Family Friendly Farming
By: Joel Salatin
For those who don’t know, Joel Salatin is one of my favorite people on the planet. He owns and operates Polyface Farms in Virginia. His methods incorporate permaculture, sustainability, and ethical stewardship of land and animals, together to form an amazing farm. You should definitely look him up.
Enough about my admiration of Joel… The book starts with a multi-chaptered section on his perspectives. He talks about his vision that one day small sustainable farms will support every mouth that needs fed in the world. His views on money, which he admits are confusing. Goal setting, appropriate size, breaking from outside employment, and community are among the other subjects in this section. I really enjoyed his thoughts on goal setting; goals should contain core values. Instead of “raise 1000 broilers” a goal should be “add one new complementary enterprise”
The next section is all about making kids love the farm. Salatin’s child-rearing views can best be described as unique. He believes in homeschooling, and also that kids are not given enough freedom in their everyday lives. He strongly encourages children to get involved in the business at an early age. I think his ideas about encouraging children to start their own enterprises is a great one. When a child has ownership of something, it boost their confidence. I do not have any children of my own, but I hope to incorporate some of these values in my own children on my own farm one day. I also agree with the premise that farms should be aesthetically pleasing and safe for children to walk around. Have you seen the inside of a factory farm? I know I don’t want to walk around in one.
The last sections focus on family development, sacred work, and passing the farm onto the next generation. I encourage anyone who has owns a farm to think hard about how you distribute it.
I will be reviewing this book more in the future. I think it offers guidance to new and old farmers alike.
Favorite Quote: It’s always good to be touched by people who hold different views.