, scientific, and down-home philosophical in equal measure--make FOLKS, THIS AIN'T NORMAL a must-read book.
What on earth is The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs? It's an inspiring call to action for people of faith . . . a heartfelt plea to heed the Bible's guidance . . . .
It's an important and thought-provoking explanation of how by simply appreciating the marvelous pigness of pigs, we are celebrating the Glory of God.
As a man of deep faith and student of the Bible, and as a respected and successful ecological family farmer, Joel Salatin knows that God created heaven and earth and meant for all living organisms to be true to their nature and their endowed holy purpose. He intended for us to respect and care for His gift of creation, not to ravage and mistreat it for our own pleasure or wealth.
The example that inspires the book's title explains what Salatin means: when huge corporate farms confine pigs in cramped and dark pens, inject them with antibiotics and feed them herbicide-saturated food simply to increase profits, they are not respecting them as a creation of God or allowing them to express even their most rudimentary uniqueness - that special role that is part of His design. Every living organism has a God-given uniqueness to its life that must be honored and respected, and too often that is not happening today.
Salatin shows us the long overlooked ethics and instructions in the Bible for how to eat, how to shop, how to think about how we farm and feed the world. Through scripture and Biblical stories, he shows us why it's more vital than ever to look to the good book rather than corporate America when feeding the country and your family.
Salatin makes a compelling case for Christian stewardship of the earth and how it relates to every action we take regarding our food. He also opens our eyes to a common misconception many Christians may have about environmentalism: it's not a bad thing, and definitely not just the province of secular liberals; it's really a very good thing, part of heeding God's Word.
With warmth and with humor, but with no less piercing criticism of the industrial food complex, Salatin brings readers on a fascinating journey of farming, food and faith. Readers will not say grace over their plates the same way ever again.
After all, the farm population is dwindling. It takes too much capital to start. The pay is too low. The working conditions are dusty, smelly and noisy: not the place to raise a family. This is all true, and more, for most farmers.
But for farm entrepreneurs, the opportunities for a farm family business have never been greater. The aging farm population is creating cavernous niches begging to be filled by creative visionaries who will go in dynamic new directions. As the industrial agriculture complex crumbles and our culture clambers for clean food, the countryside beckons anew with profitable farming opportunities.
While this book can be helpful to all farmers, it targets the wannabes, the folks who actually entertain notions of living, loving and learning on a piece of land. Anyone willing to dance with such a dream should be able to assess its assets and liabilities; its fantasies and realities. "Is it really possible for me?" is the burning question this book addresses.
Everyone who reads and enjoys that previous work will benefit from this additional information. In those 20 years, Polyface Farm progressed from a small family operation to a 20-person, 6,000-customer, 50-restaurant business, all without sales targets, government grants, or an off-farm nest egg.
As a germination tray for new farmers ready to take over the 50 percent of America's agricultural equity that will become available over the next two decades, Polyface Farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley stands as a beacon of hope in a food and farming system floundering in dysfunction: toxicity, pathogenicity, nutrient deficiency, bankruptcy, geezers, and erosion. Speaking into that fear and confusion, Salatin offers a pathway to success, with production, profit, and pleasure thrown in for good measure.
You’re not alone. We’re constantly bombarded with ever-changing diet recommendations and the latest diet crazes: Paleo, Keto, Whole 30, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and the list goes on. Eggs are bad one day and good the next. Kale is good for you today. Tomorrow it contains high levels of thallium and is toxic to your thyroid gland. How do you know what to put on your plate that will bring you toward greater health and wellness?
In Beyond Labels, Joel Salatin, a farmer who is blazing the trail for regenerative farm practices, and Sina McCullough, a Ph.D. in Nutrition who actually understands unpronounceable carbon chains, bring you on a journey from generally unhealthy food and farming to an ultimately healing place.
Through compelling discussions leavened with a dose of humor, they share practical and easily doable tips about:
•What to eat
•How to find it and prepare it
•How to save money and time in the kitchen
•How to stay true to your principles in our modern culture
Whether you are just starting your health journey or you grow all of your own food, this book is designed to meet you where you are and motivate you to take the next step in your healing journey – ultimately bringing you closer to health, happiness, and freedom.
“The ideas, evidence and takeaways from this book have the power to reshape America's declining health. This is the most-fascinating, inspirational, and flat out most useful book I've ever read. Joel and Sina have done what no other authors have managed to do. They've created a survival guide for the war on our gut microbiome.” -Andy Snyder, Founder of Manward Press
From child labor regulations to food inspection, bureaucrats provide themselves sole discretion over what food is available in the local marketplace. Their system favors industrial, global corporate food systems and discourages community-based food commerce, resulting in homogenized selection, mediocre quality, and exposure to non-organic farming practices.
Salatin's expert insight explains why local food is expensive and difficult to find and will illuminate for the reader a deeper understanding of the industrial food complex.
Beyond that, the salad bar beef production model offers hope to rural communities, to struggling row-crop farmers, and to frustrated beef eaters who do not want to encourage desertification, air and water pollution, environmental degradation and inhumane animal treatment. Because this is a program weighted toward creativity, management, entrepreneurism and observation, it breathes fresh air into farm economics.
Based on his decades of experience with interns and multigenerational partnerships at Polyface Farm, farmer and author Joel Salatin digs deep into the problems and solutions surrounding this land- and knowledge-transfer crisis.
This book empowers aspiring young farmers, midlife farmers, and non-farming landlords to build regenerative, profitable agricultural enterprises.
With humor and personal stories, he opens his family and farm convictions for all to see, share, and enjoy. Written from his unabashed "Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist" perspective, his ideas are guaranteed to encourage and challenge virtually every "ism" in the culture. It will captivate anyone passionate about healing the land, healing families, and healing the food supply.
For several decades young people have been leaving the family farm. The ones left behind are now responsible for society's greatest resources: clean land and clean food. Anyone dedicated to preserving these resources will find in these pages a nongovernmental, self-empowerment approach to environmentalism and food safety.
The heart of this book is aimed toward parents tired of their Dilbert cubicle at the end of the expressway who want to reconnect with their children through a pastoral lifestyle. It's written for anyone who yearns to grow old working with and being adored by value-sharing grandchildren and honored by passionate, productive adult children. Family Friendly Farming can make any family business more viable and any family more functional.
The ten-chapter section on how to get the kids to love the farm is an invaluable addition to any collection of child-rearing manuals. Salatin moves from the family team-building section into a practical discussion on how to increase income per acre and create new, white-collar salaries without buying more land, equipment, or buildings. He deals with the unique and thorny issues surrounding any family business by using his own multi-generational family farm experience as his base for insight and wisdom.
· Empower food buyers to pursue positive alternatives to the industrialized food system
· Bring clean food farmers and their patrons into a teamwork relationship
· Marry the best of western technology with the soul of eastern ethics
· Educate food buyers about productions
· Create a food system that enhances nature's ecology for future generations
Holy Cows and Hog Heaven has an overriding objective of encouraging every food buyer to embrace the notion that menus are a conscious decision, creating the next generation's world one bite at a time.