Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer :: Chapter 1 Book Report

It's been awhile since I've taken the time to do a book report, but I've been wanting to make the time as I pick my way through Joel Salatin's latest book, "The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer". I know that you're not supposed to judge a book by the cover (or the title in this case), but if you were going to do that I think the title alone would be enough to interest you in this book. Really ... who wouldn't want to enjoy the life of a "Lunatic Farmer"!

Before I get to the first chapter let me just quickly mention something from the introduction. Mr. Salatin shares a little story about a time where he was trying to get a load of sawdust for the farm. He relates that all was well until the man delivering the load realized just who he would be delivering to and then he backed out because he said that Polyface Farm was cruel to it's animals by not giving hormones or grain and making them live outside. I have no reason to doubt this really happened and all I can say is ... WOW!!! Now, one to chapter one ...

The first chapter of this book is titled, "Growing Soil". If you have read any other books by Mr. Salatin you will recognize some of the same stories, but I think there is a reason for this. He is passionate about the soil being the basis for all that a farm is and can be so we expresses that every chance he gets. At least that is what I take away from it.

It's always encouraging for me to read success stories like this when it comes to rehabilitating the ground. From the stories Mr. Salatin relates his ground was very bad when the family purchased it and now it is like a completely different farm. I don't think my farm is anywhere near what he had to deal with (and that's good because he had a head start from the help of his dad's farming practices), but I know that my soil is not where I want it to be so it is always good to read about the possibilities.

As always his keys are adding carbons to your soil, keeping your nutrients (manure) on your farm, letting the animals work for you, using perennials to grow soil health, and recognizing what soil really is. Healthy soil is packed full of living and moving and breathing organisms that all play a part in creating a healthy farm. If we take the time to key in on the importance of this then we will understand just how important a farm full of living and breathing dirt really is!

1 comment:

David N said...

I am glad you are reviewing this book, as it is next on my list to read as a matter of fact it is sitting in the bookcase right now ready to be read.

I really like Joel and feel very inspired by him. I know he gets a lot of flak, but it really was his books that inspired me to want to farm.

I like the concept of being a soil or grass farmer over a livestock or produce farmer. Seems like the soil is as important as Joel makes it.

Thanks for the review and I am looking forward to hear what you have to say about the rest of the book

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