Episode-805- Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms

Joel Salatin, 54, is a full-time farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. A third generation alternative farmer, he returned to the farm full-time in 1982 and continued refining and adding to his parents’ ideas.

The farm services more than 3,000 families, 10 retail outlets, and 50 restaurants through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs with salad bar beef, pastured poultry, eggmobile eggs, pigaerator pork, forage-based rabbits, pastured turkey and forestry products using relationship marketing.

He holds a BA degree in English and writes extensively in magazines such as STOCKMAN GRASS FARMER, ACRES USA, and AMERICAN AGRICULTURALIST.

Joel is a hightly sought-after conference speaker, he addresses a wide range of issues, from “creating the farm your children will want” to “making a white collar salary from a pleasant life in the country.”  We are very fortunate to have him with us today on The Survival Podcast.

Join Joel and I Today as we Discuss…

  • What are some of the biggest challenges to small producers today
  • How can farmers transition from traditional agriculture to more natural production
  • Thoughts on how homesteaders can adapt some of Joel’s techniques
  • The value of sprouting – Ferris Wheel sprouter idea
  • Thoughts on small livestock like poultry and rabbits
  • Thoughts on ethical slaughter
  • Grazing pork and poultry one behind the other
  • How can homesteaders work to achieve greater self sufficiency
  • What can we do to help small producers have more commercial success

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

Joel’s Links

27 Responses to Episode-805- Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms

  1. How awesome to start the day with Joel! Now I’m looking forward to my commute.

    Hats off to the mighty Mrs Spirko for an amazing job lining up fantastic guests.

    (Eriko on the forums)

  2. This show rocks Thank you so so much!!! Would love to have him on the show again.

    Question does he worm his hogs if so with what and when? That is one book I don’t have yet.

  3. I don’t think he worms his hogs. If he does, he’ll use either Basic H or Dichotomous Earth. The production methods he uses makes it less likely that any animal will get sick.

  4. AWESOME interview. Joel is a personal hero and a big inspiration for me and my family in becoming organic farmers.

  5. WOW , Jack Great guest .
    Joel has it right your going to mess it up the first time “SO just do it ”
    TRY and learn . Thanks Jack

  6. Can I give more than 1 thumbs up?! Great interview. I’ve never read any of his books, I’ll have to pick one or all of them up.

  7. I thought Joel looked familiar. He’s the smart farmer in the movie Food Inc. I had no idea he is famous to some degree. Glad to know his ideas are getting out there.

  8. Awesome interview, and I’m not just saying that because I got my questions answered. 🙂

    You could tell that Joel enjoyed talking with Jack as well. Hopefully he’ll be back someday.

  9. LOL… If I stayed with what grows in my area, I’d need animals that can eat lots and lots of thistle! We’re still reclaiming our property from the scene out of Harry Potter that it was when we bought it! (It had been vacant for 4 years and the weeds were 15ft tall when we moved here.)

    AMAZING show! Gives me so many ideas for spring!

  10. Fantastic interview! We always learn something new from Joel.
    Watchdog website referenced by Joel is “.org” not “.com.” Here’s the link: http://www.cornucopia.org/

  11. Very impressive guest get, Jack. Joel is a big inspiration for me in what I do with the composting company and SPIN-ing. I actually met him when I worked at UBC, but I’m sure he doesn’t remember us.

  12. I want to start out by thanking Joel for sharing his thoughts and wisdom. I know very little about raising poultry but I want to start raising them in the next couple years. Upon hearing your comment about health problems in poultry and giving them some sort of supplement or pre-mix or whatever you call it… my first thought was that wouldn’t the permaculture way dictate that you need to find out what is causing the problem in the first place? Feeding a supplement to cirrect the problem is all well and good but to me, it’s very reminiscent of our modern health care system and the inherent problems therein. What types of things cause these health concerns in poultry and how can we optimize the system to correct for these naturally?

  13. I’ll be listening to this on Monday when I have time. I saw this guy in that one documentary (I don’t remember the name) about where our meat comes from (LOL). It makes me want to drive down to his farm and stock up — but it ACTUALLY made me stop by various booths at the farmer’s market and get information about buying meat and beef by the side from local farms.

  14. Jack, great interview!!! I’ve been aware of Joel for a few years, but last weekend’s article about him in the Richmond Times Dispatch and your interview today have really opened my eyes to the details. I’m working on the logistics of getting in on one of his drop off points not too far away as a part of our move to healthier eating (yes, working toward going Paleo). I also wrote about Joel and plugged the interview at IfItHitsTheFan.com tonight.

  15. Well done Spirko’s, I’ve listen & watched many J.S interviews and you handled it like a pro. Joel is not for the novice jour no.

    Well done Jack, “Jill”(Mrs S) and Joel, very entertaining while I was on the Tractor this afternoon Down here in Australia.

  16. EXCELLENT interview Jack!!!! Joel is a hero and an inspiration . I just finished reading his “Everything I want to do is illegal” for the 3rd time since I got it in late August, and watched him (again, 3rd-4th time) in Food Inc.

  17. So good! Awesome job. Salatin is an ambassador and our best shot at bringing “conservatives” (non libertarian right leaning folks) over to our side. No hippie granola stuff at all. Every other statement concerns profits, or enterprise or business.

    He is proof you do not have to have your head in the clouds in order to be concerned about your food.

  18. Jack thanks for asking him my question about the turkeys and the grapes and now I have a little more information. I have 4 of his books and his 2 DVDs. If you are wanting to take your farming to the next level you need to get both of the dvds.

  19. Here is an article I read on ‘Alt-Market’ about a town that is working toward food self suficiency

  20. Joel is the best leading authority on pasture fed livestock.

    During my life it’s been difficult for me to learn to allow myself to make many mistakes. So I especially like the comments he made towards the end of the interview.

    My advice for anyone interested in sustainability and self reliance is to first observe nature, form hypotheses (make assumptions) do small experiments first, forgive yourself when you screw up, learn what you can from your mistakes and successes, do tons of research, have fun with it, then go back and observe nature again with the knowledge learned. Then repeat the process with appropriately scaled experiments or prototypes. (That will depend on where you are in the process.)

  21. I really enjoyed listing and learning from this interview with Joel. Thank you Jake.

  22. Thanks for getting a great interview!
    Joel has awesome views and a down to earth attitude about farming and life with his belief about just doing what needs to be done and not depending on government programs or waiting for the ok more people should just use a common sense approach but that would force more people to have common sense 😉
    I am downloading the audio version of his book from itunes right now, btw it’s narrated by him which should be nice I like it when the guy who wrote it reads it plus he has a great accent at least to a California guy!
    One again great job Jack!

  23. Joel Salatin is an absolute inspiration. My husband and I heard him speak in Ohio when our oldest child was a newborn. He pretty much answered questions from the audience and we had a lot of Amish there, asking a lot of questions about including your whole family in the farm business. He dispensed SO MUCH great advice to us that day, I just can’t believe it.

    So happy to have heard this today. Jack man keep up the good work!

  24. Jack i just had a chance to listen to the show. I want to sincerely thank you for introducing me to gardening, permaculture, and Joel Salatin.
    You have awakened a sleeping beast. I cannot read enough about these topics. I am deciding on my first Joel Salatin book as we write this.

  25. Jack, just wanted to say what an excellent show this was. You did a great job with the interview!

  26. One of my all time heroes, along with you Jack. Thanks and have a great holiday!

  27. Great show!
    Does anyone have additional information on the Minneapolis(?) group’s greenhouse solar heating design that Joel Salatin mentioned?