Animal farming. If you’re a dedicated Permaculture or organic farming enthusiast, chances are you’ve seen Joel Salatin and his amazing Polyface Farm in Virginia. YouTube is chalked full of videos of his farm, tours, chicken processing, TED talks, and presentations that Joel has given. He’s an intellectual, and a spiritual guy. I see the light inside of him when he talks about his farming methods. While, like so many other farms, they include the breeding and slaughter of animals, his approach doesn’t revolve around that, but rather the ideal health and happiness of his animals.
|Photo Credit: CrozetGazette|
This isn’t like getting into a garden where if you get really fed up you can walk away. You can’t walk away from hungry mouths to feed and yet people seem to do just that. They disconnect, they check out mentally on the situation and relinquish their responsibility because they’re tired.
Problems of the heart
|Photo: The Prairie Homestead|
I know that Joel talks a good game and really makes raising meat animal's look easy. So many people think they are going to hatch a batch of chicks or kid their goats and sell the animals to make some cash. Isn’t that what a successful farming model looks like? This is what I call ‘the drug dealing of Permaculture.’ Here is why.
|Sheep rescued from |
Grassy Knoll or Muddy Hole
Again, I will compare with Salatin whose farm, mind you, is smack dab in the middle of what used to be rich natural grasslands. While his system of daily rotation surely works if followed diligently, keep in mind that Polyface land is predisposed to grow grass. Obviously, his business model was designed around that as yours should be designed around your specific geographical advantages.
|Photo: Pawel Kuczynski|
My advice, whether anyone wants to take it or not, would be to calm down. You don’t have to provide
The Vegetarian Agrarian
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|A painting in one of my favorite artist's series from Pawel Kuczynski|