#282: Permaculture for the Home Vegetable Gardener | Expert Advice from Polyface Farmsí Joel Salatin
In This Episode of the Vegetable Gardening Show
In this episode of the Vegetable Gardening show, Mike chats with Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin about permaculture and how the home vegetable gardener can implement many permaculture techniques for their own gardens to build a better sustainable growing environment.
Joel is going to tell us what a permaculture is, give us some examples of techniques that many home vegetable gardeners are already using and cover some basic tips of how you can extend your gardening season through the colder months.
From there, Joel will give us an in depth look as to how livestock, specifically chickens, can play a major role in a properly designed permaculture system and creative ways to use and save rain water.
About this week's guest on the Vegetable Gardening Show, Joel Salatin
Joel F. Salatin is an American farmer, lecturer, and author whose books include Folks, This Ain't Normal; You Can Farm; and Salad Bar Beef.
Salatin raises livestock using holistic management methods of animal husbandry on his Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. Meat from the farm is sold by direct marketing to consumers and restaurants
In high school, Salatin began his own business selling rabbits, eggs, butter and chicken from his family farm at the Staunton Curb Market. He then attended Bob Jones University where he majored in English and was a student leader. He graduated in 1979. Salatin married his childhood sweetheart in 1980 and became a feature writer at the Staunton, Virginia newspaper, The News Leader, where he had worked earlier typing obituaries and police reports.
Tired of "having his stories spiked," he decided to try farming full-time after first getting involved in a walnut-buying station run by two high school boys. Salatin's grandfather had been an avid gardener and beekeeper and a follower of J. I. Rodale, the founder of regenerative organic horticulture. Salatin's father worked as an accountant and his mother taught high school physical education. Salatin's parents had bought the land that became Polyface in 1961 after losing a farm in Venezuela to political turmoil. They had raised cattle using organic methods, but could not make a living at farming alone.
Salatin, a self-described "Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer" produces meat he describes as "beyond organic", which are raised using what the farm describes as environmentally responsible, ecologically beneficial, sustainable agriculture. Jo Robinson, the author of Pasture Perfect: The Far-Reaching Benefits of Choosing Meat, Eggs and Dairy Products From Grass-Fed Animals (2004) said of Salatin, "He's not going back to the old model. There's nothing in county extension or old-fashioned ag science that really informs him. He is just looking totally afresh at how to maximize production in an integrated system on a holistic farm. He's just totally innovative."
Salatin considers his farming a ministry, and he condemns the negative impact on his livelihood and lifestyle of what he considers an increasingly regulatory approach taken by the agencies of the United States government toward farming. Salatin now spends a hundred days a year lecturing at colleges and to environmental groups.