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Polyface Farm  RSS feed

 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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So I came across this guy who seems to be growing livestock on an almost permaculture scale.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxTfQpv8xGA
This guy seems to be a pretty good speaker on the subject too.
 
Matthew Fallon
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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oh joel salatin's a Rip !
that dude cracks me up
calls himself a sissy farmer hah.
i dig his insights though,
just read an article on him in mother earth news a couple issues back.
"everything i want to do is illegal" 

seen him featured in quite a few documentaries,
cant recall all of them right now,but he gets around !
food inc was one of them, and that raw milk one in the other post here was another..
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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I like his writing, too.

http://www.polyfacefarms.com/library.aspx

He's a longtime favorite of our local (SF Bay) media, especially Michael Pollan and company.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Salatin is probably the premier author on agriculture today.  I would guess his most popular book is "pastured poultry".

Salatin is aware of permaculture and has embraced some of the permaculture ideas.  I would sure like to see him do more with trees.  But he knows a helluva lot of pasture polyculture and is a powerful advocate.

 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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Well, he might not do too much with planting trees, but he does forest finish pigs so trees/forest are a part of his operation even if it is a minor part.

So far he seems to be a good vocal advocate of small farms instead of industrial agriculture.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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I got the impression from The Omnivore's Dilemma that his larger plan involves trees, that his woodlot is crucial to his operation and that he thinks more farms should use trees as they traditionally were on American family farms.

I think he advocates trees more than most, but I wonder if his attitudes might be too conservative to use trees as fully as Paul might advocate.
 
Neal McSpadden
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As I recall, Salatin's farm is about 500 acres, 400 or so of which are trees, ponds, and rivers.  He's definitely on the permie side of things.  I plan to visit polyface next time I'm near southern VA
 
                    
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The Salatins and their farm are so inspirational, in that they're doing what you're not supposed to be able to do on such a small scale in the industrial age of food.  And they're spreading the word!

I've read "You Can Farm" and it's an excellent guide for people who want to make a living selling pastured meat and eggs. I wish Joel cared more about the conventional feed he buys for his chickens.  And he gets a bit religious for my tastes at times.....he's a nutter in some respects, but he admits it, and who isn't, really?  The next one I'm going to read is "Everything I want to do is Illegal," which will be a joy because it's stories of him fighting and usually winning out over beaurocracy. 

His criticism of permaculture is that it hasn't fully explored the integration of animals into various other systems.  As he repeats over and over, the possibilities are only limited to our imagination. 

He has lots of forest, but he's actively logging and using pigs to create more pasture.  He recognizes the importance of the forest and trees on a farm, and makes sure there are no open spaces more than 200 yards across.  He raises animals, he admits he's not a tree cropper.  His lists of ways to make money off a farm include tree crops, and a whole bunch of other things. 
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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you can read "Everything I want to do is Illegal," for free online from the Polyface farm web site.  I just read it the other day.  It's quite short.

I know in one of the videos they are sitting in the woods while there are pigs around.  It wasn't like he was using those pigs to turn the forest into pasture or anything.  They were just utilizing the forest for finishing the pigs and the pigs were helping the diversity of the forest.  In the mean time the forest is growing and could be cropped at some future date in a non clear cut method.

Anyway, very inspirational stuff but also a little alarming because there are still people out there pushing all these things that makes all this stuff we want to do Illegal.
 
Ken Peavey
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I cut my teeth on You Can Farm.  It's an excellent read, I should read it again but I did not return a couple of books.  The librarian will taser me if I go back. 
 
                    
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In the part I read about his use of pigs in the forest, he was grazing them for several years in a small clear cut (he advocates small clear cut patches rather than "selective logging" as in a tree here and there - and the more I learn about forestry the more I start to think this causes less damage to the surrounding trees - though my knee jerk reaction was he does WHATTT!?), and they rooted out the saplings of mountain laurel and whatnot so that eventually that area would be pasture.  He's not planning on doing this to the whole property, of course. 

We bought a $300 box of all their books directly from the Salatins.  They'll put together a box of whole sale price books for $300 with free shipping.  We're distributing them to people we think would be interested in our area.  We can't buy their food, so thought we'd buy some books. 
 
Ken Peavey
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I saw the book package.  It works out to 4 of each book for $308.  As part of a farm store, a book section fits in nicely.
 
Allan. Sterbinsky
Posts: 13
Location: Tennessee
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Twice I have traveled across the US to visit Joel Salatin's Polyface farm.  I recommend him highly.  Although he is not a permaculture purist, we can all learn a lot from his ideas and practices.  For example, I use a modification of his movable chicken house idea.  I build the house narrow enough to fit between the rows of my garden.  The chickens weed and fertilize the garden for me and give me meat.  I am going to experiment with using that same idea (rotational grazing) to weed and fertilize my raspberries and grapes.  When I was in France, I noticed that the chickens spent the winter in the orchards.  (I also noticed huge piles of compost at the sides of the fields) There is so much to learn!  I'll let you know how well the chickens work in my raspberries this year.
 
                              
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Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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Is there a such thing as a Permaculture Purist?    I've gotten the impression that from person to person, each "version" of permaculture is slightly different.  And this is probably a good thing since each place is different.

I've been moving my chickens around quite a bit, (when they get bored of an area they let us know by escaping the paddock, means it's time to give them some fresh space to keep them interested in staying in where we want them.)
 
Allan. Sterbinsky
Posts: 13
Location: Tennessee
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TCLynx wrote:
Is there a such thing as a Permaculture Purist?     I've gotten the impression that from person to person, each "version" of permaculture is slightly different.  And this is probably a good thing since each place is different.

I've been moving my chickens around quite a bit, (when they get bored of an area they let us know by escaping the paddock, means it's time to give them some fresh space to keep them interested in staying in where we want them.)


I think we're both saying the same thing.

 
rose macaskie
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  I remember seeing feilds with sheep horses and cows in them say about four or five animals in Holand so their they do mixed livestock farming .
iiif you look up alpine farms the tradition was mixed aminmal ffarms.
  The big farms here are mixed animal ones though the truth is that were i have been it has been all cows NS  few horawes or all sheep and goats.
  here in spain they don't move the cows round every day they let them out on to the mountains . i don't know how it works exxactly some people own land and there is a lot of common land and so you have to talk about whos going to take the cows where when and maybe pay rent.
  They have cowboys to round up the cattle when that is necessary . i was painting on the mountain sid ejust on the edge o f the village and one day had a bl they praise the Ávila cows as competent to live in thes way so the race of anmal might be a factor if you are having free range animals. Trippers climb the mountains walking through herds of cattle.as they go. l wandering around and me wondering how sensible it was to go on sitting there with a bull so near in the end i packed oup and lfet slowly so as not to incite him to chase me. The cow district i know is villages in the mountains of Ávila, Navarredonda is my husbands village. THis would fit in better with the permaculture idea of trying to reduce the work load. agri rose macaskie.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22493
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
                      
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Location: Snohomish, WA
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had the pleasure of spending time with Joel last year. It is true that he is not a "permaculture purist" ( I like that phrase) but he definitely has a lot of good going on.

Let's take permaculture ethics as an example:

Earth Care- He manages his forest and pastures well. He does not over graze and he understands and practices accelerated succession
People Care- He is leaving a legacy and living what he speaks about. Teaching people, writing, doing talks and speaking out for small farmers. Last I heard, he also has moved out of the large house on his land into a smaller one making room for the new generation to raise a family and run the farm.
Fair Share- He is outspoken on how to make it in the farming business. He shares the knowledge on daily practices and the ins and outs of even the little details. He even makes one of his best selling books available for free on his website.

Another thing I like about him is that he can directly speak to dealings with the Dept of Ag, USDA, Farmers Markets, customers and on farm salesetc... unlike some of the permaculture gurus from other countries who's experiences wont always apply to us on a business level. For those of us who are trying to scratch out a living here in the U.S. it makes sense to sit up and take notes from someone who has been in the system and figured out how to work it, at least partially.

Someone once made a comment about him to me when I said I was happy to have just spent time learning from him. They called him a child compared to a certain permaculture teacher. I say, we see what we want to. I see a teacher in most everyone. I'm keeping my eye on Joel and his family. 
 
Suzy Bean
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Location: Stevensville, MT
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permie mama wrote:
Someone once made a comment about him to me when I said I was happy to have just spent time learning from him. They called him a child compared to a certain permaculture teacher. I say, we see what we want to. I see a teacher in most everyone. I'm keeping my eye on Joel and his family. 


Thanks Permie Mama, well said. I just read his "Everything I want to do is illegal" article in Mother Earth News mentioned earlier. When speaking of the choice to eat meat, "We honor them in life, which is the only way we earn the right to ask them to feed us." I appreciate some of his perspectives, and admire his gratitude for the lifestyle he lives.
 
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