Monday, December 14, 2009

Pathways To Healing - Dunn Creek Podcast Interviews Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin is in a state of grace and he gives it all he's got for two full days of talking to a very diverse crowd. We've come to a big camp meeting to see what this farmer, author and bio-evangelist has to say.

I felt a pang or two during his presentation as he said things like, "I don't want to see any part time farmers."  I'm sitting here in California while my farm sleeps in Prince Edward Island. So I feel like a bit of a fraud in a farmer costume, still putting off the last step to a full-time commitment.  

Joel has energy and conviction to burn and we all felt the heat, even in the cold and drafty confines of our classroom at El Capitan Canyon Campground. The winter Pacific storm that passed overhead during the day made mother nature herself present in the conversation, nearly drowning out the man. He carried on, his voice breaking as he shouted his words over the static of rain on the canvas roof.  It was a remarkable confluence of events.  As I said to him later, "Twelve inches of rain a year and you got to be here for 20 percent of it."

My time was well spent for the opportunity to meet such a diverse group of people. I got re-energized and re-excited about farming.  In this season, at this time, in this era, we can all use the hope and enthusiasm Joel Salatin brought to us. Will the event have an effect on me? It already has. It's time for me to order seed and planting stock and to review our farm plan for 2010. From fencing and utility infrastructure to multi-tasking livestock and buildings, it's all on the table and I'm already working on the farm .

* This podcast contains audio from post-film discussion of Fresh - The Movie.  Please look at the clip and work with us to help bring fresh to Eastern PEI this July! 

Special thanks and please follow the links to:
Quail Springs Permaculture Farm  and Orella Ranch 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pathways to Relocalization

Michael Pollan's book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma" features Joel Salatin and Polyface Farms. Joel is an example for those of us interested in sustainable agriculture, healthy land and healthful food.

The Orella Ranch and Quail Springs Permaculture Farm are hosting this program in the Carbon Economy Series called, "Pathways to Localization". I'll be attending this workshop with an eye toward our operation of Dunn Creek Farm.

What interests me most going into this is Mr. Salatin's work as a modern "grass farmer". For those who may not understand this term, it is a method of farming which uses naturally growing pasture in rotation with other crops to raise grazing animals on grass - instead of grain feeding or relying on processed food in a stall or on a feed lot. Our farming forbearers in PEI knew all about this kind of operation.

This is a comprehensive, two day training. I'll be interested in taking away practical information that will help us manage livestock and pasture rotations on our mixed farm.

You might want to read this article Joel wrote, "Everything I Want to do Is Illegal".