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Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin and his family own and operate Polyface Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The farm produces pastured beef, pork, chicken, eggs, turkeys, rabbits, lamb and ducks, servicing roughly 6,000 families and 50 restaurants in the farm’s bioregion. He has written 11 books to date and lectures around the world on land healing, local food systems.

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Joel Salatin

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  1. Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal

    By Joel Salatin

    Drawing upon 40 years' experience as an ecological farmer and marketer, Joel Salatin explains with humor and passion why Americans do not have the freedom to choose the food they purchase and eat. From child labor regulations to food inspection, bureaucrats provide themselves sole discretion over what food is available in the local marketplace. Their system favors industrial, global corporate food systems and discourages community-based food commerce, resulting in homogenized selection, mediocre quality, and exposure to non-organic farming practices. Salatin's expert insight explains why local food is expensive and difficult to find and will illuminate for the reader a deeper understanding of the industrial food complex.

    Paperback $23.95

    PUB DATE September 17, 2007

    PUBLISHER Polyface

  2. Family Friendly Farming

    By Joel Salatin

    Saving the landscape, rebuilding entrepreneurial rural families, and protecting nutritious food are the themes of this timeless treatise-hence the word "testament." Delving into the soul of the Salatin family's nationally acclaimed Polyface Farm, author Joel Salatin offers Family Friendly Farming as the key to dealing with resource issues, food policy, and social fabric.

    With humor and personal stories, he opens his family and farm convictions for all to see, share, and enjoy. Written from his unabashed "Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist" perspective, his ideas are guaranteed to encourage and challenge virtually every "ism" in the culture. It will captivate anyone passionate about healing the land, healing families, and healing the food supply.

    For several decades young people have been leaving the family farm. The ones left behind are now responsible for society's greatest resources: clean land and clean food. Anyone dedicated to preserving these resources will find in these pages a nongovernmental, self-empowerment approach to environmentalism and food safety.

    The heart of this book is aimed toward parents tired of their Dilbert cubicle at the end of the expressway who want to reconnect with their children through a pastoral lifestyle. It's written for anyone who yearns to grow old working with and being adored by value-sharing grandchildren and honored by passionate, productive adult children. Family Friendly Farming can make any family business more viable and any family more functional.

    The ten-chapter section on how to get the kids to love the farm is an invaluable addition to any collection of child-rearing manuals. Salatin moves from the family team-building section into a practical discussion on how to increase income per acre and create new, white-collar salaries without buying more land, equipment, or buildings. He deals with the unique and thorny issues surrounding any family business by using his own multi-generational family farm experience as his base for insight and wisdom.

    Paperback $35.00

    PUB DATE September 01, 2001

    PUBLISHER Polyface

  3. Fields of Farmers

    By Joel Salatin

    America’s average farmer is sixty years old. When young people can’t get in, old people can’t get out. Approaching a watershed moment, our culture desperately needs a generational transfer of millions of farm acres facing abandonment, development, or amalgamation into ever-larger holdings. Based on his decades of experience with interns and multigenerational partnerships at Polyface Farm, farmer and author Joel Salatin digs deep into the problems and solutions surrounding this land- and knowledge-transfer crisis. This book empowers aspiring young farmers, midlife farmers, and nonfarming landlords to build regenerative, profitable agricultural enterprises.

    Paperback $25.00

    PUB DATE September 27, 2013

    PUBLISHER Polyface

  4. Holy Cows and Hog Heaven

    By Joel Salatin
    Foreword by Michael Pollan

    Holy Cows and Hog Heaven is written by an honest-to-goodness-dirt-under-the-fingernails, optimistic clean good farmer. His goal is to:

    • Empower food buyers to pursue positive alternatives to the industrialized food system
    • Bring clean food farmers and their patrons into a teamwork relationship
    • Marry the best of western technology with the soul of eastern ethics
    • Educate food buyers about productions
    • Create a food system that enhances nature's ecology for future generations

    Holy Cows and Hog Heaven has an overriding objective of encouraging every food buyer to embrace the notion that menus are a conscious decision, creating the next generation's world one bite at a time.

    Paperback $17.95

    PUB DATE February 19, 2005

    PUBLISHER Polyface

  5. The Independent Farmstead

    By Beth Dougherty and Shawn Dougherty
    Foreword by Joel Salatin

    With in-depth information on electric fencing, watering, and husbandry for ruminants, poultry, and pigs, plus butchering, dairying, and more

    “If we work hard, we sleep well.”

    Twenty years ago, when authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased the land they would come to name the Sow’s Ear, the state of Ohio designated it “not suitable for agriculture.” Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.

    Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture management. Pioneered by such luminaries as Allan Savory, Greg Judy, and Joel Salatin, the tenets of holistic grazing—employed mostly by larger-scale commercial operations—have been adapted by the Doughertys to fit their family’s needs. In The Independent Farmstead, The Sow’s Ear model for regenerating the land and growing food—“the best you ever tasted”—is elucidated for others to use and build upon.

    In witty and welcoming style, The Independent Farmstead covers everything from choosing a species of ruminant and incorporating it into a grass-based system to innovative electric fencing and watering systems, to what to do with all of the milk, meat, and, yes, manure that the self-sustaining farm produces. Within these pages, the Doughertys discuss how to:

    • Find and improve poor, waste, or abused land and develop its natural water resources;
    • Select and purchase the appropriate ruminant for regenerating your farmstead;
    • Apply fencing strategies and pasture management basics;
    • Implement basic, uncomplicated food processing, including large and small animal butchering and cheese making; and
    • Integrate grass, gardens, and livestock to minimize or eliminate the need for off-farm inputs.

    As the Doughertys write, more and more people today are feeling “the desire for clean, affordable food, unmodified, unprocessed, and unmedicated and the security of local food sourcing for ourselves and our children.” The Independent Farmstead is a must-have resource for those who count themselves as part of this movement: both new and prospective farmers and homesteaders, and those who are interested in switching to grass-based systems. Best of all it’s the kind of rare how-to book that the authors themselves view not as a compendium of one-size-fits-all instructions but as “the beginning of a conversation,” one that is utterly informative, sincere, and inspiring.

    Paperback $34.95

    PUB DATE September 07, 2016

    PUBLISHER Chelsea Green Publishing

  6. Pastured Poultry Profit$

    By Joel Salatin

    A couple working six months per year for 50 hours per week on 20 acres can net $25,000-$30,000 per year with an investment equivalent to the price of one new medium-sized tractor. Seldom has agriculture held out such a plum. In a day when main-line farm experts predict the continued demise of the family farm, the pastured poultry opportunity shines like a beacon in the night, guiding the way to a brighter future.

    Paperback $35.00

    PUB DATE July 01, 1996

    PUBLISHER Polyface

  7. Patrick’s Great Grass Adventure

    By Joel Salatin and Rachel Salatin

    In his first children's book, farmer-author Joel Salatin and his daughter Rachel team up on a whimsical tale about a pigeon, a farmer, and grass. This beautifully illustrated edu-tainment book introduces 4-7 year-olds to Greg the grass farmer through the eyes of Patrick Pigeon. What better way to discover ecology-enhancing grass farming than from an aerial view? Grass as crop, insect haven, and diversity blanket comes to life as Patrick Pigeon watches and reports on Greg the grass farmer's activities.  Discovering a real farm from a real farmer through captivating explanation and illustration brings a local grass farm to life.

    Paperback $15.00

    PUB DATE August 08, 2017

    PUBLISHER Polyface

  8. The Raw Milk Revolution

    By David E. Gumpert
    Foreword by Joel Salatin

    Beginning in 2006, the agriculture departments of several large states-with backing from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-launched a major crackdown on small dairies producing raw milk. Replete with undercover agents, sting operations, surprise raids, questionable test-lab results, mysterious illnesses, propaganda blitzes, and grand jury investigations, the crackdown was designed to disrupt the supply of unpasteurized milk to growing legions of consumers demanding healthier and more flavorful food.

    The Raw Milk Revolution takes readers behind the scenes of the government's tough and occasionally brutal intimidation tactics, as seen through the eyes of milk producers, government regulators, scientists, prosecutors, and consumers. It is a disturbing story involving marginally legal police tactics and investigation techniques, with young children used as political pawns in a highly charged atmosphere of fear and retribution.

    Are regulators' claims that raw milk poses a public health threat legitimate? That turns out to be a matter of considerable debate. In assessing the threat, The Raw Milk Revolution reveals that the government's campaign, ostensibly designed to protect consumers from pathogens like salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7, and listeria, was based in a number of cases on suspect laboratory findings and illnesses attributed to raw milk that could well have had other causes, including, in some cases, pasteurized milk.

    David Gumpert dares to ask whether regulators have the public's interest in mind or the economic interests of dairy conglomerates. He assesses how the government's anti-raw-milk campaign fits into a troublesome pattern of expanding government efforts to sanitize the food supply-even in the face of ever-increasing rates of chronic disease like asthma, diabetes, and allergies. The Raw Milk Revolution provides an unsettling view of the future, in which nutritionally dense foods may be available largely through underground channels.

    Paperback $19.95

    PUB DATE November 06, 2009

    PUBLISHER Chelsea Green Publishing

  9. Salad Bar Beef

    By Joel Salatin

    In a day when beef is assailed by many environmental organizations and lauded by fast-food chains, a new paradigm to bring reason to this confusion is in order. With farmers leaving the land in droves and plows poised to "reclaim" set-aside acres, it is time to offer an alternative that is both land and farmer friendly.

    Beyond that, the salad bar beef production model offers hope to rural communities, to struggling row-crop farmers, and to frustrated beef eaters who do not want to encourage desertification, air and water pollution, environmental degradation and inhumane animal treatment. Because this is a program weighted toward creativity, management, entrepreneurism and observation, it breathes fresh air into farm economics.

    Paperback $35.00

    PUB DATE July 01, 1996

    PUBLISHER Polyface

  10. The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer

    By Joel Salatin

    Foodies and environmentally minded folks often struggle to understand and articulate the fundamental differences between the farming and food systems they endorse and those promoted by Monsanto and friends. With visceral stories and humor from Salatin's half-century as a "lunatic" farmer, Salatin contrasts the differences on many levels: practical, spiritual, social, economic, ecological, political, and nutritional.

    In today's conventional food-production paradigm, any farm that is open-sourced, compost-fertilized, pasture-based, portably-infrastructured, solar-driven, multi-speciated, heavily peopled, and soil-building must be operated by a lunatic. Modern, normal, reasonable farmers erect "No Trespassing" signs, deplete soil, worship annuals, apply petroleum-based chemicals, produce only one commodity, erect Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and discourage young people from farming.

    Anyone looking for ammunition to defend a more localized, solar-driven, diversified food system will find an entire arsenal in these pages. With wit and humor honed during countless hours working on the farm he loves, and then interacting with conventional naysayers, Salatin brings the land to life, farming to sacredness, and food to ministry.

    Divided into four main sections, the first deals with principles to nurture the earth, an idea mainline farming has never really endorsed. The second section describes food and fiber production, including the notion that most farmers don't care about nutrient density or taste because all they want is shipability and volume. The third section, titled "Respect for Life," presents an apologetic for food sacredness and farming as a healing ministry. Only lunatics would want less machinery and pathogenicity. Oh, the ecstasy of not using drugs or paying bankers. How sad. The final section deals with promoting community, including the notion that more farmers would be a good thing.

    Paperback $25.00

    PUB DATE September 08, 2010

    PUBLISHER Polyface

  11. The Small-Scale Poultry Flock

    By Harvey Ussery
    Foreword by Joel Salatin

    The most comprehensive guide to date on raising all-natural poultry for the small-scale farmer, homesteader, and professional grower. The Small-Scale Poultry Flock offers a practical and integrative model for working with chickens and other domestic fowl, based entirely on natural systems.

    Readers will find information on growing (and sourcing) feed on a small scale, brooding (and breeding) at home, and using poultry as insect and weed managers in the garden and orchard. Ussery's model presents an entirely sustainable system that can be adapted and utilized in a variety of scales, and will prove invaluable for beginner homesteaders, growers looking to incorporate poultry into their farm, or poultry farmers seeking to close their loop. Ussery offers extensive information on:

    • The definition of an integrated poultry flock (imitation of natural systems, integrating patterns, and closing the circle)
    • Everything you need to know about your basic chicken (including distinctive points about anatomy and behavior that are critical to management)
    • Extended information on poultry health and holistic health care, with a focus on prevention
    • Planning your flock (flock size, choosing breeds, fowl useful for egg vs. meat production, sourcing stock)
    • How to breed and brood the flock (including breeding for genetic conservation), including the most complete guide to working with broody hens available anywhere
    • Making and mixing your own feed (with tips on equipment, storage, basic ingredients, technique, grinding and mixing)
    • Providing more of the flock's feed from sources grown or self-foraged on the homestead or farm, including production of live protein feeds using earthworms and soldier grubs
    • Using poultry to increase soil fertility, control crop damaging insects, and to make compost-including systems for pasturing and for tillage of cover crops and weeds
    • Recipes for great egg and poultry dishes (including Ussery's famous chicken stock!)
    • And one of the best step-by-step poultry butchering guides available, complete with extensive illustrative photos.

    No other book on raising poultry takes an entirely whole-systems approach, or discusses producing homegrown feed and breeding in such detail. This is a truly invaluable guide that will lead farmers and homesteaders into a new world of self-reliance and enjoyment.

    Paperback $39.95

    PUB DATE October 07, 2011

    PUBLISHER Chelsea Green Publishing

  12. You Can Farm

    By Joel Salatin

    Have you ever desired, deep within your soul, to make a comfortable full-time living from a farming enterprise? Too often people dare not even vocalize this desire because it seems absurd. It's like thinking the unthinkable.

    After all, the farm population is dwindling. It takes too much capital to start. The pay is too low. The working conditions are dusty, smelly and noisy: not the place to raise a family. This is all true, and more, for most farmers.

    But for farm entrepreneurs, the opportunities for a farm family business have never been greater. The aging farm population is creating cavernous niches begging to be filled by creative visionaries who will go in dynamic new directions. As the industrial agriculture complex crumbles and our culture clambers for clean food, the countryside beckons anew with profitable farming opportunities.

    While this book can be helpful to all farmers, it targets the wannabes, the folks who actually entertain notions of living, loving and learning on a piece of land. Anyone willing to dance with such a dream should be able to assess its assets and liabilities; its fantasies and realities. "Is it really possible for me?" is the burning question this book addresses.






    Paperback $35.00

    PUB DATE June 01, 1998

    PUBLISHER Polyface

  13. Your Successful Farm Business

    By Joel Salatin

    Twenty years ago Joel Salatin wrote You Can Farm, which has launched thousands of farm entrepreneurs around the world. With another 20 years of experience under his belt, bringing him to the half-century mark as a full-time farmer, he decided to build on that foundation with a sequel, a graduate level curriculum.

    Everyone who reads and enjoys that previous work will benefit from this additional information. In those 20 years, Polyface Farm progressed from a small family operation to a 20-person, 6,000-customer, 50-restaurant business, all without sales targets, government grants, or an off-farm nest egg.

    As a germination tray for new farmers ready to take over the 50 percent of America's agricultural equity that will become available over the next two decades, Polyface Farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley stands as a beacon of hope in a food and farming system floundering in dysfunction: toxicity, pathogenicity, nutrient deficiency, bankruptcy, geezers, and erosion. Speaking into that fear and confusion, Salatin offers a pathway to success, with production, profit, and pleasure thrown in for good measure.

    Paperback $30.00

    PUB DATE August 15, 2017

    PUBLISHER Polyface