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I've decided that to be an alternative farmer or an ecological farmer or whatever buzz word you want to put on it, you have to be a sissy.

 

 

Joel Salatin talking on YouTube about the 'Sissy Farmer' . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHOYn6RjCLY

 

 I've decided that to be an alternative farmer or an ecological farmer or whatever buzz word you want to put on it, you have to be a sissy. 

 

Because it's just not masculine to come in and tell the wife who gives her big hunk a kiss and says

    , 'Oh Harry, what have you done all day, my big hero''

And he says,

    'Oh Matilda, I made the cows happy'

 

 

It's more masculine to come in and say:

 

'Smell the diesel, rub the grease, I killed a million earthworms, I ploughed up forty acres and I burned up all this petroleum - you know, the pig iron under the thighs, you know, that's masculine and I've decided that this 'being in tune with it' the reason why we don't do it much as farmers is that men were not hard-wired to  care that much or to see, to be that observant in Nature and so here we are in what I call the Dense Food business - the grams of riboflavin per pound, the grams of just sheer nutrition per pound of animal protein - of beef and pork and dairy - is so much more dense than a squash or a watermelon - and I love both.  We grow them both in our garden for ourselves and that's great - but this valley is a prairie, it was a prairie for centuries

 

 

We know there's a big bad world out there.  There are hurricanes there may or may not be global warming, there are droughts, there are going to be floods there is all of these things going on.

 

So part of our responsibility as stewards of the landscape is to bring that redemption that  'forgiveness' to the landscape and make it more resilient.

 

So that when it floods the soil isn't  going to leave us, when it's dry there's enough organic matter - one pound of organic matter holds four pounds of water so as we lift our organic matter then our water retention is much better so that in a drought our grass can continue to get moisture naturally for a lot longer into the season.

 

Immunity into the animals so that we don't have to have big No Trespassing notices at the farm entrances with a bunch of toxic foot dips and space suits for everybody to don when they walk on because we are afraid they may make our animals sick

 

Well, our animals have immune systems so we want kindergarteners to come out and handle the chicks and touch the rabbits and be part of it and be connected to it -.

 

 We talk about a system that grows enough quantity  a food system that can be distributed to the ends of the earth a food system that we can produce enough of to stockpile on ports and have it rot because some warlord won't let it cross into his land

 

- but how about talking about a forgiving food system, a food system that's insulated from the vagaries of politics, the liberal left the religious right, the multinational corporations  the energy crisis, natural disasters and pathogenicity and all those things.  That to me is the ultimate sustainable food system because it's forgiving -

 

 

and this is all part of creating a forgiving food system

 

Joel Salatin talking on YouTube about the 'Sissy Farmer'  Brilliant.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHOYn6RjCLY

 

(Do read Joel Salatin's "Everything I want to do is illegal" - it may make you both angry and inspired. http//www.acresusa.com/toolbox/reprints/Salatin_Sept03.pdf )