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Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens,…

– tekijä: Joel Salatin

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
289872,015 (3.88)3
Farmer Joel Salatin is the 21st century's thinking man's farmer who believes that the answer to rebuilding America is to start with the family farm and for those farms to thrive, we all need to learn how to eat naturally again. Salatin's solutions as presented in the book are very simple and easy to implement in any American household, whether in the suburbs of Chicago, the mountains of Colorado, or urban life in New York City. On topic with today's sustainable living conversation and the entire green movement in general. Americans have embraced green living and are looking for ways to nourish their families with clean, wholesome food.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
I love Joel Salatin. He is a crazy libertarian organic farmer in Virginia. I have his EVERYTHING I WANT TO DO IS ILLEGAL; and I've read his YOU CAN FARM. The latter is his attempt to inspire and instruct young people considering embarking on a life of farming. I loved it, even though there is no way I am ever going to become a farmer.

Here, Salatin rants about how far we have gotten away from "normal" (hence the title) with our industrial food system. He ends each chapter with positive suggestions, some more realistic than others, for taking individual action to end the insanity and start doing something normal again - growing a tomato plant, keeping chickens as pets, etc.

This totally resonated with me. The crazy thing I've always thought about books along the lines of "My Year of Growing All My Own Food" and such, is that they treat what used to be normal as a miracle - indeed, case in point, the title of Barbara Kingsolver's ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE. What we think is fodder for an entire book used to just be LIFE. Of course your grew your own food. People of 200 years ago would be might puzzled that anyone would want to read or write a book about it.

It's NORMAL. Salatin uses the word "birthright" in this book; it was actually in reference to hunting, but I like to think of it in relation to the whole shebang of agriculture and enjoying nature. It's our BIRTHRIGHT.

The book is repetitive and ranty, not exactly a masterpiece of literature, but it has been so inspiring to me, I go with 5 stars. I'm inspired to actually double down on my local food intake. I'm researching local grain and upgrading my dairy; I'm using more butter in place of vegetable oils (big sacrifice there, not); just putting a lot more thought into it. And I wasn't exactly unconscious to begin with.

Salatin even ends the book by confiding in us an experience where he actually broke down in tears as he was about to leave his homestead for a month or two, a very long stretch of traveling for him. He had to stop the car and cry before he had even left the lane leading to his house. I'm touched, I really am.

And although I no longer identify as libertarian - and was not interested in the rants against the government which at times lurked just below surface, and at other times reared their ugly heads - I have to say simply that there's something refreshing in reading arguments for organic, back-to-the-land living coming from a place other than basic hippie liberal. It's just different and enlightening and proves that these things don't have to be "polarized." Everyone benefits from better food. It's ridiculous that this should be a politically one-sided issue - like climate change. ( )
  Tytania | Sep 6, 2019 |
Joel Salatin is a farmer, public speaker, and author of several popular books on subjects of agriculture, food, and the food industry. Like his earlier book, Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal, his writing is informal and entertaining, but also informative.
He is critical of many of today's trends without being overly preachy or ascetic:

“The abnormality is not so much that people want a quick to eat. The abnormality is the percentage of quick meals, the narrow variety of content, and the consistency demanded by today's fast food chains and how these protocols deny local supply.”

and,

“Reducing spoilage through fermentation, vacuum sealing, drying, or freezing is both normal and ancient. What is new is food marketed as edible that will not rot at all in its consumable state. … If in doubt about your food, set it out for a few days and see if it will grow mold.”

The book has 18 unnumbered chapters with titles such as: “A Cat Is a Cow Is a Chicken Is My Aunt”. Most chapters actually address a serious subject, for instance: recycling/waste reduction (chapter 4), composting and organic recycling (chapter 10), energy (chapter 11), housing (chapter 12) and water (chapter 13). Each chapter ends with 3 to 5 suggestions of things the reader might try in order to be personally engaged in the issue. These suggestions also reinforce the main message of the chapter.

I can't always agree with his opinions; for instance chapter 17 is a “rant” against the inheritance tax. He would like to see it abolished. His arguments against the tax as it is applied to farms make sense. But that shouldn't require eliminating the tax altogether. Salatin has frequently pointed out that government regulations, intended to ensure the safety of large-scale industrial agricultural, are unnecessary and harmful to small family farms. The same thinking ought to apply to inheritance tax: it probably serves a purpose in other situations – just not when a family farm is being transmitted generation-to-generation. Also, I question his reasons for extensively quoting Benjamin Franklin (chapter 17, “You Get What You Pay For”). It is interesting, however, Franklin wrote before the great rural-to-urban population shift, and might have said something different if living today. (I still enjoyed reading Franklin's opinions, and would like to know the specific source of the quotes.)
I recommend this book, because Salatin always makes me think, even if I don't always agree with him. ( )
  dougb56586 | Aug 27, 2019 |
He's not wrong about farming, but the contempt and lack of empathy that informs his libertarianism can't help but shine through. Felt like mansplaining. ( )
  libraryhead | May 21, 2019 |
Sigh: another book for which I would like to write two separate reviews.

First review - First half of book. Salatin talks farming. He knows farming: through & through, forwards, backwards & sideways, & he expresses this knowledge very well. It's very polemical, & the tone is quite folksy, but it's worth overcoming any reticence you might have about that: this book is worth reading. Salatin lucidly describes where we, in North America anyway, are at with regards to sustainable farming & how we got here. He is always sympathetic to the farmers who took us down this road of chemical fertilisers, etc, because they were making the best choices they could with the equipment available at the time. But now, we know better, we can do better, we should do better. Splendid! Four stars.

Second review - second half of book. Salatin talks regulation, labour, history. If he'd stuck to talking about his personal experiences with regulators & why he thinks those experiences were crazy, this would have been one four-star review for a much shorter book. But he didn't.

As he talks about the history of regulations in the food supply system, he never betrays any hint of understanding the system that brought them into place. He flatly declares that "nobody was getting sick", then admits that there was not so much available in terms of scientifically confirming food poisoning (much less statistics generated from reporting & tracking systems). Maybe the people who were demanding food inspections had some motivation for doing so? (Maybe they were getting sick & knew what had made them sick?)

He believes that unregulated, uninspected free commerce would solve all of our problems: I assume he is unaware of the problems this very system created in the late-nineteenth century which led to regulations? He thinks we should be able to sign away our rights to sue if what we get isn't what we ordered. He declares "America has always honored work. We even have a Labor Day holiday." Can he really be so historically illiterate?!

In short: the second half of the book is basically Salatin BSing about stuff he doesn't even seem to have given much though to. Is the system as it is broken? Yes, probably, but nothing constructive has even been accomplished by indiscriminately smashing systems one doesn't understand.

Also, slight quibble here: the second half makes quite clear that this book is a marketing exercise for Salatin's farm. He quotes specific testing results on his own products without reference to any other producer. He doesn't even provide a list of farmers he's trained who could be expected to provide similar results (though he does mention repeatedly - vaguely - that he does have graduates running independent farms... Somewhere.). Several conspiracy theories also factor into this part of the book.

Anyway: second half of book: 1.5 stars. Read the first half, but if you find yourself getting bogged down in the second: drop it, it doesn't get better. ( )
  Heduanna | Sep 20, 2015 |
Joel Salatin's writing and speaking are always delightful, always challenging, always a healthy and needed dose of "normal". ( )
  jonmarcgrodi | Apr 23, 2015 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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My family amd our farm, Polyface Farm, in many ways seem like an anachronism.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Farmer Joel Salatin is the 21st century's thinking man's farmer who believes that the answer to rebuilding America is to start with the family farm and for those farms to thrive, we all need to learn how to eat naturally again. Salatin's solutions as presented in the book are very simple and easy to implement in any American household, whether in the suburbs of Chicago, the mountains of Colorado, or urban life in New York City. On topic with today's sustainable living conversation and the entire green movement in general. Americans have embraced green living and are looking for ways to nourish their families with clean, wholesome food.

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