You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farm Enterprise

You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and


10 thoughts on “You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farm Enterprise

  1. Jenni Pertuset Jenni Pertuset says:

    The value of this book for me lies not in Joel Salatin s prose, which is painful to read, but in a simple question he asks From my open book post about Wendell Berry s Unsettling of America If we can t return ourselves and our nation to our agrarian roots, what can we do to heal the cultural wounds he describes wounds that are as much ecological, communal, and personal as they are agricultural As I read The Unsettling of America, my own answer came in the form of a question What are you do The value of this book for me lies not in Joel Salatin s prose, which is painful to read, but in a simple question he asks From my open book post about Wendell Berry s Unsettling of America If we can t return ourselves and our nation to our agrarian roots, what can we do to heal the cultural wounds he describes wounds that are as much ecological, communal, and personal as they are agricultural As I read The Unsettling of America, my own answer came in the form of a question What are you doing now The question originated in my reading of Joel Salatin s You Can Farm Salatin writes that he is often asked for advice on how to get started farming, and he always responds, What are you doing now He suggests that regardless of your location or other limitations, there are many ways to make farming part of your life.Though, like the question, this answer relates to farming, for me its scope is much broader What are you doing now is a prompt to identify what I can do in this moment, in this place to sustain myself, my family, my community, and my world.This is a profound shift in focus for me, because for my entire adult life I have been looking forward to a future in which I will be doing useful and meaningful work Only upon becoming a mother did I feel the value of the work I was already doing As I ponder my growing desire for work in addition to mothering a toddler, I am still looking to the future and what I might become witheducation ortime orsomething, but I am also able to envision what I can do with what I already have


  2. Miles Miles says:

    Though I m sure some of the information in this book is dated now that it s 15 years old, it seems like a very handy guide to starting a financially viable and environmentally responsible farm Salatin gives a lot of excellent advice, and he certainly knows his business He demonstrates a profound respect for the earth as he sees it, and I applaud him for espousing such a positive, can do message I am about to begin my own small farming enterprise, and I m sure that plenty of Salatin s rules Though I m sure some of the information in this book is dated now that it s 15 years old, it seems like a very handy guide to starting a financially viable and environmentally responsible farm Salatin gives a lot of excellent advice, and he certainly knows his business He demonstrates a profound respect for the earth as he sees it, and I applaud him for espousing such a positive, can do message I am about to begin my own small farming enterprise, and I m sure that plenty of Salatin s rules of thumb will be useful for me as I begin learning the ropes and moving toward something that works for me I m giving this book two stars because, even though I believe Salatin s heart is in the right place, this book ultimately infuriated me As a supplement to his advice about farming which seems basically sound, at least to an amateur like me , Salatin insists on throwing his personal politics into the mix I m not necessarily bothered when an author does this, but I find nearly all of Salatin s non farming opinions to be either ill informed or downright offensive For someone equipped with an apparently discerning mind, Salatin seems to have done very little serious investigation into matters beyond his own strikingly simplistic worldview Though it seems to come from a genuinely good place, Salatin s religion is about as naive as one can imagine I laughed out loud during his discussion of why it isn t a problem to kill animals for food Humans are not animals and animals are not humans Only humans are created in the image of God Neither did He make of animals a living soul 342 I m neither a vegetarian nor one who gets particularly bristly about animal rights, but the lack of sophistication here about an issue that is central to many farmers lives is staggering Additionally, Salatin repeatedly plugs the virtues of free market capitalism, even claiming that turning our entire health care system over to private companies would solve the health crisis Coupled with unequivocal endorsements of almost every spurious, new age, anti scientific crap you can think of, this book became quite tiresome I m sure that Salatin has it right when it comes to promoting certain alternatives to the factory farming model and other destructive farming methods, but it becameanddifficult to trust him as he continued to reveal just how uninformed he was about many important issues Salatin clearly feels that his politics and his farm are two inseparable entities, and I honestly can t fault him for that I appreciate a man who lives his convictions My numerous disagreements with the worldview offered by this book, however, tainted what could have been an excellent overall read


  3. John John says:

    I first heard mention of Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farm in an interview with Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore s Dilemma, and I was fascinated from the start Central to Polyface Farm was a carefully controlled rotation of animals grazing on the land, with chickens following cows to break up their manure and eat the grubs laid in it, reducing fly problems and providing food for the chickens You Can Farm gives not only an overview of Salatin s farming methods for raising high quality po I first heard mention of Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farm in an interview with Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore s Dilemma, and I was fascinated from the start Central to Polyface Farm was a carefully controlled rotation of animals grazing on the land, with chickens following cows to break up their manure and eat the grubs laid in it, reducing fly problems and providing food for the chickens You Can Farm gives not only an overview of Salatin s farming methods for raising high quality poultry, eggs, beef, and pork but also gives plenty of practical advice for running a successful farm business Although the book talks a good deal about the philosophy and practice of Salatin s agricultural model, most of the nitty gritty details are left for his other books, Pasture Poultry Profits and Salad Bar Beef Still, there s enough to understand the principles involved, and there are manygeneral ideas as well More important is a good deal of advice and the wisdom of experience Salatin is encouraging about the prospects for making a living raising the best tasting, healthiest foods anywhere At the same time, he s realistic about the hard work, persistence, and creativity needed to succeed Rather than being a purely rah rah book, Salatin would rather scare off potential farmers than have them get themselves into something they don t really want and consequently will fail at anyway Still, it s a very positive book you can farm, Salatin insists, despite the difficulties and the failures evident in conventional agriculture Not only does Salatin lay out solid principles for a model of organic agriculture that produces excellent food, is sustainable, and improves soil fertility, but he also discusses important aspects of making an agricultural business plan, one that s customized to your particular situation and interests It s an excellent book, and I m very much looking forward to reading Salatin s other books


  4. Wayne Wayne says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I credit this book with getting me into farming Joel s an entertaining writer, but for those who don t have time to read it, here s what I got from it in a nutshell If you re dreaming of farming someday when you can afford to buy land, quit your day job, etc., stop doing that Stay right where you are, rent some land somewhere nearby, and farm that plot of land If you do it profitably, you can expand Pretty soon, you re managing several acres while still not living on a farm You ll be earn I credit this book with getting me into farming Joel s an entertaining writer, but for those who don t have time to read it, here s what I got from it in a nutshell If you re dreaming of farming someday when you can afford to buy land, quit your day job, etc., stop doing that Stay right where you are, rent some land somewhere nearby, and farm that plot of land If you do it profitably, you can expand Pretty soon, you re managing several acres while still not living on a farm You ll be earning a living from your farming, making a profit that you can save Once you ve saved enough, buy land Don t think of it as saving up for land so much as investing your money in a secure vehicle that gives a better return over a savings account Salatin emphasizes that buying real estate is a wealth preservation strategy, not a wealth acquisition strategy This idea isn t without its flaws It s clearly geared toward the suburban or rural dweller who has farmland for rent close to home Hardly surprising from the man who was quoted as saying, What do we need a New York City for What good is it I have found ways to apply it to an urban setting, though, something along the lines of SPIN farming The biggest obstacle with that is urban zoning codes that prohibit agriculture, especially animals It s just not feasible to rent farmland 30 miles away for raising animals that need tended a couple times a day.But if you can rent big empty plots around you vacant lots, corporate lawns, etc thus relieving the owner of mowing it, you can get easy access to enough land to start growing for farmers markets or a CSA Eventually, by the time you have enough money to buy your own land, you ll already be an experienced farmer with a customer base eager to buy what you grow


  5. Chak Chak says:

    There is is simply no excuse for any type of agriculture that degrades the environment I am not a believer in trade off mentality I do not believe for an instant that in order to produce enough food we need to sacrifice environmental quality Included in this goal is smell.Any food production system that stinks up the neighborhood regardless of how rural is unacceptable Excusing farm smells with that euphemistic fresh country air business is ridiculous If you ever smell manure, There is is simply no excuse for any type of agriculture that degrades the environment I am not a believer in trade off mentality I do not believe for an instant that in order to produce enough food we need to sacrifice environmental quality Included in this goal is smell.Any food production system that stinks up the neighborhood regardless of how rural is unacceptable Excusing farm smells with that euphemistic fresh country air business is ridiculous If you ever smell manure, you re smelling mismanagementYou Can Farm, Joel Salatin, p27Joel Salatin is a successful farmer He has a profitable, stable, multigenerational business He and his family enjoy working at it, and have a solid base of satisfied customers He is constantly innovating, both on the production side, and on the marketing side He is independent from the industrial side of agriculture, yet has mutually beneficial interdependence within his community He tries, in You Can Farm to tell other people how to do it, too He says very clearly in the book that he does not take an environmental perspective he is interested in the best way to profit, yet his approach is undeniably as environmentally protective and proactive as can be This was the key to the entire book for me farmers will absolutely makemoney and achieve profitable independence, from good, animal based, land stewardship and nutrient cycling which will absolutely help the land and improve human and animal health, than they will from industrial agribusiness models, which will limit their productivity, their profits, and their happiness Salatin steadfastly insists, explains and provides many examples as to why farmers should not accept the profit eliminating, environment damaging, and nutrition limiting opinions of the USDA, Universities, and businesses that make money from selling their suggestions to the farmers they are said to be helping That is the book in a nutshell, but there is a lot of common sense but apparently not well known advice sprinkled everywhereIf you have no land, you can purchase grow lights, get rid of the TV, and turn the family room into a multi tiered garden, even if it only produces fresh salad greens for your table I would encourage you NOT to buy land Land ownership is NOT the place to start often it is the worst place to startp45In many ways, I loved this book I couldn t put it down, and I would talk about it with anyone who would listen or at least didn t walk away too quickly It is inspirational and will save many new and wannabe farmers a lot of time, trouble, and money if they follow the advice therein However, I gave it three stars because there were so many times Salatin mentions research and doesn t footnote it or provide official sources Also, I assume the book was mainly written for people who already seem to know a lot about farms, because there were many times I needed an explanation, such as for extension agents Salatin sure hates them, but it took me a while and some googling to understand what they are Admittedly, I am ignorant, but he does say in the introduction While this book can be helpful to all farmers, it targets the wannabes The reason this brought the book down a star or two for me were two fold 1 I agreed with pretty much ALL of Salatin s thoughts on food and food production and really wanted to reference what he was referencing, and 2 I wanted You Can Farm to change the minds of people who practiced consumed industrialized agriculture And, the word research is thrown around so blindly that without properly sourced, investigated, truly neutral research, it just seems like a way to justify a bias, especially to people on the other side of the fence There were so many instances of research being cited with no reference to where it came from, that the very few times a source however incomplete was mentioned, it very much stood out to me for example, right near the end of the book when Salatin explains WHY he keeps referring to industrial chicken as being in fecal soup, he mentioned that Time Magazine reported on it in 1994 pg 441 I know, it s hardly a real reference writers who use research to make points would mention that Time Magazine cited XYZ study by ABC, and then have a footnote endnote with full information However, if you are going to farm as a full time family occupation, this is a very useful book to read However, you should know that there isn t a whole lot of information about vegetable plant farming Polyface is mostly an animal farm Personally, I didn t mind that at all, because my main purpose in reading the book was to start to learnabout farming in general, and to learnabout how to improve soil and land stewardship Salatin covers that well I also like that he presents very strong opinions on how you might want to live your life if you re going to make money farming being extremely thrifty, being unwaveringly dedicated, scheduling your time and vacations , and it was very helpful to have him be so dissuasive in the beginning I think that is the most valuable part of this book to be convinced full time farming for income is NOT for you if it truly is not for you it can save you from making a very expensive, time consuming, and devastating mistakeUsually the amount we can spend will equal our experience level In other words, if we need to borrow money to do it, we probably do not have enough experience to make it a risk worth taking We call this principle overrunning our headlightsp211Lest you miss the point of this discussion, let me make it very plain you probably do not need a barn And if you do, it probably should not look like anything your local barn builder has in mind And if you have the terrible misfortune of acquiring a pice of land with a bank barn on it, you probably should tear it down as soon as possible to build somethinganimal friendlyp283Onething you should know before embarking on this book is that Salatin s strong opinions can be a double edged sword for the reader His opinions can be very helpful and educational, but some of them like his disdain for city people, some of his politics, or his opinions on how useless sports like little league is for children for example, can be off putting


  6. Tom Tom says:

    Fantastic book Great advice in fact, a lot of it is probably not what you were expecting to hear One of the most interesting pieces of advice, which he repeats a number of time in the book, is that if you want to start farming, don t start by farming Start by getting your kitchen certified so you can make and sell baked cooked goods at the local farmers markets Once you ve built some customers and established yourself in the market, then begin vertically integrating by starting to farm Fantastic book Great advice in fact, a lot of it is probably not what you were expecting to hear One of the most interesting pieces of advice, which he repeats a number of time in the book, is that if you want to start farming, don t start by farming Start by getting your kitchen certified so you can make and sell baked cooked goods at the local farmers markets Once you ve built some customers and established yourself in the market, then begin vertically integrating by starting to farm some of the ingredients you use in your farmers market goodies There s lots of great advice for farmers of all experience levels, aspiring to seasoned, and it was an incredibly interesting and useful book that will help you reduce overhead costs, work in concert with the land and climate, and get you thinking about the farm as a business.As a side note If you ve listened to Salatin speak, you know that he s extremely religious and extremely libertarian free market With the exception of a single chapter in the very beginning of the book where he lays out his personal ideologies, the majority of the book is mostly void of this type ideology or speech So if you re worried that you might not be able to tolerate a book written by this guy because of your own religious political ideologies, I d say you actually don t need to worry about that at all There s a little bit of kooky stuff in the main part of the book e.g he seems to think that acupuncture might work on livestock but it s mostly rock solid advice


  7. Keith Keith says:

    The crazy sustainable pastured beef and poultry farmer featured in Michael Pollan s The Omnivore s Dilemma has some books of his own This is one of them It s chock full of advice and ideas for actually turning a profit in agriculture, long considered a fiscal black hole if I had a million dollars I d farm until it was all gone He s been doing it, and he s seen others do it, and he s seen a lot of folks go broke following the conventional wisdom and the best advice of the USDA and Universi The crazy sustainable pastured beef and poultry farmer featured in Michael Pollan s The Omnivore s Dilemma has some books of his own This is one of them It s chock full of advice and ideas for actually turning a profit in agriculture, long considered a fiscal black hole if I had a million dollars I d farm until it was all gone He s been doing it, and he s seen others do it, and he s seen a lot of folks go broke following the conventional wisdom and the best advice of the USDA and University Extension programs Salatin is an interesting character, and I don t know that I quite agree with all his politics but he has considered them carefully and he has a lot of good information Even if you don t want to farm, it s a good way to learnabout it, which is a wise thing to do since that s where all our food comes from Don t expect an analogous book from Archer Daniels Midland You can control grain supplies and make unnatural sweeteners and other food additives


  8. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    Whew, thank goodness I found this book before I bought a farm I stayed on my grandparent s farm during the summers of my youth Those were some of the happiest times of my life, along with family vacations and days on the lake in Dad s boat It was easy for me to romanticize the idea of having a farm I greatly appreciate Joel s methods we needfarmers like him But alas, I am not one of them This realization dawned on me after reading about the difference between a backyard vineyard an Whew, thank goodness I found this book before I bought a farm I stayed on my grandparent s farm during the summers of my youth Those were some of the happiest times of my life, along with family vacations and days on the lake in Dad s boat It was easy for me to romanticize the idea of having a farm I greatly appreciate Joel s methods we needfarmers like him But alas, I am not one of them This realization dawned on me after reading about the difference between a backyard vineyard and a 1 acre vineyard Backyard vineyard picking and crushing grapes with children in a day worthy of the pages of Martha Stewart magazine One acre vineyard hired help, constant mowing, lots of time and professional equipment I think I ll stick with backyard everything


  9. Tim Segraves Tim Segraves says:

    On page 88 need to renew


  10. Brian Schuster Brian Schuster says:

    This book is packed with agricultural information for small start ups, so it was right up my alley as a young man who wants to cooperatively help farmers offer top notch value to restaurants and busy professionals without stepping on regulatory landmines or falling into pits of despair created by the ups and downs of earning a living from the land and local commerce.Two passages I ll share in this review stood out to me as excellent examples of how to overcome major hurdles faced by early stage This book is packed with agricultural information for small start ups, so it was right up my alley as a young man who wants to cooperatively help farmers offer top notch value to restaurants and busy professionals without stepping on regulatory landmines or falling into pits of despair created by the ups and downs of earning a living from the land and local commerce.Two passages I ll share in this review stood out to me as excellent examples of how to overcome major hurdles faced by early stage companies and family farms.Joel Salatin shares his rich stories of personal experience on a sustainable farm in Swoope, Virginia, which now distributes alt organic poultry, eggs, salad bar beef, and pigaerator pork across the East Coast and beyond He offers apprenticeships to aspiring farmers and has set up creative compensation arrangements to give hard working people an opportunity to grow rapidly with minimal capital investment In the book, Salatin speculates about how a community would look if everyone pitched in support farmers who use healthier growing practices and benevolent animal husbandry.Salatin got an early start in the farm business as a boy selling eggs at the curb market in Staunton and grew from there with a clear passion for farming, but he also spent a few years as an investigative journalist If he s anything like me, he realized that good investigative journalism is surprisingly dangerous work, which led him back to the pioneering principles of self sufficiency.His father was an inspiration, giving Salatin junior the freedom to run his own business at a young age and giving him the tools and resources to do it effectively Following his time in the Navy, Salatin s father bought a 1,000 acre highland farm in the Venezuelan jungle after working for Texaco s offshore oil drilling venture in South America The family had great initial success selling poultry at the open air city market, but political instability quickly took its toll Their farm was taken over by rogues, and the police wouldn t protect them without bribes, so they came back to America, where they launched a variety of profitable pesticide free farming enterprises or fiefdoms in the Shenandoah Valley.Polyface Farm utilizes animals natural behaviors to improve the quality of soil and ecosystem, which keeps animal standards of living high through good sanitation, virtually undetectable manure odor, and low feed costs in contrast to industrial farmers relying on concentrated animal feeding operations CAFOs.Chickens and turkeys are great at reducing pestilent insect populations that fester around livestock manure, and the bugs also serve as a zero cost forage feed, offering a two for one deal in place of toxic synthetic pesticides The birds can also be sent through garden beds and vegetable crops that have grown high enough to avoid being pillaged by the birds strong clawing motions as they search the soil for food.Pigs stir up compost to find edible foods, which means the hogs need less feed and the compost needs less manual labor to stir it up I ve also heard that hogs are good at clearing brush in forests and gleaning the fields to finish off the left over foods missed during harvest Cows can graze on a grass cover crop that s grown between planting years to replenish nutrients in the soil, but it s important to move the cows to new areas regularly using lightweight fencing, usually electric fence with plastic posts that one person can easily move alone Grazed pasture is great bedding for mobile chicken coops and shelters.In addition to offering important livestock wisdom, the book has these two passages tucked in that stood out to me as particularly important as I read Chapter 21 Self Employment People like Daniel Boone minimize risk not by buying expensive insurance policies, but rather by learning as much as they can in the subject areas that matter to their success Eating healthy and strengthening friendships on a consistent basis are two ways to drastically reduce the risk of huge medical expenses pg 222 At Salatin s home church, the local fellowship schedules workdays at each other s homesteads They ve built barns, cut firewood, cleaned cisterns, and demolished buildings together Without an institutional church building, they are freer to help each other rather than devoting time and money to building maintenance In Salatin s experience, it s much better than conventional insurance pg 225 226 Insurement might be one way to market such an opportunity, and the concept reminds me of Niti Bali s community building food church as well.Salatin makes it clear through his own success that if you can find the proper energy sources for yourself and avoid distractions, a lot can be done with a relatively small crew along with lifelong learning driven by curiosity and persevering determination to overcome multiple failures Coupled with in the field YouTube farming videos, I too believe We Can Farm My name is Brian G Schuster I m classified by Mark Cuban as a wantrepreneur and I hope my review was helpful to you You can view my editorial work and peak into my ecologically driven, Stanford trained imagination at bgschust.substack.com


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You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farm Enterprise [Reading] ➺ You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farm Enterprise By Joel Salatin – Polishdarling.co.uk Have you ever desired, deep within your soul, to make a comfortable full time living from a farming enterprise Too often people dare not even vocalize this desire because it seems absurd It s like thi Have you Farm: The PDF/EPUB ¾ ever desired, deep within your soul, to make a comfortable full time living from a farming enterprise Too often people dare not even vocalize this desire because it seems absurd It s like thinking the unthinkableAfter all, the farm population You Can PDF \ is dwindling It takes too much capital to start The pay is too low The working conditions are dusty, smelly and noisy not the place to raise a family This is all true, and , for most farmersBut for farm entrepreneurs, the opportunities Can Farm: The Kindle Õ for a farm family business have never been greater The aging farm population is creating cavernous niches begging to be filled by creative visionaries who will go in dynamic new directions As the industrial agriculture complex crumbles and our culture clambers for clean food, the countryside beckons anew with profitable farming opportunitiesWhile this book can be helpful to all farmers, it targets the wannabes, the folks who actually entertain notions of living, loving and learning on a piece of land Anyone willing to dance with such a dream should be able to assess its assets and liabilities its fantasies and realities Is it really possible for me is the burning question this book addresses.

    Download Book Best Sellers in PDF format is creating cavernous niches begging to be filled by creative visionaries who will go in dynamic new directions As the industrial agriculture complex crumbles and our culture clambers for clean food, the countryside beckons anew with profitable farming opportunitiesWhile this book can be helpful to all farmers, it targets the wannabes, the folks who actually entertain notions of living, loving and learning on a piece of land Anyone willing to dance with such a dream should be able to assess its assets and liabilities its fantasies and realities Is it really possible for me is the burning question this book addresses."/>
  • Paperback
  • 480 pages
  • You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farm Enterprise
  • Joel Salatin
  • 28 March 2019
  • 0963810928

About the Author: Joel Salatin

Joel is Farm: The PDF/EPUB ¾ a nationally renowned speaker on organic farming and relationship marketing He is on a mission to develop emotionally, economically and environmentally enhanced agricultural enterprises, and facilitate their duplication around the world Part of that goal is to produce the best You Can PDF \ food in the worldJoel espouses an agricultural paradigm shift that sees plants and animals as partners rather than units of production Let the plants and animals fill their natural niche with full distinctive expression The starting point for animal husbandry is to let Can Farm: The Kindle Õ the animal express its uniqueness from.



10 thoughts on “You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farm Enterprise

  1. Jenni Pertuset Jenni Pertuset says:

    The value of this book for me lies not in Joel Salatin s prose, which is painful to read, but in a simple question he asks From my open book post about Wendell Berry s Unsettling of America If we can t return ourselves and our nation to our agrarian roots, what can we do to heal the cultural wounds he describes wounds that are as much ecological, communal, and personal as they are agricultural As I read The Unsettling of America, my own answer came in the form of a question What are you do The value of this book for me lies not in Joel Salatin s prose, which is painful to read, but in a simple question he asks From my open book post about Wendell Berry s Unsettling of America If we can t return ourselves and our nation to our agrarian roots, what can we do to heal the cultural wounds he describes wounds that are as much ecological, communal, and personal as they are agricultural As I read The Unsettling of America, my own answer came in the form of a question What are you doing now The question originated in my reading of Joel Salatin s You Can Farm Salatin writes that he is often asked for advice on how to get started farming, and he always responds, What are you doing now He suggests that regardless of your location or other limitations, there are many ways to make farming part of your life.Though, like the question, this answer relates to farming, for me its scope is much broader What are you doing now is a prompt to identify what I can do in this moment, in this place to sustain myself, my family, my community, and my world.This is a profound shift in focus for me, because for my entire adult life I have been looking forward to a future in which I will be doing useful and meaningful work Only upon becoming a mother did I feel the value of the work I was already doing As I ponder my growing desire for work in addition to mothering a toddler, I am still looking to the future and what I might become witheducation ortime orsomething, but I am also able to envision what I can do with what I already have


  2. Miles Miles says:

    Though I m sure some of the information in this book is dated now that it s 15 years old, it seems like a very handy guide to starting a financially viable and environmentally responsible farm Salatin gives a lot of excellent advice, and he certainly knows his business He demonstrates a profound respect for the earth as he sees it, and I applaud him for espousing such a positive, can do message I am about to begin my own small farming enterprise, and I m sure that plenty of Salatin s rules Though I m sure some of the information in this book is dated now that it s 15 years old, it seems like a very handy guide to starting a financially viable and environmentally responsible farm Salatin gives a lot of excellent advice, and he certainly knows his business He demonstrates a profound respect for the earth as he sees it, and I applaud him for espousing such a positive, can do message I am about to begin my own small farming enterprise, and I m sure that plenty of Salatin s rules of thumb will be useful for me as I begin learning the ropes and moving toward something that works for me I m giving this book two stars because, even though I believe Salatin s heart is in the right place, this book ultimately infuriated me As a supplement to his advice about farming which seems basically sound, at least to an amateur like me , Salatin insists on throwing his personal politics into the mix I m not necessarily bothered when an author does this, but I find nearly all of Salatin s non farming opinions to be either ill informed or downright offensive For someone equipped with an apparently discerning mind, Salatin seems to have done very little serious investigation into matters beyond his own strikingly simplistic worldview Though it seems to come from a genuinely good place, Salatin s religion is about as naive as one can imagine I laughed out loud during his discussion of why it isn t a problem to kill animals for food Humans are not animals and animals are not humans Only humans are created in the image of God Neither did He make of animals a living soul 342 I m neither a vegetarian nor one who gets particularly bristly about animal rights, but the lack of sophistication here about an issue that is central to many farmers lives is staggering Additionally, Salatin repeatedly plugs the virtues of free market capitalism, even claiming that turning our entire health care system over to private companies would solve the health crisis Coupled with unequivocal endorsements of almost every spurious, new age, anti scientific crap you can think of, this book became quite tiresome I m sure that Salatin has it right when it comes to promoting certain alternatives to the factory farming model and other destructive farming methods, but it becameanddifficult to trust him as he continued to reveal just how uninformed he was about many important issues Salatin clearly feels that his politics and his farm are two inseparable entities, and I honestly can t fault him for that I appreciate a man who lives his convictions My numerous disagreements with the worldview offered by this book, however, tainted what could have been an excellent overall read


  3. John John says:

    I first heard mention of Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farm in an interview with Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore s Dilemma, and I was fascinated from the start Central to Polyface Farm was a carefully controlled rotation of animals grazing on the land, with chickens following cows to break up their manure and eat the grubs laid in it, reducing fly problems and providing food for the chickens You Can Farm gives not only an overview of Salatin s farming methods for raising high quality po I first heard mention of Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farm in an interview with Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore s Dilemma, and I was fascinated from the start Central to Polyface Farm was a carefully controlled rotation of animals grazing on the land, with chickens following cows to break up their manure and eat the grubs laid in it, reducing fly problems and providing food for the chickens You Can Farm gives not only an overview of Salatin s farming methods for raising high quality poultry, eggs, beef, and pork but also gives plenty of practical advice for running a successful farm business Although the book talks a good deal about the philosophy and practice of Salatin s agricultural model, most of the nitty gritty details are left for his other books, Pasture Poultry Profits and Salad Bar Beef Still, there s enough to understand the principles involved, and there are manygeneral ideas as well More important is a good deal of advice and the wisdom of experience Salatin is encouraging about the prospects for making a living raising the best tasting, healthiest foods anywhere At the same time, he s realistic about the hard work, persistence, and creativity needed to succeed Rather than being a purely rah rah book, Salatin would rather scare off potential farmers than have them get themselves into something they don t really want and consequently will fail at anyway Still, it s a very positive book you can farm, Salatin insists, despite the difficulties and the failures evident in conventional agriculture Not only does Salatin lay out solid principles for a model of organic agriculture that produces excellent food, is sustainable, and improves soil fertility, but he also discusses important aspects of making an agricultural business plan, one that s customized to your particular situation and interests It s an excellent book, and I m very much looking forward to reading Salatin s other books


  4. Wayne Wayne says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I credit this book with getting me into farming Joel s an entertaining writer, but for those who don t have time to read it, here s what I got from it in a nutshell If you re dreaming of farming someday when you can afford to buy land, quit your day job, etc., stop doing that Stay right where you are, rent some land somewhere nearby, and farm that plot of land If you do it profitably, you can expand Pretty soon, you re managing several acres while still not living on a farm You ll be earn I credit this book with getting me into farming Joel s an entertaining writer, but for those who don t have time to read it, here s what I got from it in a nutshell If you re dreaming of farming someday when you can afford to buy land, quit your day job, etc., stop doing that Stay right where you are, rent some land somewhere nearby, and farm that plot of land If you do it profitably, you can expand Pretty soon, you re managing several acres while still not living on a farm You ll be earning a living from your farming, making a profit that you can save Once you ve saved enough, buy land Don t think of it as saving up for land so much as investing your money in a secure vehicle that gives a better return over a savings account Salatin emphasizes that buying real estate is a wealth preservation strategy, not a wealth acquisition strategy This idea isn t without its flaws It s clearly geared toward the suburban or rural dweller who has farmland for rent close to home Hardly surprising from the man who was quoted as saying, What do we need a New York City for What good is it I have found ways to apply it to an urban setting, though, something along the lines of SPIN farming The biggest obstacle with that is urban zoning codes that prohibit agriculture, especially animals It s just not feasible to rent farmland 30 miles away for raising animals that need tended a couple times a day.But if you can rent big empty plots around you vacant lots, corporate lawns, etc thus relieving the owner of mowing it, you can get easy access to enough land to start growing for farmers markets or a CSA Eventually, by the time you have enough money to buy your own land, you ll already be an experienced farmer with a customer base eager to buy what you grow


  5. Chak Chak says:

    There is is simply no excuse for any type of agriculture that degrades the environment I am not a believer in trade off mentality I do not believe for an instant that in order to produce enough food we need to sacrifice environmental quality Included in this goal is smell.Any food production system that stinks up the neighborhood regardless of how rural is unacceptable Excusing farm smells with that euphemistic fresh country air business is ridiculous If you ever smell manure, There is is simply no excuse for any type of agriculture that degrades the environment I am not a believer in trade off mentality I do not believe for an instant that in order to produce enough food we need to sacrifice environmental quality Included in this goal is smell.Any food production system that stinks up the neighborhood regardless of how rural is unacceptable Excusing farm smells with that euphemistic fresh country air business is ridiculous If you ever smell manure, you re smelling mismanagementYou Can Farm, Joel Salatin, p27Joel Salatin is a successful farmer He has a profitable, stable, multigenerational business He and his family enjoy working at it, and have a solid base of satisfied customers He is constantly innovating, both on the production side, and on the marketing side He is independent from the industrial side of agriculture, yet has mutually beneficial interdependence within his community He tries, in You Can Farm to tell other people how to do it, too He says very clearly in the book that he does not take an environmental perspective he is interested in the best way to profit, yet his approach is undeniably as environmentally protective and proactive as can be This was the key to the entire book for me farmers will absolutely makemoney and achieve profitable independence, from good, animal based, land stewardship and nutrient cycling which will absolutely help the land and improve human and animal health, than they will from industrial agribusiness models, which will limit their productivity, their profits, and their happiness Salatin steadfastly insists, explains and provides many examples as to why farmers should not accept the profit eliminating, environment damaging, and nutrition limiting opinions of the USDA, Universities, and businesses that make money from selling their suggestions to the farmers they are said to be helping That is the book in a nutshell, but there is a lot of common sense but apparently not well known advice sprinkled everywhereIf you have no land, you can purchase grow lights, get rid of the TV, and turn the family room into a multi tiered garden, even if it only produces fresh salad greens for your table I would encourage you NOT to buy land Land ownership is NOT the place to start often it is the worst place to startp45In many ways, I loved this book I couldn t put it down, and I would talk about it with anyone who would listen or at least didn t walk away too quickly It is inspirational and will save many new and wannabe farmers a lot of time, trouble, and money if they follow the advice therein However, I gave it three stars because there were so many times Salatin mentions research and doesn t footnote it or provide official sources Also, I assume the book was mainly written for people who already seem to know a lot about farms, because there were many times I needed an explanation, such as for extension agents Salatin sure hates them, but it took me a while and some googling to understand what they are Admittedly, I am ignorant, but he does say in the introduction While this book can be helpful to all farmers, it targets the wannabes The reason this brought the book down a star or two for me were two fold 1 I agreed with pretty much ALL of Salatin s thoughts on food and food production and really wanted to reference what he was referencing, and 2 I wanted You Can Farm to change the minds of people who practiced consumed industrialized agriculture And, the word research is thrown around so blindly that without properly sourced, investigated, truly neutral research, it just seems like a way to justify a bias, especially to people on the other side of the fence There were so many instances of research being cited with no reference to where it came from, that the very few times a source however incomplete was mentioned, it very much stood out to me for example, right near the end of the book when Salatin explains WHY he keeps referring to industrial chicken as being in fecal soup, he mentioned that Time Magazine reported on it in 1994 pg 441 I know, it s hardly a real reference writers who use research to make points would mention that Time Magazine cited XYZ study by ABC, and then have a footnote endnote with full information However, if you are going to farm as a full time family occupation, this is a very useful book to read However, you should know that there isn t a whole lot of information about vegetable plant farming Polyface is mostly an animal farm Personally, I didn t mind that at all, because my main purpose in reading the book was to start to learnabout farming in general, and to learnabout how to improve soil and land stewardship Salatin covers that well I also like that he presents very strong opinions on how you might want to live your life if you re going to make money farming being extremely thrifty, being unwaveringly dedicated, scheduling your time and vacations , and it was very helpful to have him be so dissuasive in the beginning I think that is the most valuable part of this book to be convinced full time farming for income is NOT for you if it truly is not for you it can save you from making a very expensive, time consuming, and devastating mistakeUsually the amount we can spend will equal our experience level In other words, if we need to borrow money to do it, we probably do not have enough experience to make it a risk worth taking We call this principle overrunning our headlightsp211Lest you miss the point of this discussion, let me make it very plain you probably do not need a barn And if you do, it probably should not look like anything your local barn builder has in mind And if you have the terrible misfortune of acquiring a pice of land with a bank barn on it, you probably should tear it down as soon as possible to build somethinganimal friendlyp283Onething you should know before embarking on this book is that Salatin s strong opinions can be a double edged sword for the reader His opinions can be very helpful and educational, but some of them like his disdain for city people, some of his politics, or his opinions on how useless sports like little league is for children for example, can be off putting


  6. Tom Tom says:

    Fantastic book Great advice in fact, a lot of it is probably not what you were expecting to hear One of the most interesting pieces of advice, which he repeats a number of time in the book, is that if you want to start farming, don t start by farming Start by getting your kitchen certified so you can make and sell baked cooked goods at the local farmers markets Once you ve built some customers and established yourself in the market, then begin vertically integrating by starting to farm Fantastic book Great advice in fact, a lot of it is probably not what you were expecting to hear One of the most interesting pieces of advice, which he repeats a number of time in the book, is that if you want to start farming, don t start by farming Start by getting your kitchen certified so you can make and sell baked cooked goods at the local farmers markets Once you ve built some customers and established yourself in the market, then begin vertically integrating by starting to farm some of the ingredients you use in your farmers market goodies There s lots of great advice for farmers of all experience levels, aspiring to seasoned, and it was an incredibly interesting and useful book that will help you reduce overhead costs, work in concert with the land and climate, and get you thinking about the farm as a business.As a side note If you ve listened to Salatin speak, you know that he s extremely religious and extremely libertarian free market With the exception of a single chapter in the very beginning of the book where he lays out his personal ideologies, the majority of the book is mostly void of this type ideology or speech So if you re worried that you might not be able to tolerate a book written by this guy because of your own religious political ideologies, I d say you actually don t need to worry about that at all There s a little bit of kooky stuff in the main part of the book e.g he seems to think that acupuncture might work on livestock but it s mostly rock solid advice


  7. Keith Keith says:

    The crazy sustainable pastured beef and poultry farmer featured in Michael Pollan s The Omnivore s Dilemma has some books of his own This is one of them It s chock full of advice and ideas for actually turning a profit in agriculture, long considered a fiscal black hole if I had a million dollars I d farm until it was all gone He s been doing it, and he s seen others do it, and he s seen a lot of folks go broke following the conventional wisdom and the best advice of the USDA and Universi The crazy sustainable pastured beef and poultry farmer featured in Michael Pollan s The Omnivore s Dilemma has some books of his own This is one of them It s chock full of advice and ideas for actually turning a profit in agriculture, long considered a fiscal black hole if I had a million dollars I d farm until it was all gone He s been doing it, and he s seen others do it, and he s seen a lot of folks go broke following the conventional wisdom and the best advice of the USDA and University Extension programs Salatin is an interesting character, and I don t know that I quite agree with all his politics but he has considered them carefully and he has a lot of good information Even if you don t want to farm, it s a good way to learnabout it, which is a wise thing to do since that s where all our food comes from Don t expect an analogous book from Archer Daniels Midland You can control grain supplies and make unnatural sweeteners and other food additives


  8. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    Whew, thank goodness I found this book before I bought a farm I stayed on my grandparent s farm during the summers of my youth Those were some of the happiest times of my life, along with family vacations and days on the lake in Dad s boat It was easy for me to romanticize the idea of having a farm I greatly appreciate Joel s methods we needfarmers like him But alas, I am not one of them This realization dawned on me after reading about the difference between a backyard vineyard an Whew, thank goodness I found this book before I bought a farm I stayed on my grandparent s farm during the summers of my youth Those were some of the happiest times of my life, along with family vacations and days on the lake in Dad s boat It was easy for me to romanticize the idea of having a farm I greatly appreciate Joel s methods we needfarmers like him But alas, I am not one of them This realization dawned on me after reading about the difference between a backyard vineyard and a 1 acre vineyard Backyard vineyard picking and crushing grapes with children in a day worthy of the pages of Martha Stewart magazine One acre vineyard hired help, constant mowing, lots of time and professional equipment I think I ll stick with backyard everything


  9. Tim Segraves Tim Segraves says:

    On page 88 need to renew


  10. Brian Schuster Brian Schuster says:

    This book is packed with agricultural information for small start ups, so it was right up my alley as a young man who wants to cooperatively help farmers offer top notch value to restaurants and busy professionals without stepping on regulatory landmines or falling into pits of despair created by the ups and downs of earning a living from the land and local commerce.Two passages I ll share in this review stood out to me as excellent examples of how to overcome major hurdles faced by early stage This book is packed with agricultural information for small start ups, so it was right up my alley as a young man who wants to cooperatively help farmers offer top notch value to restaurants and busy professionals without stepping on regulatory landmines or falling into pits of despair created by the ups and downs of earning a living from the land and local commerce.Two passages I ll share in this review stood out to me as excellent examples of how to overcome major hurdles faced by early stage companies and family farms.Joel Salatin shares his rich stories of personal experience on a sustainable farm in Swoope, Virginia, which now distributes alt organic poultry, eggs, salad bar beef, and pigaerator pork across the East Coast and beyond He offers apprenticeships to aspiring farmers and has set up creative compensation arrangements to give hard working people an opportunity to grow rapidly with minimal capital investment In the book, Salatin speculates about how a community would look if everyone pitched in support farmers who use healthier growing practices and benevolent animal husbandry.Salatin got an early start in the farm business as a boy selling eggs at the curb market in Staunton and grew from there with a clear passion for farming, but he also spent a few years as an investigative journalist If he s anything like me, he realized that good investigative journalism is surprisingly dangerous work, which led him back to the pioneering principles of self sufficiency.His father was an inspiration, giving Salatin junior the freedom to run his own business at a young age and giving him the tools and resources to do it effectively Following his time in the Navy, Salatin s father bought a 1,000 acre highland farm in the Venezuelan jungle after working for Texaco s offshore oil drilling venture in South America The family had great initial success selling poultry at the open air city market, but political instability quickly took its toll Their farm was taken over by rogues, and the police wouldn t protect them without bribes, so they came back to America, where they launched a variety of profitable pesticide free farming enterprises or fiefdoms in the Shenandoah Valley.Polyface Farm utilizes animals natural behaviors to improve the quality of soil and ecosystem, which keeps animal standards of living high through good sanitation, virtually undetectable manure odor, and low feed costs in contrast to industrial farmers relying on concentrated animal feeding operations CAFOs.Chickens and turkeys are great at reducing pestilent insect populations that fester around livestock manure, and the bugs also serve as a zero cost forage feed, offering a two for one deal in place of toxic synthetic pesticides The birds can also be sent through garden beds and vegetable crops that have grown high enough to avoid being pillaged by the birds strong clawing motions as they search the soil for food.Pigs stir up compost to find edible foods, which means the hogs need less feed and the compost needs less manual labor to stir it up I ve also heard that hogs are good at clearing brush in forests and gleaning the fields to finish off the left over foods missed during harvest Cows can graze on a grass cover crop that s grown between planting years to replenish nutrients in the soil, but it s important to move the cows to new areas regularly using lightweight fencing, usually electric fence with plastic posts that one person can easily move alone Grazed pasture is great bedding for mobile chicken coops and shelters.In addition to offering important livestock wisdom, the book has these two passages tucked in that stood out to me as particularly important as I read Chapter 21 Self Employment People like Daniel Boone minimize risk not by buying expensive insurance policies, but rather by learning as much as they can in the subject areas that matter to their success Eating healthy and strengthening friendships on a consistent basis are two ways to drastically reduce the risk of huge medical expenses pg 222 At Salatin s home church, the local fellowship schedules workdays at each other s homesteads They ve built barns, cut firewood, cleaned cisterns, and demolished buildings together Without an institutional church building, they are freer to help each other rather than devoting time and money to building maintenance In Salatin s experience, it s much better than conventional insurance pg 225 226 Insurement might be one way to market such an opportunity, and the concept reminds me of Niti Bali s community building food church as well.Salatin makes it clear through his own success that if you can find the proper energy sources for yourself and avoid distractions, a lot can be done with a relatively small crew along with lifelong learning driven by curiosity and persevering determination to overcome multiple failures Coupled with in the field YouTube farming videos, I too believe We Can Farm My name is Brian G Schuster I m classified by Mark Cuban as a wantrepreneur and I hope my review was helpful to you You can view my editorial work and peak into my ecologically driven, Stanford trained imagination at bgschust.substack.com


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