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Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World Hardcover – October 10, 2011


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Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World + You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise + Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street; 1 edition (October 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892968192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892968190
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Joel Salatin might seem like a vision of our agrarian past, but in fact, he's distinctly modern, looking beyond the conventional toward a new "normal" based on community, ecology, and flavor, too. Salatin's book is as practical as it is reflective; as necessary as it is radical."—Dan Barber, Chef/Co-Owner, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns

"Joel Salatin is a down-to-earth 21st century pioneer, one of those rare contrarian thinkers whose words and work have the power to transform the way a generation thinks. 'Folks This Ain't Normal' will help seed the new nature movement and inspire people everywhere -- especially young people in need of some practical hope. And here's the bonus: The book is great fun to read. Sacred cows beware."—Richard Louv, author of "The Nature Principle" and "Last Child in the Woods"

"In Folks, This Ain't Normal, Joel Salatin says it's high time we stopped taking our industrialized food system as a given and instead consider local, sustainable food production as the norm. Good plan. Whether or not you agree with his contention that we would be better off if the government got out of food regulation, his ideas are compellingly written, fun to read, and well worth pondering."—Marion Nestle, Dept. of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, NYU, and author, Food Politics

"Chances are slim you'll agree with everything in this wonderfully cranky book. But I'm almost certain you'll agree that Joel Salatin has earned the right to his convictions, and that they shine a powerful light on some of the paths out of the predicament we find ourselves in as a world."—Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

"Joel...is one of the most creative, productive and sustainable farmers working in America today...His message is that we eaters can change the world, one meal at a time."—Michael Pollan, in the introduction to Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer's Guide to Farm Friendly Food

About the Author

Joel Salatin is a third generation family farmer working his land in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley with his wife, Teresa, son Daniel, daughter Rachel and their families. The Salatin Polyface Farm, an organic grass-fed farm, services more than 3,000 families, 10 retail outlets and 50 restaurants through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs. Joel Salatin writes extensively in magazines such as Stockman Grass Farmer, Acres USA, and American Agriculture.

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Customer Reviews

A very informative read.
Carl Keith McDonald
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in farming.
M. Husted
This is the second book I've read from Joel Salatin.
Max Siegel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Jamé on October 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Why do I love this book? There are so many reasons. It's a book I was not able to put down or stop thinking about. It made me feel frustrated and hopeful all at the same time. It is funny and insightful. I care about my food and how it is raised. I want my kids to be allergy free and play in the woods. I want to curl up next to a real wood fire after a long day of working hard and sweating. I want to eat eggs from happy chickens that I raise free from corn and gmo soy. This book makes me feel like those things are possible. It was a paradigm shift for me. I hope a lot of people read this book and take up the fight for the small local farm.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By homesteader on October 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes folks, we have decided to give this book to everyone on our Christmas list this year. I am reading this book on my Droid in Kindle format and can not put it down. I have known Joel personally for more than a dozen years and he was one of my mentors as I started my own pastured poultry farm coming from a CAFO poultry background. So needless to say, there is little in this book which is new to me but he tells it in style and in a way which is so much more effective than any way I could say it. But for the average person this book will be a different perspective. What he says has great universal truth, from how to raise children to how to heal the planet.

For me, my great hope is that this book does become number ONE on the NY Times best seller list for the more people who read this book, then a better world we will have. This book is a must read by all who want a better world.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ruby Green on October 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Joel Salatin is a genius, and in my opinion, a hero of the people. If you have an inkling of doubt about mainstream food sources or want to know if "organic" is really the way to go, you will get a LOT from this book. There is so much about the current mainstream food ideology that are fabrications of mega food corporations and government agencies. The current system is in place to crank out huge profits, not to promote health and nutrition for citizens. I have read several books on food issues, and this one ranks in the top 2-3 for me. It definitely adds a new angle that cannot be found in other literature on the subject (namely more detail on food policy/legislation, which blew my mind!). More people need to be enlightened to the honest, historically-supported truth that America's approach to food AIN'T NORMAL. Amen, Joel! Please read/listen to this book, and then share it with a friend!
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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Rashel on October 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Greatest book. We pre-ordered this book expecting it to be awesome, and it is! My husband and I have been reading it aloud every morning during coffee time. It's an inspiring book. Encouraging us to get off our hineys and do something! Anything, just get off the couch and stop accepting the status quo and THINK! :)
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Stephen T. Bemis on October 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Salatin is a wonderful writer, but he's an even better thinker. I have read many books in the save-the-world, save-the-economy, save-the-ecosystem, be-a-farmer genres, and this is the best. It covers all the bases, from oppressive, size-inappropriate regulations to saving water. When I read McKibben's "Deep Economy," I found myself wishing he had more of a farmer's viewpoint since nourishing the soil, the plants, the animals, and ultimately, us'n, is all about farming the way Salatin farms. This is the McKibben-type book that we have needed - with a nourishing sense of humor, a bracing courage to call out the bad guys, and a constructive approach which everyone can use, whether it's the next dollar you spend on food or your plans for a southern window-ledge or a plot of land to do it yourself. Read this book and understand what we have to do in America to untangle ourselves from the mess we are in, because folks, it ain't normal.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E. McCollum on October 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If you're like me, you'll find yourself putting the book down every couple of pages to tell your spouse/parent/best friend all about the amazing thing you just read. Joel Salatin's writing style is conversational and entertaining. The information he presents is important, and the suggestions he offers at the end of each chapter provide simple ways that anyone can make significant changes to their life. I certainly agree with the review on the back cover that no one will agree with every single thing in this book, but it's certain to get people thinking. And as Joel says, "To actually care about food, to think about it, to see it as a conscious act is indeed a revolutionary thought in today's world."
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Raven on November 14, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If everyone was about to jump off a cliff, would you do it too?

These days we are fooled by what is little more than large-scale peer pressure into thinking that our way of life is normal. It's not exactly a conspiracy, just small things adding up to a drastic disconnect from our heritage.

Yet, when you compare it with the last few thousand years of human history, our current way of interacting with our world is extremely novel. Salatin of Polyface farms explores where we are as a society today and explains how changing to more sustainable methods of production, eating, and quite simply, living is far simpler than anyone can imagine.

There are very few people in the Western World who know as much on the topic as Salatin. I was very impressed by his research and the ideas he expressed.

As wonderful as this book is, I don't recommend it to many people. If you are new to sustainable living, caring about your health and the health of the planet then you will have better luck with Michael Pollan's, In Defence of Food. Salatin's book is a bit more hard core.

Most of the points Salatin makes are great! But a lot of the time, I feel that he spends more time responding to critics rather than forging his own path. The book sometimes reads like I'm listing in on one side of a phone conversation.

Perhaps, by being such a pioneer in this field, the author has become too accustomed to defending himself, that he forgets that not every reader is familiar with the challenges he has had to overcome. This may seem like a minor thing; however even for me, a great enthusiast and small farmer, I found it tedious reading at times. Because of the author's style of writing, I fear that gem of a book might scare some people away.

Edit: The Kindle version of this book was very well done. Very easy to navigate with the chapters divided properly. No noticeable typos.
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