What would Joel Do?
After blogging for a while it was time to honor my hero in sustainable farming, Joel Salatin. I’ve had several people ask me about the Polyface Farm DVD and I thought I’d share some info on what it’s about and why Joel has been so instrumental in the sustainable farming movement.
“the best ecology also makes the best economy.” – Joel Salatin
With this DVD you’re getting a virtual tour of everything they’re doing at Polyface Farm which begins and ends with grass and pasture. Lovely! Using low-cost materials and multi-use farm buildings where the focus is “function over form,” Joel and his son Daniel take you through pastured poultry, eggs, turkeys, salad bar beef, rabbits and pastured pigs. The beauty is that these are NOT all separate, totally segregated monocultures of livestock; instead Joel explains how these operations can co-exist and identifies the ways they can benefit each other for ecological and economical reasons.
There’s also a section on relationship marketing in which Joel is refreshingly transparent about his numbers and demographics. And very much like the artisan lifestyle I like to promote, Joel states what makes his farm different is that he is in “the food crafting business” which is not based on “high volume, but on high labor and a dedication to excellence.”
These are the kinds of practical details you’ll find in the Polyface Farm DVD. It’s not a “how-to” video by any means but what it offers is a 360 degree view into what makes a farm like Polyface so special. It’s done in such a way that educates and motivates you to see all the possibilities for enhancing ecology & economy in your farming operation.
A River of Sustainable Farming Inspiration
If I was to sum up in one paragraph the river of inspiration that Joel Salatin has given me through his videos, books and this DVD, it would be this:
For today’s farmers, it’s not enough just to farm and make money. It’s about being a healer – a healer of the land and for the community. It’s about integrating systems that are low-cost and make sense for the natural landscape and ultimately the environment. It’s about getting involved and being an advocate for education and action. Most of all – it’s about sharing your passions in all forms for the betterment of humanity.
As the books and public speaking engagements keep pouring out, Joel continues to spread the word with reckless abandon. He is one of the great agrarian orators of our time, whom, like Wendell Berry, seed the passion of this noble occupation into the minds of aspiring farmers and sow the support of sustainable agriculture into the hearts of the community.
What Would Joel Do is the question I will ask myself each & every step of the way along the journey.