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The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer Paperback – September 8, 2010
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About the Author
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
Should you read this? Despite the complaints, my answer is yes. It's the kind of message that you can't hear too often. Salatin gets under your skin. You really feel like his crusade should be your crusade. You start thinking of things that you can do to defeat Monsanto, CAFOs, industrial corn, and the rest. Your list of acceptable restaurants dwindles. Your shopping habits change dramatically. You see the countryside with new eyes when you go on car trips. You sneer (moderately) when you see a weedy field with a few cows and no electric fencing. You get hungry.
Buy the book, read it, and then pass it on to a friend. You'll be glad you did.
Will you like this book? If you're of the Gene Logsdon, Wendell Berry, Eliot Coleman persuasion - or want to be - then you'll love it and should go ahead and get it.
"You can tell the greatness of a nation by the way it treats its animals" M. Ghandi
I would recommend reading Michael Pollan for the Polyface Farms story. he's a much better writer and there's really not that much more info in this book, unless you are really interested in how right Joel Salitin is and how often he proves it to his neighbors and the government.
I'm shocked, angry, excited and passionate all at once. Reading this book is like taking the blue pill, and I'm walking around now, blinking, with port-holes all over my body and driving around in a very sketchy little spaceship thing, wondering what the heck to do and where to go from here. After offering husband the blue pill, we both swore off globalist, mega-corporate, industrialized food ("concentration-camp food").
Now we are looking for land. I can't believe I just wrote that. You see how powerful this book is? It has completely, 100% changed our lives. We, who know nothing about farming and everything about our modern society, want to live a life of integrity, meaning and purpose in healing our land, creating real food, and making thousands of beings happy.
Thank you, Joel Salatin. We are excited to travel across the country to one day meet your farm. And your Chickeny-chickens, Pigerators and Salad-Bar Beefers. In the meantime... know anybody who has spare land in Northern California?
Buy this book, if you want to change yours and your children's and their children's lives. It's a blue pill, be warned. Very much looking forward to inhaling Joel Salatin's other books as we save up for them. Worthy investment!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great message, but used unnecessary criticism of the military and other races.Published 3 months ago by Chad H.
This is an awesome book! If you want to understand more about the local food movement, healthy eating, the politics of agriculture in this country and many more topics, then... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Elizabeth from NC
Love Joel Salatin! Everything he wrights has me laughing from start to finish, when I'm not angry about the farming laws.Published 6 months ago by Allison Mutek
A great book for every farmer/gardeners library. This has great resources for those who are both beginning and experienced.Published 6 months ago by Mike Lundberg
Great book, full of much needed common sense. Knowledge is freedom, the word needs to be spread that there is an easier, better, healthier way. Read morePublished 10 months ago by jacqueline
Joel Salatin is just amazing and his books inspire you to want to "do it right." We are hoping to get to visit Polyface Farms soon after reading this book. Read morePublished 11 months ago by imhistory
Joel Salatin is my hero! He gives clear instructions as to how to stop the madness of corporate farming.Published 12 months ago by Megan K Danes