Video After The Jump Below
From OWEN HABLUTZEL
HopeDance via Energy Bulletin
… Not merely a “lunatic farmer,” Joel Salatin is also a prolific author, front-line local-food activist, regenerative-silvo-pastoral-profitable-Permaculture farmer, sought-after speaker, marketing guru, agricultural innovator, eco-prophet, and general “bio-evangelist.” He has been written about quite extensively elsewhere, has appeared in worthy films such as Food, Inc. and Fresh, and well-deservedly ranks as something of a celebrity-dynamo in the eco-ag domain.
In 1961 his father moved the family to an abused, soil-depleted, de-vegetated, gully-infested, 550 acre block of land in Virginia called Polyface Farm. Beginning then, and continuing to this day, the Salatin family began a series of adaptive experiments in natural farming that regenerated Polyface and, to a large degree, aspects of the surrounding communities. Over the years Mr. Salatin has produced many ground-tested, tried-and-true, replicable models for profitable small farm production. Everything from pastured pork and poultry, to timber, to grass-finished beef (some of his books – You Can Farm, Pastured Poultry Profits, and Salad-Bar Beef – offer complete models of these enterprises, as well as lots of other juicy, hard-won, ecological farming tidbits). Along the way the Salatin’s have occasionally found themselves locking horns with insensitive bureaucracies, incompetent politicos and agencies, and incomprehensible legal issues (see Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal) that tend to keep sensible, locally based farms and initiatives out of important local markets (usually to protect far-flung, large scale agribusiness and multinationals from relevant local competition under the guise of ‘food safety’). This varied, agricultural life, specific set of experiences, cheerful personality, and wit makes Mr. Salatin uniquely qualified for such zealous pulpiteering on the topic of re-localizing our world.
So what pathways does Mr. Salatin suggest? How do we get to a thriving, locally based, community embedded agriculture – an agriculture that is neighborhood friendly, what he calls an “embryonic aesthetically aromatically sensually romantic farming model” – from the present degenerative state of affairs? To begin the journey requires recognizing where we are starting from. For Mr. Salatin our society is presently at “the zenith… of the Greco-roman, western, linear, reductionized, disconnected, democratized, individualized, fragmented, systematized, all-about-me kind of thinking.” His answer is to preach what he practices. “We need to engage… to be the ones that reach out,” says Mr. Salatin. It is this highly pro-active, interactive, social modality of engaging others that is necessary for farmers and for all agents of change to practice in order to begin to bring about the kinds and scales of changes that are needed. …
(December 9, 2009)
HopeDance has posted Salatin’s talk (30 mins):
“The very inspiring and packed-house talk Joel Salatin presented on Relocalization, in Santa Barbara on December 9, 2009 as part of the Carbon Economy Courses, presented by Quail Springs and Orella Ranch.” (YouTube via HopeDance)