BOOK REVIEW by Maureen Lefebvre
I LOVED this book. In another life I would be a lunatic farmer too – one who respects the land, respects animals and handles both with knowledge and the understanding that we cannot abuse the system and expect to get away with it forever. In conversation-like fashion Joel Salatin tells of his family business raising cows, chickens, and eggs on a sustainable farm in Virginia. Joel travels widely helping to make people aware that it is possible to feed our country without resorting to chemicals, feedlots and monocrops, mega-acre farms. In this book he includes his philosophy, research and resources as well as practical how-tos. Each chapter concludes with takeaway points. For example, chapter one is titled “Growing Soil”. The takeaway points were:
- Herbivores and perennials are the most efficacious way to build soil.
- Tillage and annuals account for the lion’s share of erosion.
- Depleted soil can be rebuilt and regenerated.
- Carbon is the key to soil health.
You don’t have to be a regular farmer to appropriate the wisdom in this book. Taking it to heart will help you better care for any size urban yard you have and give you an appreciation of the process behind organic farming and encourage you to support local suppliers of this type of produce and meat.