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    Joel Salatin: How to Prepare for A Future Increasingly Defined By Localized Food & Energy

    by Adam Taggart

    Monday, August 29, 2011, 7:43 PM

Joel Salatin, proprietor of Polyface Farms and highly-visible champion of sustainable farming, thinks modern humans have become so far removed from a natural connection to the food they eat that we no longer have a true understanding of what "normal" food is.

The rise of Big Ag and factory farming over the past century has conditioned us to treat food mechanically (as something to be recoded and retooled) vs. biologically. And we don't realize that for all our industrialization and optimization, we're actually getting less yield and less nutrition than natural-based processes can offer.

Whether we like it or not, the arrival of Peak Oil is going to force us to realize that our heavily-energy intensive practices can't continue at their current scale. And with world population still increasing exponentially, we'll need to find other, more sustainable ways of growing our food.

"What we view today as "normal," I argue, is simply not normal. Just think about if you wanted to go to town 120 years ago. If you wanted to go to town, you actually had to go out and hook up a horse. That horse had to eat something, which means you had to have a patch of grass somewhere to feed that horse, which meant you had to take care of some perennial in order to feed that horse in order to go to town. And so throughout history, you had these kinds of what I call ‘inherent boundaries,’ or brakes, on how much a single human could abuse the ecology. 

And today, during this period of cheap energy, we’ve been able to extricate ourselves from that entire umbilical, if you will, and just run willy-nilly as if there is no constraint or restraint. And now we are starting to see some of the outcome of that boundless, untied progression. And so the chances are, the way to bet, is that in the future we are going to see more food localization, we are going to see more energy localization, we are going to see more personal responsibility in ecological lifestyle decisions, because it's going to be forced on us to survive economically. We are going to have to start taking some accounting of these ecological principles."

Joel, his family, and the team at Polyface Farms dedicate themselves to developing environmentally, emotionally, and economically-enhanced food prototypes and advocate for duplicating their production around the world. 

In this interview, Chris and Joel explore what constitutes truly sustainable agriculture and the reasons why our current system has departed so far from it, as well as practical steps individuals can take to increase their own personal resiliency around the food they eat (in short: "find your kitchen," source your food locally, and grow some yourself).

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Joel Salatin (runtime 44m:15s):

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Or click here to read the full transcript. 

  


 

Joel Salatin is one of the most visible and influential leaders in the organic food and sustainable farming movement. His family owns and manages Polyface Farms, which has been featured prominently in such modern food movement works as The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and the film documentary Food, Inc. Joel’s unconventional but highly innovative farming practices are inspiring millions to increase their nutritional and community resiliency by seeking out local sources of chemical-free food raised using natural process-based farming practices. These practices have been documented in the many books he has authored, including You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise (1998), The Sheer Ecstacy of Being a Lunatic Farmer (2010), and the upcoming Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World (available for pre-order).

 


 

Our series of podcast interviews with notable minds includes:

 

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74 Comments

  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 8:39pm

    #1
    patrickhenry

    patrickhenry

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 29

    Joel is the man !  A

    Joel is the man !  A tireless and thoroughly entertaining evangelist for sustainable, healthful eating !

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 8:47pm

    #2

    Ready

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 30 2008

    Posts: 150

    I'll listen tonight

    But serious kudos to Adam and Chris for having such a powerful guest.

    Even some of us that think we get it, really don’t.

    Joel gets it. I hope to some day!

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 9:15pm

    Reply to #2
    MarkM

    MarkM

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    Joined: Jul 22 2008

    Posts: 358

    Joel just rocks.

    Suh-weet. Joel is just an amazing individual that does "get it" on all levels and expresses it all eloquently and passionately.  I look forward to listening tonight.It is interesting that I was introduced to him on this site quite some time ago. Thanks, JAG. Joel’s inspiration has led me down a new path in my life with a little project in Oklahoma. The neighbors think I am crazy. I know better. It is people like him that give me some hope for our future.
    Thanks guys.

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 1:08am

    #3

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1814

    I Have put the kettle on and

    I Have put the kettle on and shall listen to the podcast now.

    A picture tells a thousand words, and your two pictures are eloquent.

    The farm is real wealth. Joel is in fine fettle. He must be doing something right.

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 2:22am

    #4

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1814

    I Have put the kettle on and

    I Have put the kettle on and shall listen to the podcast now.

    A picture tells a thousand words, and your two pictures are eloquent.

    The farm is real wealth. Joel is in fine fettle. He must be doing something right.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Later.

    St Joel the Wise.

    The mind races like a squirrel harvesting nuts.

    Have you read "The one straw revolution"?

    The reason we have to go through a crisis is because the western mind has become dominated by the Left hemisphere. Our models have become our Reality. Our left hemisphere "knows" that if the model is wrong, Reality itself will disappear in a puff of smoke. Hence we need a crisis af greater magnitude than the disapearence of Reality to destroy the dud model.

    This is why I commented on the pictures above. Pictures are a gestult, Right hemisphere response. And the Right has a monopoly on Insight.

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 3:40am

    #5

    InCalgary

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    Posts: 2

    Excellent!

    Chris, Excellent interview! I first saw Joel a month or so ago when watching Food INC. He is a vast source of knowledge, humour, and plain old common sense. His commentary and the documentary changed our perception of what constitutes a sustainable diet…And consequently the way we eat, live and plan for our future. Thanks for a great interview.

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 5:02am

    #6

    EndGamePlayer

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 103

    More Rural Heritage Stuff please!

    Wow – this is just what I needed today.

    Again, I’m reminded I need to be able to grow more calories than I consume and this was a perfect interview with a great thinker and fore-front to getting back into sensible ways of living.  There is so much I like about Joel’s way of thinking and way of life. But here in the north we have to do things a little differently and a lot of it requires working over the growing seaon to put away what is needed until next harvest. This means incorporating any and all energies Jole talked about but I think he left  out the draft animal as a resource.

    I know we can’t all get back to living the "good" life but here’s a little teaser (food for thought) on the lost art of living:

    I  remember reading about the old ways and how beforel the 1800s, most towns shared the cost and expense of the local draft animals as they provided service for all the people’s needs (plowing fields, clearing land, logging and as transportation. We hardly have enough animals as it is to meet the demand we use now, but it seems a good investment to learn or invest in local working animal skills. . .in a romantic sort of way. But I think it adds one more option to the alternative energy list that is not openly addressed.

    EGP

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 3:22pm

    #7

    Wendy S. Delmater

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    Posts: 1418

    nice interview, great philosphy

    And Joel touched on why my neighbor’s chicken raising distubed me. They pay for grain. If we have chickens, hopefully soon, they will be fed scraps. Honestly, grain will be too expensive to spend on animal feed. For that, we plan to have non-picky, herbivore rabbits.

    Joel sort of validated our plans for our small suburban homestead, that that felt wonderful. I’ll look forhis book now, too.

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 5:04pm

    Reply to #6

    Full Moon

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 265

    lol Reading Room

       EGP   ,The reading room in the  Rural Heritage  just tickled my funny bone  .        I am more grateful than ever that  my family has passed down these traditional ways .  
      Last week  my  7 yo grandson was big talk  when we were butching roosters  and very disapointed that he did not  have the strength  to whack  heads . He did OK with the feathers .. hightailed it for the gutting .     I am thinking there may be a lot more vegetarians in the future  or  Butchering will be a  man in demand job .    Train your children well is all I can say .
      I was encouraged to see that the public school was offering classes in food preservation  and baking classes  .. and opening it up for adults .  That they now have a local growers co-op and that the Superintendent’s wife has purchased the local greenhouse business and  is opening it for people to come plant in during the winter months .  Offering  Hunter Safety courses and    now has an AG  teacher with family farming back ground replacing one that  was just a welding teacher .
      Baby steps  but  steps forward none the less .
     FM

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 3:40am

    #8
    green_achers

    green_achers

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    Grain feeding

    Just a little response to Safewrite’s comment:

    I think it’s not a bad medium-term strategy to import a little bit of nutrients and biomass in the form of chicken feed if you understand that it might not be available at an affordable price in the long term, and plan accordingly.  You will get a LOT more egg or meat production by feeding the chickens, I mean the difference between a few eggs a week and eggs every day.  Every year, you will be improving your soil, and that will make it a lot more productive over the long term.

    Salatin himself used grains in his chicken operation in its earlier incarnation (the "Salatin" portable pens he featured in his book, Pastured Poultry Profit$.)  I don’t know if he still does, but I do know that he transitioned to the day-range system.  It’s a testimony to the man that, when he saw a system that worked better than his own, he changed to it.

    Now there are a few ways to supplement the chicken’s feed without buying commercial feed or even making your own from exogenous grains.  If you have enough land, you could put in a corn or soybean patch, recognizing that you are still probably going to need to come up with a way to bring in fertility.  Amaranth and quinoa can be grown in backyards, and while I have never known chickens to be very fond of them, they could probably be prepared in a way that they would utilize them.  Maybe you could partner with a small local market gardener for the production of a few acres.  You could salvage grain foods from local bakeries, grocery stores, or restaurants.

    Anyway, just some food for thought.  Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 4:01am

    #9

    Mark_BC

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    Posts: 320

    Great interview. I think one

    Great interview. I think one thing North Americans should be doing is promoting bison as a meat source, since they are ideal out on the range and they are healthier than beef. This would also be a way to bring back prairie ecosystems that have pretty much been lost since we converted virtually all the prairies over to mechanized plant production, to supply feedlots. We could have kind of semi-parks, where big swaths of land are returned to natural processes with roaming bison which are culled X% on a yearly basis to provide meat for us. The other benefit of bison is that they tend to congregate in higher ground so they don’t spoil riparian areas, whereas cows like to make a mess down in the mud.

    And speaking of sourcing your nutrition locally, an interesting tidbit is that the deep rich soils of the great plains are actually largely the result of the loess deposits from dust blowing off the Sahara and getting deposited in North America. But it is easily degraded by poor agricultural practices, and we have diminished our inherited ecological captial over the last 100 years in our poor treatment of our farmlands.

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 4:02am

    Reply to #7
    patrickhenry

    patrickhenry

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    Posts: 29

    safewrite wrote:And Joel

    [quote=safewrite]
    And Joel touched on why my neighbor’s chicken raising distubed me. They pay for grain. [/quote]
    Mr. Salatin pays for grain for his chickens, as well.   He has special mixtures for both his pasture raised broilers and his layers.  Chickens in most settings cannot live well on grass and bugs alone.
    Cattle still rule for converting sunfed grass to tasty protein !

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 11:42pm

    #10
    jmbrantl

    jmbrantl

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    It's true that Joel does use

    It’s true that Joel does use chicken feed, but my understanding is that it is purchased from a local supplier.

    The feed is not "certified organic" but it is GMO-free.

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  • Thu, Sep 01, 2011 - 1:33am

    Reply to #7
    green_achers

    green_achers

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    patrickhenry wrote:Chickens

    [quote=patrickhenry]Chickens in most settings cannot live well on grass and bugs alone. [/quote]Old-fashiioned dual-purpose birds can do just fine on forage and bugs.  What you won’t get is rapid growth or high egg production.  If all you want are a couple of eggs a week, or just to celebrate a holiday once a year with a home-grown hen, then a couple of yardbirds around the property are a fine thing to have.  Heck, even if you never get a thing, they can perform valuable eco-functions around your garden.
    If you want more than that, or are raising meat birds like the Cornish Cross, you’re going to need to feed them.
    My point was that most of us are never going to be totally self-sufficient, so you need to choose wisely what you want to import.  Concentrated, high-energy foods like meat and eggs, or cheaper grains that you can feed to an animal and reap the benefit of the wastes?

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  • Thu, Sep 01, 2011 - 8:03pm

    #11
    RobertAsumendi

    RobertAsumendi

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    Great interview! Amazing

    Great interview! Amazing insight.

    One thought though: In 2050, let’s produce LESS food, not double.  Population growth is not like gravity or magnetism or time. It happens because people are made of food, and more food means more people. Conversely, less food means less people. Poverty and hunger have social origins — they have nothing to do with a dearth of food.

    The amount of food being produced is a really key issue that we all need to wrap our heads around. Spread the word!

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 6:28am

    #12
    SPAM_thanielparker

    SPAM_thanielparker

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    appetite suppressant

    ~Was spam here. Now there’s none~

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 6:53am

    Reply to #1

    scribe

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    Joel is a strange man

    I was taken aback to find out, at a bookselling site, that Joel Salatin is a fundamentalist Christian creationist, a very far right wing Libertarian, and an antiabortionist who does not believe government should be involved in education or a host of other services. Too whacky for me!

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 9:46am

    Reply to #1
    patrickhenry

    patrickhenry

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    Posts: 29

    scribe wrote:I was taken

    [quote=scribe]
    I was taken aback to find out, at a bookselling site, that Joel Salatin is a fundamentalist Christian creationist, a very far right wing Libertarian, and an antiabortionist who does not believe government should be involved in education or a host of other services. Too whacky for me!
    [/quote]
     
    A man of strong faith, someone who thinks people should take responsibility for themselves, should live and let live, and realizes the more that government gets involved in our schools, the worse our children are doing relative to the world ?   That does sound whacky !   😉

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 10:46am

    Reply to #1
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Joel is mennonite

    at least a mennonite tradition and gene pool. This, my partner tells me, is what the Virginia "Farmers Market" circles claim. That would explain the Christian and libertarian viewsrobie

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 11:32am

    #13

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 400

    "whacky?"

    I’d be thrilled to have him as a neighbor. And to have the luxury of interning on his farm. I can’t let the little ways in which I’m different from the gal/guy next door keep me from working with them to create the Next World. Viva — Sager

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 1:25pm

    Reply to #1
    joemanc

    joemanc

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    Posts: 138

    scribe wrote:I was taken

    [quote=scribe]
    I was taken aback to find out, at a bookselling site, that Joel Salatin is a fundamentalist Christian creationist, a very far right wing Libertarian, and an antiabortionist who does not believe government should be involved in education or a host of other services. Too whacky for me!
    [/quote]
    When you go to the supermarket to buy food, do you ask the person selling you the food what their religion or political views are? How about your own local farmers?
    I’ve been giving my neighbors some of my extra produce from my 1st year garden. No one’s asked me what my religion or political views or whatever are. It’s not an issue, don’t make it out to be one. Joel can be me neighbor anyday.

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 2:38pm

    Reply to #1

    Ready

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 150

    scribe wrote:I was taken

    [quote=scribe]
    I was taken aback to find out, at a bookselling site, that Joel Salatin is a fundamentalist Christian creationist, a very far right wing Libertarian, and an antiabortionist who does not believe government should be involved in education or a host of other services. Too whacky for me!
    [/quote]
     
    Scribe, welcome to CM.
    I see that you are a bit new here, so I wanted to take an opportunity to aquaint you with some of the important premisis of this site.
    Everything in your post is a logical fallacy, specifically an Ad Hominem. That type of post will not get you very far here.
    If you have a critique of something the man said in his interview, that is certainly fair game. But we try to separtate beliefs from facts here, and Joel’s (or your) beliefs, especially about religion, goes against the grain of the site, as well as the posting guidelines.
     
    What I would like to hear is why what Joel says about farming is wrong, inadequate, misleading, or a poor perfomer in your mind. That’s really the subject here, not his personal belief set apart from farming. It is very easy to tear down, much harder to build. We still choose to build around here. Fair enough?
     
    R

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 3:06pm

    Reply to #1

    Arthur Robey

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    Oh goody. lets talk about

    Oh goody. lets talk about religion. I am always happiest when chewing the fat about something no-one knows anything about. The greater the uncertainty the greater the passion. (It’s a Left brain thing)

    ……………… Joel Salatin is a fundamentalist Christian creationist, a very far right wing Libertarian, and an antiabortionist who does not believe government should be involved in education or a host of other services. Too whacky for me!

    I counter with

    "However you imagine me, that is how I will appear to you." The Bagadavida. (Ancient hindu manuscript)

     Old nick exists as a meme and confuses everyone. He argues "Evolution proves God does not exist,"  He comes up with all sorts of wacky arguments.
    I feel like Mr wack-a-mole.
    The ancient Vikings never had the luxury of having an anti-abortionist stance. Every time an infant was born a calculation had to be made as to wether there were enough rescources for another adult. If not, fat was placed in the infants mouth and it was left out in the snow. Defective infants were given short shift. Hence the conquest of the world by the descendants of the Norsemen. Eugenics works.
    We can afford the luxury of anti-abortionism, now.

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 3:31pm

    Reply to #1

    Ready

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    Posts: 150

    Arthur Robey wrote:I am

    [quote=Arthur Robey]
    I am always happiest when chewing the fat
     
    If not, fat was placed in the infants mouth and it was left out in the snow.
    [/quote]
     
    Hmmmm, not sure I want to chew any fat on your island. It might be fatal.

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 3:31pm

    Reply to #1
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Mr. Salatin

    has a sterling reputation in the local sustainable ag crowd. To get off religion and back to farming, i would like to comment on his techniques which we should remind ourselves don’t happen either overnight or without effort. Our farm,500acresofit, was largely farmed to death,not to the extent the Salatins’ place was but still quite dead as obvious soil life didn’t exist. It has taken years to get fertility back, but is has really come around. Point is that the bug out farmette may not be sustainable or sufficiently fertile to meet expectations for years.
    Sorry i’m a poor typist,robie 

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 3:54pm

    Reply to #1

    Ready

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 150

    robie robinson wrote:has a

    [quote=robie robinson]
    has a sterling reputation in the local sustainable ag crowd. To get off religion and back to farming, i would like to comment on his techniques which we should remind ourselves don’t happen either overnight or without effort. Our farm,500acresofit, was largely farmed to death,not to the extent the Salatins’ place was but still quite dead as obvious soil life didn’t exist. It has taken years to get fertility back, but is has really come around. 
    Point is that the bug out farmette may not be sustainable or sufficiently fertile to meet expectations for years.
    Sorry i’m a poor typist,robie 
    [/quote]
     
    Robbie, I couldn’t agree more. I’m very jealous of the lush vegetation in the pic above. When I first bought my farm, I thought it would be no problem to knock down a few trees and plant a garden. When I got done, I had more rock than dirt. Luckily I am surrounded by folks who will let me take the used horse feed for free, and after 3 years of working it, have good soil. I would have had better luck if I started the garden in the valley, but that would be too far away from the house.
    When we first started, we had a soil test done. The good ole’ farmer who helped us understand the results said "any worm that wants to slither across that meadow better pack a lunch or he ‘aint gonna make it." It’s taken a lot of sweat and diesel to have happy, fat little worms. To go the natural route, not importing huge qtys of manure, it would take over a decade to get it right. Point is, whoever is planning on going down this road, better get started pretty soon!

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 4:06pm

    #14
    Locavorous

    Locavorous

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    Fertility must be managed.

    What Robie says is a reality I’ve been struggling with for at least 4 years on my ‘micro homestead’. Its not easy to grow, harvest, prepare and store food in quantity.

    Too many people who have a ‘preppers’ mindset buy stuff, instead of build callouses and knowledge through experience.

    A can full of heirloom seeds sitting on your pantry shelf might make you feel better about the future, but chances are they won’t provide the quantity of calories when you need them.

    Your personal food growing systems, whether they be fields of amber grain, movable pens of broiler chickens, a coop full of laying hens, or long rows of brocoli and beans have to be hard won by experience over time. Your location, soil condition, microclimate, etc etc etc all impact what you can grow in quantity. Anyone can force a tomato to grow (I’m at Latitude 48 North, which is a bit cold for ‘maters, peppers and eggplant without expensive hoop houses or other ‘stuff’), but can we afford to force enough ‘maters to grow to stock a pantry shelf with 10,000 calories? More?

    So, if growing your own is something that’s on your radar, and you think you’ll need to rely on those calories someday, you MUST grow food NOW.

    We grow about 70% of our own poultry, and about 70% of our own taters, onions, garlic, shallots. These store well. THe weakest link to growing more, and storing it appropriately, is labor.

    As a back up plan to growing your own food, consider ‘sprouting seeds’. It seems like a waste to me to eat a sprouted seed, but for now, you can buy in bulk, and with a couple mason jars, cheesecloth and water, have a gauranteed source of fresh nutrition. Walton Feed in Idaho sells a variety of sprouting seeds in bulk. I’m happier to have a deep larder of sprouting seeds than I am garden seeds, just based on RIGHT NOW nutrition.

    Now our goal is to produce fresh food year ’round up here. So more expensive hoop houses must be built, and protected from deep snows, high winds, and perhaps some day, hungry visitors.

    If you want to rely on home grown food, start now. Many seed companies are now offering guidance and seed selections especially for late summer/fall plantings.

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 4:32pm

    #15
    green_achers

    green_achers

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    Salatin's religion

    I was aware of Salatin’s religious views, and I don’t particularly share some of them, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to listen to the truths he speaks.  His books and various interviews have been very useful and inspirational to me.  I was noticing in the interview that there were several questions he could have answered from a religious perspective if he were pushing an agenda, but he mostly kept it secular.  Just another reason to admire the man.

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 4:47pm

    Reply to #15
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    IF Joel is mennonite

    (we live in a mennonite community, and i attended EMU, it was EMC in the ’70’s,however am not mennonite) it would be inconsistent to proselatize(sp) The Mennonites i know well "spread the gospel" thru good deeds and loving their neighbor. "on this hangs all the law and the prophets."robie

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  • Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - 7:22pm

    #16

    Full Moon

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    Posts: 265

    WOW

       Some people would rather starve ?    I doubt it . … but whatever … Joel  has great many years of experience and wisdom behind his ways .       This thread raises my  awareness of building my  own trusted community .   It is very much work raising your own food  and filling your shelves . I doubt there are even many here able to do it without  buying outside food  .   MANY farmers do not raise Milo anymore  so I believe chicken feed will go higher yet . The Corn went through a dry spell and did not head out so it was all cut for silage . YUP ,YUP, YUP  Grain will go high .   Good Luck ALL. !      

     FM 

      Note to self … make sure you do not let sneaky little Bantam Rooster in the hen house … hatchlings are ..  hard to butcher  tiny chickens that like to fight .  

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  • Sat, Sep 03, 2011 - 2:53am

    Reply to #16
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Posts: 906

    FM

    if i could type i’ld tell you how long one must pressure cook a game rooster to make’im tender. if it can crow its tough. We don’t raise milo, but will be milling sorghum(pressing is more accurate)for sorghum syrup. the grain is great chicken amendments(they forage for their greatest part)fine ground flour(better than corn meal) and lastly saved for next years crop.wish you were here,robie

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  • Sat, Sep 03, 2011 - 4:48am

    #17

    Full Moon

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    Posts: 265

    Me too ! Robie .

       I wish I were there for sorghum making !!!      are you doing it with Horse power ?? . What all do you use it on ?  My husband like a little in his coffee .     There is a gal a couple hours down the road that does it and   I just need to get over there  and watch it done .. she usually does not get over this way until Oct. When we have a harvest dance .  

         I  never thought of grinding it  for flour !!   I am  so going to do it !!!     We do pop milo like popped corn tho .

      OLD BIRDS !!!!    I told the 13 year old boy if he brought me home an old tom turkey  he was going to eat every bite himself .  NO PRIZE BEARDS .. LOL   The hunting  licence are   high and the flocks are huge  …  so many that the big cats will surely be through here soon enough enough  .  and talk about foraging .. my chickens got into the garden and  pecked at every tomato low enough to reach  last week.  Thank goodness the tomatoes  are climbing high enough that there are plenty to share .

      This is way off topic  but you will get it..  I just missed a sale on a horse drawn hearse  It was in great shape and so beautiful !   Our Black Morgan would have been so pretty hitched up to it    Anyway I have looked into green burial and we are going to just do it here on the place . Since we own three sides around the old  county cemetary up on the hay field  and  there are no laws against it in 44 states … Kansas being one .  I will just have them dig a hole on the outside of the fence  .  Anyway all we have to do is the old fashioned way … Get the body in the ground in 24  hours .   My mom said roll her body in a blanket and throw it in the hole .  I may even wrap my dad in a horse blanket and tie him to his horses saddle  for one last ride . That is if we can find the old guy ..  he keeps getting on his horse and taking off without telling us which way he is headed .

      OK  back to  harvesting …. the beans are looking awesome  .. The wheat was good ,the milo good , It just got too hot for the corn . The grain bins are full .     Now if it will cool down some we will haul in some logs to cut  for winter . It is going to be bad .. very many heavy foggy days , the walnuts are loaded  and other signs of long cold winter .  Also the elderberries are everywhere so I will not be surprised to hear of a whopper of a virus this winter .     So much for the old wives signs  ..

     FM 

    Hope you can follow my thoughts .. random they are  but that is just me

     

     

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  • Sat, Sep 03, 2011 - 7:42am

    #18

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Sorghum success.

    Sorghum is malted first to help process the indigestable carbs. Then it is roasted and ground to make Maltabella porridge. Even then it has a low glycemic index.

    I heard that they are trying to breed a more digestable variant. You can research the internet to see if they succeeded.

    "Nothing succeeds like a budgie without a beak."

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  • Sun, Sep 04, 2011 - 1:58pm

    Reply to #17
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Posts: 906

    Mornin' FM

    We use a prviously horsedrawn chattanooga No.12 mill. It is now PTO powered 18/1 gear reduction to slowher. It can be used ’bout anywhere sugar/honey would be used. Most interesting and now a favorite is to cure hams/baCON in course crush black pepper and sorghum syrup. Our 1/2acre of sorghum will occasionaly produce 40 galloons of syrup. It can be quite a party. My father and his brotheres once got drunk while cookin’ cane and when poured and cooled they had 200 quart jars of hard rock molasses candy. Granma had more to say about the evils of strong drink.Shellin’ corn,planting barley,then pressing and evaporating sorghum syrup. If any folk are interested and in the area send me a PM and i’ll let you in on the party, i mean work.
    robie,husband,father,farmer,optometrist
    here are some links to any who would like to know more about sorghum syrup, its history and current roles:
    http://nssppa.org/    http://www.syrupmakers.com/

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  • Sun, Sep 04, 2011 - 4:31pm

    Reply to #1
    12bones

    12bones

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    Joel

    I live near Joel and have a very high regard for him. He has always been willing to share his knowledge with the locals here and appear for speaking engagements for free. I have seen first hand what he has done with his place and use some of his techniques on our farm. Joel now moves 400+ head of cattle around to several other farms (they truck them) to simulate the intensive grazing that took place here in the Shenandoah Valley hundreds of years ago. They bring the chicken tractors in behind them to refertlize and feed on fly  larve in the cow manure. I n the winter the cattle are fed hay in the barn and corn is sprinkeled in with the manure which the cattle stomp into the floor. In the spring the cattle are turned back to pasture and he brings the pigs in to root up the kernels of corn and turn the hay and manure into compost this goes out on the fields as a very high grade of finished compost to give the grasses a boost. and the cycle starts again. No chemical fertilizer,  all processes working together the way nature has for millions of years. If you want to see Joel in action he is in a new documentary called American Meat, check it out it is worthwhile.  
     
    c
     
     

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  • Sun, Sep 04, 2011 - 11:38pm

    #19
    hbaronaz

    hbaronaz

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    Peak Oil

    Why does everybody buy into the nonsense of peak oil?  According to the last report I saw there is 2041 years of unrecovered, untouched recoverable oil in the Bakken formation in this country.  Why can’r we just get the environmentalists out of the way?  Think Sheriff Joe’s tent city for instance.

     

    Ron

     

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  • Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - 12:04am

    Reply to #19
    Doug

    Doug

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    troll

    [quote=hbaronaz]Why does everybody buy into the nonsense of peak oil?  According to the last report I saw there is 2041 years of unrecovered, untouched recoverable oil in the Bakken formation in this country.  Why can’r we just get the environmentalists out of the way?  Think Sheriff Joe’s tent city for instance.
     
    Ron
     
    [/quote]
    I don’t know if you’re a troll or just badly uninformed, but either way take the crash course.  Then try again.
    Doug

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  • Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - 2:26am

    Reply to #1

    Tom Page

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    Joined: Sep 26 2008

    Posts: 266

    sustainable farming

    Super interview, really like the diversity of guests and topics, keep it up.Has anyone read any of Joel’s books and would they be of interest to the serious backyard farmer as well as commercial operators?
    I’m especially interested in learning how to butcher chickens efficiently.
    I rotate my chickens around to different parts of the garden as part of the cycle after harvest and before planting, and the soil seems to really benifit, no tilling required.  Whatever veggies I don’t eat they do, producing eggs and compost in return, and they keep the grass mowed down too!  Meanwhile, I see folks around me spending all their time mowing the lawn, bagging grass (which I gladly take), then driving to the grocery store to pay money for lesser quality food then I get with 100′ of my house.  Yes its a lot of time and hard physical work to produce your own food; my arms are beat up from diggin up 200 lb of potatoes yesterday!; but it’s more than offset by the rewards.

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  • Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - 2:31am

    Reply to #1
    MarkM

    MarkM

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    Posts: 358

    There are some great youtube

    There are some great youtube videos on processing by Salatin as well as others. On processing, I think the videos will help more than any of his books.

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  • Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - 2:50am

    Reply to #8
    Ilex-opaca

    Ilex-opaca

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    Posts: 5

    Outside inputs

    Joel is my neighbor ( 8 mi).  We get our feed from the same family farm in our county where all of the grains and legumes are gmo-free and locally grown.  Not organic, but low spray.  I don’t even know if modern, or even old breed chickens could live without some input, but we certainly wouldn’t have the production we want.  When I don’t a have pig, all my scraps go to the chickens and it’s not enough without some chick feed, too.  Harvey Ussery is doing a lot with growing worms and other methods to eliminate needing outside feed.While many younger farmers around the country are emulating Joel, I think a lot of the older local farmers resent that he is so successful.  He gets a higher price that many rural locals can’t afford. 
    I’d love to see him around town more, engaged in sustainability issues.

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  • Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - 3:11am

    #20
    green_achers

    green_achers

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    Well said, Doug.Also, great

    Well said, Doug.

    Also, great to hear from some of Salatin’s neighbors.  We could sure use an example like that in the Mississippi Delta.

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  • Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - 3:56am

    Reply to #17

    Full Moon

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 265

    found some

      At the church picnic tonight  I got hooked up with one of the locals that raise sorghum !!   They have been grinding for flour .for the low gluten bread Thank you for the  sites I can study to  make it into syrup .  Could be that I get overwhelmed and just  find a place to get it already made .  One place says to use it just like sugar .    It takes  us 40 gallon of maple and walnut sap to get 1 gallon of syrup .. a whole lot of wood to cook it down … the boys said it was about enought to cure their sweet tooth .
      I would not be surprised if you are one popular neighbor to have in the future.   Hummm wonder what ppl would barter for the syrup ? Would you share the recipe for using it to cure the bacon please .
     
      With all the partying ( I mean Work ) when do you find time to go into town and  fit people for glasses ?!?  LOL
       Thank you for sharing the info and encouragement
     
     FM

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  • Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - 5:04am

    Reply to #1

    scribe

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    Posts: 25

    Reply to Mr Ready

    [quote=Ready]I wanted to take an opportunity to aquaint you with some of the important premisis of this site.[/quote]Unless you are an official moderator here, that would be a bit high-handed.

    Everything in your post is a logical fallacy, specifically an Ad Hominem. That type of post will not get you very far here.

    Mentioning that the man has an extremist, fringe  life- view is very pertinent. We are discussing the man and his ideas, not only the interview.

    If you have a critique of something the man said in his interview, that is certainly fair game. But we try to separtate beliefs from facts here, and Joel’s (or your) beliefs, especially about religion, goes against the grain of the site, as well as the posting guidelines.

     I have a critique of the man himself. That’s also fair game. People who bought his books feel the same way, eg from amazon:

    I bought this book looking for practical advice on farming. What I got instead was a multi-page, political diatribe of the author’s personal opinions on government, science, and the business of agriculture. This book is a basic slap in the face to farmers who till the earth to actually make a living and support their families. The book is so frustrating and infuriating that I couldn’t even bear to give it away – it hit the trashbin instead. Don’t waste your hard-earned dollars!

    Fair enough?
    We’re all grown-ups here, not fanbois. Let’s have open discussions without veiled threats.

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  • Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - 10:02am

    #21
    Litestream

    Litestream

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    Podcast interviews

    I see you have a list of people you’ve interviewed for podcasts  – all 25 of them are men. 

    Where are the interviews of women?  I would like to see input from women. Also in the articles.

    This world’s so out of balance: the economy, the wars, wall street, bankers, congress, IMF, NAFTA, the UN – it’s fact these are run mostly by men.  Perhaps now is an excellent time to start listening to the voices of wise women and begin to balance the scales.

    Some suggestions: Catherine Austin Fitts, Elizabeth Warren, Carolyn Baker PhD, Helen Caldicott MD, Leuren Moret, Sarah Edwards PhD, Diana Leafe Christian, Judy Wicks,  Jessica Nelson, Jennifer Gray, Joanna Gabriel, Jill Bamburg, Sarah Van Gelder, Lucia Rene, Inelia Benz to name a few.

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  • Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - 2:37pm

    Reply to #1

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 400

    scribe wrote:Ready wrote:I

    [quote=scribe]
    [quote=Ready]I wanted to take an opportunity to aquaint you with some of the important premisis of this site.[/quote]
    Unless you are an official moderator here, that would be a bit high-handed.

    Everything in your post is a logical fallacy, specifically an Ad Hominem. That type of post will not get you very far here.

    Mentioning that the man has an extremist, fringe  life- view is very pertinent. We are discussing the man and his ideas, not only the interview.

    If you have a critique of something the man said in his interview, that is certainly fair game. But we try to separtate beliefs from facts here, and Joel’s (or your) beliefs, especially about religion, goes against the grain of the site, as well as the posting guidelines.

     I have a critique of the man himself. That’s also fair game. People who bought his books feel the same way, eg from amazon:

    I bought this book looking for practical advice on farming. What I got instead was a multi-page, political diatribe of the author’s personal opinions on government, science, and the business of agriculture. This book is a basic slap in the face to farmers who till the earth to actually make a living and support their families. The book is so frustrating and infuriating that I couldn’t even bear to give it away – it hit the trashbin instead. Don’t waste your hard-earned dollars!

    [/quote]
    Hey scribe:
    Throwing out Mr. Salatin’s advice/ideas is your prerogative.  In coming to terms with the 3 Es, we all have to examine the possible strategies we might use to become more resilient in the face of the changes/challenges that are here (and waxing with each passing month).  If you don’t find Mr. Salatin’s methods useful you are free to pursue other strategies vis-a-vis your food supply.  But to dismiss his methods of food production because one does not cotton to his personal moral beliefs is in my opinion a losing strategy.  
    An analogy:  if a cure for breast cancer was discovered by someone with extremist religious or political views, would you advise people to ignore it?  (This is not to imply that I believe Mr. Salatin’s religious/political views are extremist.  I have no firsthand knowledge of either, and don’t really care.  What I care about is:  do his methods work?  They evidently do.)
    As for the review from Amazon, I checked the site and found the review in question.  It was the only 1-star review (out of 73).  We could likely pick any book from the genre and locate at least one dissatisfied customer, so I don’t know what quoting that review is supposed to do other than stir the pot.  And I actually am about 20 pages from finishing the book in question ("You Can Farm").  I’ve found the book useful (I’ll be buying "Pastured Poultry Profit$" next).  
    Mr. Salatin certainly spends time critiquing the Big Food/Big Pharma/Big Government complex.  IMO such a critique dovetails quite naturally with the rest of the book, since a huge pillar of Mr. Salatin’s philosophy involves working with Nature — recognizing we are a part of it instead of thinking we’re outside of it and it is therefore ours to loot as we see fit.  YMMV.
    I also think having a strong opinion is less of a fault than having no opinion at all.  I may disagree with somebody’s opinion, but I’ll respect that at least they’re engaged with the issue instead of marinating in apathy/ignorance.  If what I’ve read on this thread is true, I differ in many respects from Mr. Salatin philosophically.  But from what I’ve read in his book and seen in a couple of documentaries, I will happily defer to him on matters agricultural.
    Viva — Sager

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  • Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - 3:51pm

    Reply to #1
    MarkM

    MarkM

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    Posts: 358

    What Sager said. Actually,

    What Sager said.
    Actually, I have found Mr. Salatin’s books to be quite instructive. Especially Pastured Poultry Profit$ and Salad Bar Beef. The Amazon reviewer sounds as though he/she might be one of those people that refuses to accept new ideas and is jealous of those that are using the ideas to improve their lot. Joel has mentioned that he has changed some of his techniques to ways that, when first mentioned, he felt would not be successful.
    scribe, you mention something about discussion. Let it begin with you. Maybe we could talk about the pros and cons of deep bedding or maybe worming techniques or maybe whether or not increasing the carbon content of the soil is beneficial.

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  • Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - 4:32pm

    Reply to #14

    Full Moon

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 14 2008

    Posts: 265

    Locavorous thank you

      Thank you for bring up the idea that we need to consider and learn sprouting .      I recently read a story of how some people survived a fairly  recent collapse in their country  and how others in the same family did not because they would not get out  in the city and eat the weeds .   It is so easy to become complacent in the situation we are in .   So many years of easy living and easy food from the market ..   It is hard to even wrap our mind around people are actually going through such  at this very moment in time .    This lady’s account  told of how important it is to know  how and have things hidden .  We do not like to think doom and gloom in our ivory palaces but it is out there and we are not above such things happening to us.  How will we feel if our own pride and stupidity caused our  family to suffer .
      Even this year when a lot of the fruit was frosted off caused us to have to consider  getting more than just one years supply  preserved . 
     So thank you again .
     FM  
     

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  • Tue, Sep 06, 2011 - 2:29pm

    #22

    Ready

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 150

    Scribe,

    I see my attempt to help you understand the implications of using a logical fallacy as an argument on this site both fell on deaf ears, and actually resulted in you employing 2 others in your response.

    The folks on this thread have shown great restraint with what could easliy be classifed as troll like remarks on your part. Rather than feed those remarks, I will simply point out the posting guidelines:

     

    Site Posting Terms of Use


    SITE MISSION 
    1. Have the Crash Course viewed as widely as possible
    2. Increase collective understanding of the role that energy, the economy, and natural resources play in our future
    3. Move individuals towards personal and common responsibility for the future

    GUIDING PRINCIPLES

    The goal of PeakProsperity.com is to draw attention to the important messages in the Crash Course and also to create a safe and welcoming place for people to discuss its implications in an intelligent and enlightened way.

    Together we will continue to hold this site to a higher standard than is usually found elsewhere on the Internet.  We will be civil with each other, respectful, thoughtful, and considerate. 

    Anything that causes people to feel unwelcome or unsafe will be discouraged or removed, as will things that serve to detract from our high standard of intelligent discourse.  Our mission is to engage, not to repel.

    Posts must be data-rich, fact-based, and constructive, especially if they are critical.  We ask that all critical commentary be accompanied by thoughtful suggestions for improvement—or not offered at all. 

     

    Now, I won’t go thru and highlight all the areas that you are coloring outside the lines on this one, you can see that for yourself.

     

    Full text here

    We have been asked to self moderate by the owner of this site. You are new here, and I understand you may not have seen this, however it is real. Often times folks come here from ZeroHedge or other similar sites where anything goes on the forums. This is not ZeroHedge.

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  • Tue, Sep 06, 2011 - 3:24pm

    Reply to #22

    scribe

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 25

    Ready wrote:We have been

    [quote=Ready]We have been asked to self moderate by the owner of this site.[/quote]If by "self-moderate" you mean not mentioning that Salatin speaks from a creationist, far right wing viewpoiint, then No, I will not be self-moderating. It’s a pity he’s of that mindview, because he has some interesting ideas.
    Who else is like Salatin, but better, and comes without all the extremist claptrap attached? I nominate Gene Logsdon, author of some fine books on the same topics as Salatin, and with a lot of the same content, but this time with wisdom and humor.
    I’d like to hear Chris interview him.
     

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  • Tue, Sep 06, 2011 - 4:40pm

    #23

    Mary Aceves

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 23 2010

    Posts: 132

    controversial topics

    Scribe–

         I like Joel Salatin too much to see this forum banished to controversial topics.  I assume that you will be censored if you don’t  self regulate.  It has been really hard for me to self regulate myself and keep my fingers off the keyboard firing off a knee jerk response.  Of course if Joel were here himself he could definitely defend himself.  He was an English major, and he does love to express his opinions.

         If you spend some time on the land, it will cause you to develop a spiritual sense, whether it is in line with Joel’s or not.  

         When I think that people have been farming over thousands of  years, and he comes and discovers these new techniques with some electric wire and respect for the creatures and the ecosystem…now that is amazing!

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  • Tue, Sep 06, 2011 - 5:08pm

    #24

    Moderator Jason

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    Posts: 24

    Ad hominem

    At CM.com one of our key guidelines for discussion is to stick to the relevant facts.

    It is true that drawing attention to the beliefs of a speaker is not necessarily an attack ad hominem.  It can conceivably be evidence which goes toward the reliability of the speaker.  I.e., if it can be shown that the speaker believes that space aliens are responsible for rush-hour traffic in New York, then we can infer that their logic is not reliable and may be prone to error in other matters as well.

    However, in this case there is no way to prove out this hypothesis without first settling the evolution/divine creation debate.  This debate would be nearly impossible to conclude because some religious authorities (such as the Roman Catholic Church) have concluded that evolution and divine creation are not mutually exclusive ideas.  Without more detail about exactly what Mr. Salatin’s scientific beliefs are, the debate couldn’t even begin, and it certainly would never find an end.  I also draw your attention to our prohibition on discussion of religion, which exists for good reasons.

    Furthermore, Mr. Salatin’s interview is detailed enough that it can stand on its own.  It cites independent facts which can be directly supported or controverted.  There is no need to inquire into the reliability of his logic, because his logic in the interview has been laid out for all to see: we can apply our own logic to what he says.  I agree with Ready and the other users that questioning Mr. Salatin’s private beliefs in other areas is not an appropriate or constructive avenue of discussion.  It will be much better to stick to the facts of the interview, and leave everybody’s personal beliefs aside.  Let’s do so.

    On a different note, when a veteran site user attempts to explain how our forum rules work, they are entitled to deference.  Moderators cannot be everywhere at the same time, and a new user who defiantly refuses to listen to guidance from the mouth of any person other than an official moderator is demanding a greater share of time and resouces.

    You may ignore the advice of veteran users, but do it at your peril.  We often give users warnings before more severe sanctions are applied for breaches of the forum rules.  But in cases where a user has already been warned by another user – especially if that warning refered to the forum guidelines – then we may well decide to skip directly to a harsher sanction rather than repeat a warning that was already given and ignored.

    Once you have been warned by another user that your behavior might be a violation of the forum rules, even if you happen to disagree, the burden is on you contact us and ask for clarification.  I hope this is helpful to everybody.

     

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  • Tue, Sep 06, 2011 - 5:10pm

    #25
    Locavorous

    Locavorous

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    Posts: 19

    Poultry Butchering: build yourself a 'tub plucker'!

    I started using ‘Salatin style’ pens for broilers 5 years ago, right after I finished "Omnivore’s Dilemma". Before that, I’ve raised them in static pens.

    We butcher them anywhere betwixt 8-16 weeks old, to reach a carcass weight of 4.5-10 (!) lbs. A 10 lb chicken has a higher meat:waste ration (I believe), so if your feed inputs are cheap enough, or your food conversion ratio (FCR) is low enough, or both, it may be cost effective to raise CRX to this weight.

    But I don’t care, because I love giant chickens! I can feed my family all week on one 10 lb bird. Roasted, salad, sandwiches, soup & stock…Forrest Gump’s shrimp company ain’t got nothing on us!

    I used to hand pluck, and that was fine, then I built a Whizbang Chicken Plucker from a plan book and parts kit I bought from another radical, religious fella (that’s a joke, son) over at http://thedeliberateagrarian.blogspot.co… . With the plucker, I saw that I could now scale up, so I can sell the surplus to reduce my per unit cost. (Which is my main goal on the homestead, and my definition of a ‘farm’: grow enough to feed the folks that work, with a surplus to sell for cash or barter.)

    After I learned a couple magic numbers for a good scald,  and started using shears*, I can process about a dozen birds an hour. I’ve outlined my "butchering by the steps" below, but there’re tons of online resources for the Show Me State crowd ;)…

    Magic numbers: Scald your birds at exactly 145 F, for exactly 90 seconds, dunking to get water in among the feathers. When you can easily pull the wing primaries out, the bird is ready to pluck. Look for skin coming off as a symptom of too hot/too long a scald.

    By the steps:

       1. hang the birds upside down and slit throats, saving the blood which will congeal quickly. Dry this as a garden amendment.
       2. scald by the numbers: Scald your birds at exactly 145 F, for exactly 90 seconds, dunking to get water in among the feathers. When you can easily pull the wing primaries out, the bird is ready to pluck. Look for skin coming off as a symptom of too hot/too long a scald.
       3. pluck birds. I run them for a minute at a time, spraying a bit of cold water in the plucker. My plucker gets most feathers off the first time if the scald is correct. sometimes the armpits need a bit of manual pluckin’.
       4. Eviscerate: USE SHEARS* to cut off legs and head, put in your stock pot bucket for later cookin’. carefully trim around anus (don’t nick and get poop on the meat) and pull slightly out with the intestine attached. Slit skin at neck, then cut neck off as far down as you can. You can rip it off, actually. Then loosen crop and esophagus. Reach into gut cavity, enlarging hole as necessary. Reach way up and get the heart, wiggle your fingers to get the lungs if you’re good, and pull all out. Trim away the organs you want and put liver, heart in a bowl of ice water. Gizzards are excellent stewed in Italian dressing. Yeah buddy.
       5. QC: squirt with a hose, especially around the lungs. You’ll want to get the bird in the ice bath ASAP, so you may want to wait to pull pin feathers etc until after its chilled, and you move your operation to the kitchen.
       6. Weigh & Bag: AFter they’re chilled, I take them to the kitchen. We do a final check, pat dry, put in a poultry bag I get from a butcher, and weigh. We tag them according to weight and quality (sometimes damage occurs during plucking), then either put them on ice, the fridge or double bag them for the freezer. You can submerge a bagged chicken to push the air out.
       7. Aging: the consensus seems to be that a bird’s tenderness improves with up to 3 days of aging uncovered in the fridge. I use this for all poultry, especially game birds. I try to encourage air flow in the carcass by putting the bird on a roasting rack in a pan to catch the drips. Sooo dang tasty.
       8. Cooking: nothing beats a rub with a lime (then throw it inside the cavity), a shake of garlic salt (we make our own) and  a squirt of olive oil.

    * Shears: I grew up hunting and fishing. I’ve been carrying a pocket knife since I was in 6th grade. Our family reunions always included the ‘knife hand around’, where a young man’s credibility was marked by the sturdiness, practicality but especially the sharpness of the knife he carried. I love knives, love to use them and collect them. Butchering chickens, IMO is not the right job for this tool. Sharp shears are safer, faster, more precise, and less likely to cause punctures to intestines, which may result in contaminated meat. And, if you are working fast, and have a lot of birds, you WILL nick yourself. Then you’ve got an open wound coated with chicken guts and fat. So, invest in good shears, and learn to sharpen them.

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  • Tue, Sep 06, 2011 - 5:58pm

    Reply to #25

    Full Moon

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 14 2008

    Posts: 265

    which bird

     Which Bird do you like to raise / butcher ?    Where have you found the best place to order the chicks ? Have done the cost per pound   We are finding we are not so keen on the darker meat and pin feathers and would like to stay with a white bird if possible .
      FM

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  • Tue, Sep 06, 2011 - 6:24pm

    Reply to #25
    Locavorous

    Locavorous

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 30 2010

    Posts: 19

    For fast meat, Cornish Rock Crosses (CRX)

    I’ve raised CRX, ‘colored broilers’ (aka "freedom rangers"** etc.), cockerals from laying breeds, and ‘dual purpose’ breeds. I figure it takes about 20 lbs of feed to grow a 5 lb bird (FCR=4.0). So, to grow 100 birds, you’ll need up to a ton of feed. At $.40/lb for ‘non corn-soy-gmo, organic feed’, delivered to my farm, that’s only $2.00 per 5 lb bird, plus the, say, $2.00 for each chick. I think that’s a decent deal for some dang good chicken meat! Of course, you can buy bulk feed that’s not ‘non’ anything, for about $.11/lb out here in western WA. GIGO, tho…By far, the best bird for meat is the CRX. Some local growers get on their high horse about ‘inhumane breeds’, which is pure marketing poppycock. Humane is in the treatment of the birds, the life they lead up until butcher day, and is a cornerstone of the Salatin model: let them express their ‘chickenness’.
    I introduce greens and grit at a very early age, and put them in pasture at about 3-4 weeks old, depending on conditions.
    i try and find a local hatchery to buy from, and usually your local feed stores have the best handle on who that may be. But, I’ve used Murray McMurray most of all, and have no issues. Actually, if you don’t mind the little extra price, its a good thing to buy from the local feedstore: you’re supporting an important local biz, and if you buy 3-6 day olds, you’ve let the store experience the usual mortality from shipping. You can pick the strongest looking birdies out of a huge, fuzzy peeping mass of chicks!
    I’ve heard of a hatchery or two who are working on a CRX strain that are ‘better foragers’. I don’t know how they’re doing with that.
    ** "freedom rangers" is the US jingoistic term describing "red French broilers", which in France are exclusively grown for their pastured, "Lable Rouge" certification. I think they suck compared to CRX; they’re harder to pluck, take longer to get to weight, are ‘tougher’, and forage no better than my CRX. In other words, it takes just as much work and feed inputs to get a slower, skinnier, tougher bird. No thanks!
    And by the way, I still eat French Fries, French Toast and French Bread…

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  • Fri, Sep 09, 2011 - 5:45am

    Reply to #24

    scribe

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 19 2011

    Posts: 25

    Let's not have creationists as guests

    [quote=Moderator Jason]It is true that drawing attention to the beliefs of a speaker is not necessarily an attack ad hominem. [/quote]Of course it’s not an ad hom! The interview is about the man and his views, so bringing in his (hidden) views is on topic.
    In any other reader’s shoes, I would be very grateful to someone who pointed out to me that an author and guest speaker is a Creationist. It would instantly color my perceptions of the person, as it should. Unless CM.com is keen on interviewing people like this?
    I suspect CM himself did not know about the fringe personal beliefs of Salatin. Now, thanks to me, he does. CM is a highly educated man who would have no sympathy for Creationists.
    Conclusion: More careful vetting of guests is required.
    This does not mean I am "raising religion" and deserve to be banned. Creationism is a denial of science, not a religion. We should not ask people who deny science for advice about farming, because at their core they are anti-scientific. So while Salatin may have chanced upon some good concepts, how sound are they, really? How can we be sure they are correct? Are the ideas originally his? (I see claims on the web to the contrary) And why are his books filled with Libertarian political rantings, rather than farming concepts? Interviews like this are meant to promote books, as this interview did, and we should all be warned about the content of his books before buying.
    Threatening me with banning is absurd. If this site cannot tolerate debate, I’d rather not be part of it anyway.

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  • Fri, Sep 09, 2011 - 7:45am

    #26
    isildur22

    isildur22

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    Posts: 4

    Re: Let's not have creationists as guests

    Creationism is certainly not a fringe personal belief in the U.S.  According to recent Gallup polls, around 40% of Americans adhere to a form of it http://www.gallup.com/poll/27847/Majority-Republicans-Doubt-Theory-Evolution.aspx

    Now, I’m an atheist and a plant geneticist to boot, so I most likely cleave more to your personal beliefs than Mr. Salatin’s, but can’t a man have good things to say about farming and yet be a creationist at the same time?  I don’t like his stance against GMOs either  (shared by many participants on these sites, for some reason), but clearly he’s got  valuable knowledge and experience on other aspects of farming.  There’s no need to police the personal beliefs of guests.  The open marketplace of ideas makes life interesting. 

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  • Fri, Sep 09, 2011 - 8:08am

    Reply to #25

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    mine's bigger than yours!

    [quote=Locavorous]But I don’t care, because I love giant chickens! I can feed my family all week on one 10 lb bird. Roasted, salad, sandwiches, soup & stock…Forrest Gump’s shrimp company ain’t got nothing on us![/quote]
    Without a word of a lie, I raised a 7.5kg chicken here last year (meat chicken breed) which is over 15 pounds. And yes, we fed off it all week…..!
    Mike

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  • Fri, Sep 09, 2011 - 10:23am

    Reply to #24
    johnbryson

    johnbryson

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 10

    Scribe,Creationism does not

    Scribe,
    Creationism does not necessarily deny science.

    For example, the Catholic Church position (Wikipedia) " is an example of theistic evolution, also known as evolutionary creation, stating that faith and scientific findings regarding human evolution are not in conflict, though humans are regarded as a special creation, and that the existence of God is required to explain both monogenism and the spiritual component of human origins. Moreover, the Church teaches that the process of evolution is a planned and purpose-driven natural process, actively guided by God."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution

     We should not ask people who deny science for advice about farming, because at their core they are anti-scientific.

     If you do this, you will marginalize a large portion of the contributing population who can contribute positively to help society adapt to our current predicament. Your views are the equivalent of "belief apartheid", and are akin to what the position the MSM took in the period leading up to the housing crisis. It is vitally important to hear all sides of a story, and not just the views that fit into ones own view of the world.

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  • Fri, Sep 09, 2011 - 1:59pm

    #27

    Moderator Jason

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 23 2008

    Posts: 24

    Re: Creationism

    It is virtually impossible to have a debate about creationism without involving religion.  We will not have that debate on this thread, because sooner or later somebody will lose their self-control and the thread will degenerate into a hostile name-calling match.  Religion and creationism are sensitive "hot button" topics for many people.  Incidentally, they also have little to do with localized food and energy, which was the topic of the interview.

    Nobody is threatening anybody with banning.  I say that because I am confident that you (and all other users) will not continue to debate creationism or the personal political or religious beliefs of the interview guest on this thread.

    Let me make that clear: no further posts on this subject, by anybody.  Nor will I further publicly debate this.  This is a warning.

    As always, feel free to contact me by email with questions or comments.

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  • Fri, Sep 09, 2011 - 3:12pm

    #28

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Food Inc (2008) Documentary ...

    To get this thread back on topic, I found a copy of the film Food Inc on You Tube, which stars Joel Salatin doing what he does best. Without this community, I wouldn’t have gained the benefit of his wisdom …

    Wikipedia Review

    Food, Inc. is a 2008 American documentary film directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner. The film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees. The film is narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.

    The film’s first segment examines the industrial production of meat (chicken, beef, and pork), calling it inhumane and economically and environmentally unsustainable. The second segment looks at the industrial production of grains and vegetables (primarily corn and soy beans), again labeling this economically and environmentally unsustainable. The film’s third and final segment is about the economic and legal power, such as food label laws, of the major food companies the profits of which are based on supplying cheap but contaminated food, the heavy use of petroleum-based chemicals (largely pesticides and fertilizers), and the promotion of unhealthy food consumption habits by the American public.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFYQX2AG3VQ&feature=channel_video_title

    Official Food Inc Website Link

    I also recommend a severely conscience bashing book that lifted the lid on the fast food industry back in 2001 : –

    Fast Food Nation ~ by Erich Schlosser [Link to first chapter]

    Independent review at Amazon.com

    I picked up this book the moment I saw it mostly because I’ve always known that fast food is "bad for you" – but I’ve been both afraid to know why and curious at the same time. After all, I’ve been hearing the other side of the argument my whole life. I’ve been pummeled by fast food ads – and eaten plenty of fast food – for a ridiculously long time. Why do I want to stay ignorant about it?

    Those of you expecting an update on John Robbins’ "Diet For A New America" will be disappointed. Schlosser has not crafted a scientific slam against fast food joints, but rather a thorough examination of their motives and histories, with a strong emphasis on the people – from both sides of the coin. The time he devotes to the personal stories of those whose lives have been forever changed by fast food – from the rags-to-riches tale of Carl Karcher to the tragic story of a big-hearted rancher named Hank – are largely what keeps "Fast Food Nation" both emotionally provoking and tangible throughout.

    If this book were merely a saber-toothed diatribe against fast food corporations, it couldn’t allow itself such concessions and would probably come across as socialist tubthumping to all but the converted. Instead, lengthy establishing essays on the history, ideologies, and present state of the communities and corporations discussed are a welcome introduction (and counterpoint to) the individual stories of struggle, greed, and survival.

    While he makes no secret where his sympathies lie, Schlosser often reminded me more of Wendell Berry than John Robbins, as he bravely attempts to "tell it like it is" from more of a "pro-human" as opposed to an "anti-corporate" perspective. In doing so, the dehumanizing aspects of all global corporations (and the effects of NAFTA and the Telecommunications Act of ’96) are supplied a provoking reference point.

    By my standards, "Fast Food Nation" is a fine debut accomplishment for the author and a welcome book for our increasingly homogenized (and de-regulated) times. The story of fast food, a quotidian experience for many, has never seemed quite so impressive, scary, and profound. My education began here.

    In his introduction to "Fast Food Nation", Schlosser says that he’s interested in fast food "both as commodity and metaphor", and indeed, this well-written tome is as much an examination on the titular product as an able primer on the encroachment of large corporations into the lives of working Americans.

    An interview with Eric Schlosser : –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNwQXCniGkU

     Paul

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  • Fri, Sep 09, 2011 - 3:27pm

    #29

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    The Jungle ~ by Upton Sinclair

    If you assume that a book published in 1906 isn’t valid today, think again. I happened to find a copy in PDF that can be read on line or downloaded, though I suggest you gain a copy as I did, that has so far been leant out about five times in the past 6 months : –

    The Jungle ~ by Upton Sinclair [PDF Link]

    Independent Review at Amazon.com

    Published in 1906, this book is famous for exposing the unsanitary and disgusting practices of the meat processing industry in Chicago. I chose to read the original uncensored edition because I didn’t want a whitewashed version. I was not disappointed. I got it all, in all its grisly details. Processed meat and sausages included diseased animal meat, rats, the filth on the floor and even the bodies of human workers who got sucked into the lard vats. Yes, these abuses were shocking and resulted in reform and new standards for the industry, but that was only one aspect of the book.

    Central to the story is the plight of the workers and, indeed, that was Upton Sinclair’s purpose as he went to Chicago on a stipend from a socialist newspaper to expose the exploitation of the factory workers. That is the central theme of the book and I found myself wincing throughout, not only because of the tubercular beef being sold to the public, but mostly because of the degradation of the human beings who were just cogs in the wheels of production.

    The story is about a family of Lithuanian immigrants who came to America for a better life. From the very beginning, they were cheated. They were sold a substandard house and never told about the extra taxes, fees and clauses that would cause them to lose the house if they were late with their payments. They had to to walk several miles to work in the stockyards in the dead of winter with inadequate clothing. Children were forced to work too and one little boy lost some fingers from frostbite. Their wages didn’t meet their needs and there were times there was no food at all. They could never afford doctors or medicine and if a member of a family was sick or injured that person lost his or her job.

    I’ll never forget the characters in the book. Ona and Jurgis are a young married couple who we meet at their wedding in the beginning of the book. They are young and they have hope. Jurgis is big and strong and easily gets a job. At first all seems well. But as the book progresses, we see how everyone in the family has no choice but to work. This includes the elderly father and the children. Later, when Jurgis hurts his foot in an accident, he is out of work for months and the family suffers. But even more horror is in store of the family. Mainly, we follow what happens to Jurgis as he loses his job, and circumstances spiral out of control. I felt real emotion for him and his family, amazed at out anyone could endure the hardships they had to face. Eventually the book winds up as the writer wanted it, with anger at the exploitation of the workers.

    I loved this book. I read it all at once, starting it at three o’clock one afternoon and reading through most of the night until I finished it. I identified with each of the characters and was amazed at their forbearance and strength through all their adversity. Of course I had heard about these horrible conditions throughout my lifetime. But I never realized how bad they really were. This book opened my eyes. I don’t know if I will ever be the same again.

    I give this book my highest recommendation. It’s not only a great story with great characters, it’s a plea for social justice. And its impact can still be felt today.

    Paul

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  • Fri, Sep 09, 2011 - 7:23pm

    Reply to #28

    Full Moon

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 14 2008

    Posts: 265

      Paul ,    WHEW   My

      Paul , 
       WHEW   My first thought was  does this guy know what battle he is in for ?  Then my mind went to can I even imagine  how many people will go hungry or starve without fast food??      I would challange everyone to just write down what food you buy instead of growing yourself .    It is a a full time job to grow your own veggies , fruit , grains, milk, cheese, meat .   I am serious  I do not think most ppl are ready to even consider such a thing.   There needs to be a book about what it takes  from the seed to the table .
       Yes Sir , I think facing the fact  of where your food comes from is amazing .     I consider my family and what amounts of food it takes to keep everyone  fed  in the back of my mind .. how many peach trees does it take ,  do I have enough  pecan trees planted ,  what if we have a bad year of tomato or bean crop. What if the popcorn crop fails !!!      It is enough to blow my mind at times .    Oats  how much oats to feed the family and the animals .   Can we catch enough fish ,   will butchering one cow be enough ? 
     
     I am serious I still have to go to the store and buy some things .  Thankfully I have a basement full  because I am not totally set up for self suffiecency  even yet .  
     I do not sell one thing off this place that can be traced .  NOT even a jar of walnut tincture  or dozen eggs !  You pay cash  you do not get it .   I have gotten 3 letters from the Govt. wanting info on my hog operation  .. I do not know if this comes from selling a couple pigs at the 4-H fair a few years ago or if it  is because I took some to the locker to be butchered instead of doing it here at home .
      In return I only pay cash  for the neighbors milk  or trade them  back in yogurt or cheese .   
      THIS IS ALL A FULL TIME JOB I KID YOU NOT !   I am willing to bet there is no way many people are going to be able to do it .  I REALLY NEED TO GET THIS GENTLEMEN’S  BOOK  because I do not see convience foods going away until they are forced too .  I see people selling out to the beast first .
     
     ALL this is not to say that I do not agree with what he said in the video as true … I just don’t see how there is going to be big change .  Japan can  not feed itself at all .   I planted rice in their fields .. I bought raw milk from their dairy  … They ship in major percentage of their food even to feed the cows . .       I am rattling on  sorry … I am afraid for many people   … How many do you know that will not eat a carrot ??
     Anyway thank you for bringing up these subjects so tha I do not become complacent  as well .
     Off to town to get the durn hunting liecense for the kiddos .. can’t even go Dove hunting without the Govt  wanting in on the action .  And you HAVE to give them your Soc.SEC. Number on that paper .. great ; (
     FM 
      FM 

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  • Fri, Sep 09, 2011 - 8:18pm

    #30

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    The Party's Over ~ by Richard Heinberg ~ Full PDF Copy ...

    Hi FM,

    I hope that I have persuaded you to read Eric Schlossers book Fast Food Nation some time in the future. It is a wonderful tombe, deserving its place on your bookshelf as much as my copy does, when it isn’t being lent out for the umpteenth time. It has some good stock reference in it worthy of going back to again and again.

    What I would offer, as an aside for now, is reading Richard Heinbergs book The Party’s Over. I’ve just been lucky enough to find a full copy of it online in PDF that you could down load, so here’s a link to it. I suggest you scroll down to chapter three and read the full chapter in its entirety. I suggest also that this will give good grounding as to what kind of population size will be expected in the United States within the next fifty years, God willing that some moron doesn’t choose to push the red button if you get my meaning?

    With so many fossil fuel inputs to modern agricutlure, and the fact that for every bushel grown in ohio causes three bushels worth of permanent soil errosion, I don’t see much soil standard remaining to recreate the kind of population that was here before fossil fuel. Back before the 1850’s the US had a population more often dedicating over three quarters of their lives in growing food. They had many generations of dedicated toilers who passed their knowledge down from father to son and mother to daughter down through the ages. This past three generations have pretty much lost all of that knowledge to living in cities, by use of the models created through the Green Revolution of the 1950’s.

    Even if many millions of people take to the land and away from the cities expecting a pocket of land and a few seeds will save them, it is going to take many many years to get the land back up to a standard that the soil will give anything like a good yield.

    In other words, what with so many pests that have become immune to fossil fuel chemical pesticides, the future is bleak enough with fossil fuel input. Without it I suggest a chalamity is in order.

    Yes, with all certainty in my mind, a great many people aren’t going to make it, no matter how hard they try.

    I have no pleasure in writing this, you can be sure …

    Paul

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  • Fri, Sep 09, 2011 - 9:13pm

    #31

    Full Moon

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 14 2008

    Posts: 265

    thank you Paul

     

        Maybe caught me on a bad day …. I  can  just see people getting very ugly when they can’t afford to buy that snickers bar  or potato chip .      When it is taking me so much time and energy to  make say …pickle relish  ..  You have got to think way ahead  making the vinegar , growing the onion ,cucs, peppers , spices  .. I had to buy sugar  and salt ..My  bees ran off so I could not use honey and  I have no clue what we would do without salt ??

       Even grinding and canning it takes more than a day to have it ready on the shelf .  Almost  every single thing we stick in our mouth  is very labor / fuel intensive.  And the mess to clean up !!  

     Yes,Sir, hope to get some reading time in soon .    Bushels of tomatoes, beans , and elderberries  screaming at me to get them into jars for the next few days .

     Yes I can see that the grass feed animals may be the easiest food of all  BUT  even then  you are not going to have beef for two to three years   and  if you do not have a broody hen you better have  someone with a good incubator.  The neighbor kids did hatch some in the attic this summer  as it was warm enough ..  Here is an experiment  for you all .   

       I had better get back at it  .. just tired is all . Too many people fighting over piddly things all the while they are looking to the Govt. to  come up with the answers . 

     K  got to get the hubby a lunch so he can  go run a train ..  Egg Salad sandwich with pickle relish , right .

     FM 

     I am very suspisious that the county went up and down the roads spraying chemicals on the plum thickets .. They look burnt  .   Maybe they are trying to keep people from  even feeding themselves on natural fruits .

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  • Fri, Sep 09, 2011 - 10:21pm

    Reply to #24
    earthwise

    earthwise

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 10 2009

    Posts: 277

    Let's not have bigots as posters.

    [quote=scribe] The interview is about the man and his views, so bringing in his (hidden) views is on topic.
    [/quote]
    No, you are wrong. The interview is about the man’s views on farming.  He could be a flat earther as far as I’m concerned as long as his farming info is valid and productive (which is abundantly clear). His personal, political, religious, views as well as his race, marital status, sexual preference etc. are irrelevant.
    [quote=scribe]
    In any other reader’s shoes, I would be very grateful to someone who pointed out to me that an author and guest speaker is a Creationist. It would instantly color my perceptions of the person, as it should.
    [/quote]
    I am not grateful. In fact I am repulsed by your bigotry.
    [quote=scribe]
    I suspect CM himself did not know about the fringe personal beliefs of Salatin. Now, thanks to me, he does. CM is a highly educated man who would have no sympathy for Creationists.
    [/quote]
     Yeah, what would Chris do without you.
     
    [quote=scribe]
    So while Salatin may have chanced upon some good concepts, how sound are they, really? How can we be sure they are correct?
    [/quote]
    Because they are proven, repeatedly so. In spades.
    [quote=scribe]
    Are the ideas originally his?
    [/quote]
    No, and he states so if you bothered to check. He repeatedly gives credit to natural processes as  originator; it’s a constant theme: to imitate nature. And ultimately it doesn’t matter who thought of them as long as they work, which they do.
    [quote=scribe]
    And why are his books filled with Libertarian political rantings, rather than farming concepts?
    [/quote]
    Because our distorted and dysfunctional farming "industry" is a product of government manipulation that interferes with the farming concepts that he has found to be the most effective, efficient and productive.
    [quote=scribe]
    Interviews like this are meant to promote books, as this interview did, and we should all be warned about the content of his books before buying.
    [/quote]
    Yeah, we’re so helpless that we need someone like you to protect us from ourselves and evil religious folks like Salatin. What would we do without you? I hope to find out.
    [quote=scribe]
    ………. I’d rather not be part of it anyway.
    [/quote]
    One can only hope.

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  • Mon, Sep 12, 2011 - 3:26pm

    Reply to #26

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 811

    Care to elaborate?

    [quote=isildur22]Now, I’m an atheist and a plant geneticist to boot, so I most likely cleave more to your personal beliefs than Mr. Salatin’s, but can’t a man have good things to say about farming and yet be a creationist at the same time?  I don’t like his stance against GMOs either  (shared by many participants on these sites, for some reason), but clearly he’s got  valuable knowledge and experience on other aspects of farming.  There’s no need to police the personal beliefs of guests.  The open marketplace of ideas makes life interesting. 
    [/quote]
    isildur – If it hasn’t already been said, welcome to CM.com.

    At the risk of stirring up emotional debate could/would you provide some amplifying info on why you and Salatin (and many others) have differenig viewpoints on GMO crops?
    FWIW, I don’t know what I don’t know, but I am leaning towards the benevolent neglect side of the argument.  It seems to me that genetically modifying an organism to boost crop yield and increase resistance to insects and/or disease is generally a "good" thing.  But then there is the whole specter of the ‘kill gene’.  You can’t help but wonder if the studies to support conclusions that it is "safe" have been allowed to fully run their course. At the same time, the arguments that they "aren’t safe" are probably based more on emotion than science and haven’t received sufficient academic scrutiny and rigor either.  I could be wrong.
    The arguments that they contain recombinant DNA retroviruses for an engineered die-off so the lizard bankers can take over the world generates little more than an eye roll and passing interest. 
    Any expert insight or info you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Mon, Sep 12, 2011 - 4:26pm

    #32

    Mary Aceves

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 23 2010

    Posts: 132

    Monsanto policies

    Not an expert here, but I’ll jump in— 

    One thing a lot of people object to is the way Monsanto treats competition of any type.

    If pollen from a Monsanto field  blows into your non-GMO field, they they can and will take you to court for propogating unlicensed GMO seeds.  That is soooo underhanded and has been the ruin of many traditional farmers.

    Then there is the secrecy,  and the buying out of patents from small researchers.  thepoisoning of the soil with Round Up, which of course they also make.  There’s the lobbying and manipulation of government controls to their advantage.

    If you want fertile soil, you can’t go that route.

    My best guess is that in the future we will have to have both. Intensive, nutured  fields and crops and factory farms both.

     

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  • Wed, Sep 14, 2011 - 1:45am

    Reply to #32
    isildur22

    isildur22

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 23 2011

    Posts: 4

    I grew up on a farm in Iowa

    I grew up on a farm in Iowa and helped my dad with the corn and soybean fields, and I have a Ph.D. in genetics from UW-Madison. so I do have great interest in this issue.  I don’t have much time during weekdays, but I’ll put together a primer this weekend.Farmers choose to buy Monsanto’s products because if they do their yields are larger and the total amount of chemicals that they need to spray on their fields to achieve those yields is less.  Farmers are not stupid– they still have fertile soil after years of using Round-up.  People love to talk about what farmers should be doing, however, and I bet that won’t change
    Glyphosate (Round-up) is actually one of the least injurious herbicides ever produced, and disappears really quickly (days) when it gets to the soil, degrading into carbon dioxide and nitrogen.  It’s really a miracle herbicide, and unfortunately it won’t be useful indefinitely because weeds are already evolving resistance to it.  .
    The patent issue is a real problem, and in my opinion our strict patent laws slow down progress and should be reformed. The ability to patent natural genes is quite scary in general, and really stupid policy too, but thankfully it appears that the lawmakers are coming around.   However it’s a problem in every technological industry.  Google is buying up companies and their patents left and right.  A reform bill was recently passed (the America Invents Act) but I haven’t yet looked into how it will affect the situation.
     

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  • Wed, Sep 14, 2011 - 2:04am

    Reply to #32
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 964

    wo is P

    [quote=isildur22]Glyphosate (Round-up) is actually one of the least injurious herbicides ever produced, and disappears really quickly (days) when it gets to the soil, degrading into carbon dioxide and nitrogen.  It’s really a miracle herbicide, and unfortunately it won’t be useful indefinitely because weeds are already evolving resistance to it.  .
    [/quote]
    What happens to the phosphorus atom?

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  • Wed, Sep 14, 2011 - 6:53pm

    Reply to #32

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    The World According to Monsanto

    [quote=ao][quote=isildur22]
    Glyphosate (Round-up) is actually one of the least injurious herbicides ever produced, and disappears really quickly (days) when it gets to the soil, degrading into carbon dioxide and nitrogen.  It’s really a miracle herbicide, and unfortunately it won’t be useful indefinitely because weeds are already evolving resistance to it.  .
    [/quote]
    What happens to the phosphorus atom?
    [/quote]
    Nice point ao.
    You’ve reminded me of a recent news item back in December by Democracy Now! It lays sway to the tip of the iceberg on the colossus that is Mount Monsanto : –

    Let it also be said that there are plenty of creditable hits to be found over the formidable nature of the actions that Monsanto has taken over the control of global food supply simply by doing a Google search. The last count was 16,800,000.
    More importantly for this community though, is the destruction of small scale farming right across the United States. This documentary below should nail home any doubts, though it still leaves the issue of quite how upward of 9.3 billion people are supposed to be fed by 2050 – this, and of course against diminishing global fossil fuel supply : –
    The World According to Monsanto
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH4OwBYDQe8
    Paul

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  • Thu, Sep 15, 2011 - 8:19am

    Reply to #32
    isildur22

    isildur22

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    FLUORIDATION, for Pete’s sake?

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    You actually get 0 points for that, ao. Glyphosate degrades to aminomethylphosphonic acid and then to phosphoric acid/phosphate.  That’s inorganic phosphate. It’s the form required by plants as a fertilizer.
    Here’s the link to one of the papers that shows that degradation sequence but unless you’re at a university (or have a subscription to Soil Biology and Biochemistry…) you’ll have to buy it or PM me your email address and I’ll send the pdf to you.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0038071799000103
    But here’s a summary paragraph: "During recent years an intensive use of herbicides has raised increasing concern mainly due to their massive pollution of the environment. To address this problem, the herbicide glyphosate (N-[phosphono-methyl]glycine) might be very promising. It acts by interfering with the enzyme that catalyses the sixth step in the shikimate pathway, 5-enol-pyruvyl-shikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase (Cole, 1985), has little or no chronic and neuro-toxic effects, and no obvious carcinogenic and mutagenic activity as well, and is thus to be considered ineffective against man and animals (Atkinson, 1985). Moreover, even though the rate of utilization has been reported to vary considerably between different soils, it is rapidly and completely degraded by soil microorganisms to water, carbon dioxide and phosphate. Following adsorption through the phosphoric acid moiety, mineralization proceeds without any lag phase, and seems to be a co-metabolic process that occurs under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions (Torstensson, 1985). The first step in the predominant degradation pathway is the cleavage to glyoxylate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), that is also biologically degradable (Rueppel et al., 1977).

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    Here’s a paper free to access that talks about environmental effects
    http://co.water.usgs.gov/midconherb/pdf/WREB_4102_323-332.pdf
    Some notable points from it:  “Although glyphosate and (or) AMPA were found in many samples, other herbicides with similar or less total use in the Midwestern United States, such as acetochlor, atrazine, and metolachlor (Figure 1), were often detected more frequently and at higher concentrations (Table 2, Figures 3 and 4). It is probable that glyphosate is not as mobile and is transformed more rapidly in the environment than these other herbicides (Table 1)."
    “Glyphosate is considered to be only slightly toxic to birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates and is not expected to bioconcentrate.”
    “It is widely used in no-till agriculture to prepare fields for planting, controlling weeds during crop development, or controlling perennial weeds after crop harvest.”
    The bottom line is that it’s much less harmful and found at much lower concentrations than the other, toxic herbicides that are used the same amount or less.
    You don’t like corporations and you don’t like herbicides, and neither does Amy Goodman.  I get it.  Well, we can get rid of all the herbicides and the biotech companies altogether to make some people feel better about farms.  But if you want to keep family farmers on their land, then until all the poor folks in the U.S. get to shop at Whole Foods like you do we’re going to have to keep using them.  Why not use the least harmful while we can?
    Due to low grain prices in the early ‘90s, my dad sold our machinery, got a job with the USDA (fortunately he had a MA in education which enabled this) and now rents out the fields, although he still lives on the farm.  Today, thanks to yield increases due to this and other genetic modification technologies, added to global economic trends and possibly some early climate change effects causing crop failures abroad (as well as some admittedly misguided grain-for-ethanol mandates), family farmers can actually make a fairly good living. Too late for many of us, however.

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    Quite finally, searching  with keywords to get back to this thread, I now see that people have defended real farmers, glyphosate, et cetera many times over the years.  I guess now I’m wondering how much time I should devote to trying to disabuse an anti-science crowd of their Greenpeace notions. (I mean, fluoridation for Pete’s sake?  Since when did the John Birch Society start tricking liberals?) 
    I think it will be not a minute more.

     

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  • Thu, Sep 15, 2011 - 12:21pm

    #33

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    The Crash Course ~ Chapter's 17 - A) - B) & C) ...

    Isildur22,

    I think you’re lumping an entire set of people who are diverse and of many perspectives, into a model that best fits your bias. That is O.K. My world will not end because of this, and neither will yours. However, there is a hope in me that looking into alternate perspectives might colour your own.

    From a logical perspective then, it isn’t a case that – I or anyone else here – can corrupt you, but to aid you in seeing that there are more than two ways to go about your task of teaching the unenlightened enough details for them to go away and find out for themselves.

    I am in no doubt to the personally financial – and to the human benefit to a growing population of humanity – to the value of their survival or famine through modern mechanical and fossil fuel produced crop; or indeed the genetic modification of these crops to create greater abundance. However, what with the state of our soon to be obvious global energy constraint emerging far too quickly on the horizon, I must insist you pay more attention to what the outcome is in the long-term of modern agricultural method since the advent of the green revolution in the 1950’s, if the descent of this vital input continues its unstoppable decline.

    It is all well and good to talk of such things as modern agricultural method to alay fears in the present, but what is the model of production going to be in the near future, with such price-spikes in fertilizer (natural gas input) of 2008 and 2009 set to continue?

    This isn’t a site that wishes to destroy any attempts to prove the benefit of modernity, even if certain types of informed – or disinformed – post ( as is their right in regard to imparciality) on an open public forum. It does not mean that it is the majority of the forum’ opinion that flouridation, the John Birch Society, or even Greenpeace are all our bed-fellows.

    As yet again I’ve taken to reply to one of your posts, I’m curious as to whether you have watched through the Crash Course, which is the glue that holds this forum together.

    Below are chapters 17 a) b) and c), ripped from You Tube in regard to Peak Oil. However, a greater standard of polish to this series can be found if you go to the top left hand corner of the Home Page to here : –

    Paul

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  • Mon, Mar 19, 2012 - 7:15am

    Reply to #6
    SPAM_AchaiusAnjel

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    Hair Transplant In Pune

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  • Sat, Apr 07, 2012 - 9:33am

    #34
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    web development

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