Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A Thriving Local Food System :: Joel Salatin

Sometimes I feel like I'm pretty tech savvy farmer who understands the world of social media. Other times I feel like a farmer who kind of understands Blogger, but not much else. Either way ... I was excited to see that @chelseagreen (the book publisher) was following me on Twitter. To be completely honest I'm always a bit excited when I have a new follower, but I was especially happy about this one because it lead me to their own Twitter account and quite a few neat links.

One that I found really interesting is a link to an older article from Australia that features Joel Salatin talking about how to have a thriving local food system. Mr. Salatin lists six areas of need for a local food system :: Producer, Young People on the Farm, Accounting, Marketing, Distribution, and a Buyer/Patron. Under each one of those areas he hits a few bullet points in greater detail. Plus if you're interested there is a link at the bottom of the article for a radio interview.

A few things that stuck in my mind after reading through his talking points were the importance of having "a Jeffersonian intellectual agrarian concept" (I wonder how that played in Australia), that the farm needs a "gregarious story teller," his break down of the Polyface Farm sales, and of course the importance of the customer. I really appreciate the way that Mr. Salatin likes to pull out things from history so that we can recognize the importance of our past and how things worked out before our agricultural systems started the major changes. Of course I'm not suggesting we make the change back to 18th century agriculture (although it would be right up my alley), but I do think it's important for us to remember and learn from our history!


Yeoman said...

I don't always agree with Salatin, but I sure agree about the need to reintroduce a local food system. People don't have the foggiest idea of the amount of effort, and the necessary quality reduction that goes into our mass distribution system. The consumption of fuel alone in our harvesting and distribution system is staggering.

In order to get there, however, I think we'll need a government sponsored system that goes towards a sort of renewed homesteading. Creating a new agrarian class can only come about if the government restricts the false corporate entities it has created, so that farms once again go back in to the hands of individuals, for a starter. Our current corporate farming structure is a byproduct of our laws, and an agrarian one will only come back through reform of them, and helping to sponsor a new yeomanry.

agirlonafarm said...

Very good points Yeoman. I think you hit the nail on the head. One of the most important points Joel Salatin raised was getting young people on the farm. We have GOT to stop telling young children that there's no money in farming. We really need good programs in place to show to make a living farming. I think it's starting to move in that direction, but we need so much more.

Kirsten said...

Hey guys - if yr interested, this post has a bunch of links to interviews with Joel on his 2nd trip to Australia last year: http://milkwood.net/2010/12/20/may-all-your-carrots-grow-long-and-straight-a-week-with-joel-salatin/

Good luck, fellow first-generation farmers!

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