Sustainable local food production

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I wonder if Thom is familiar with Joel Salatin and the farming and agribusiness techniques that he and his family are using at Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia. Joel concentrates his attention on grass farming and raises beef, swine, rabbits, chickens (broilers and egg layers) and turkeys. They use no chemical enhancements on the land, no antibiotics in feed, no tilling of the soil and no fertilizer accept composted manure. His techniques are portable and can be used in a backyard in any country in the world. He's written several books on the subject and tours all over the world discussing his discoveries. Maybe Thom could interview him in the future.

Dan Ferguson's picture
Dan Ferguson
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

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He is exactly the type of farmer that we all need to support by buying from him. I go to the local farmers market to purchase my organic veggies and fruit. I hope others will see the value in doing the same.

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MrsBJLee
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Feb. 17, 2012 8:45 am

Come to think about it, Thom is a vegitarian and probably has little interest in sustainable food animal production. I would think he'd be interested in the soil improvement and carbon sequestration obtained by the use of grazing animals. It follows the thinking in his excellent book "THE LAST HOURS OF ANCIENT SUNLIGHT".

Dan Ferguson's picture
Dan Ferguson
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Dan Ferguson:

I wonder if Thom is familiar with Joel Salatin and the farming and agribusiness techniques that he and his family are using at Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia. Joel concentrates his attention on grass farming and raises beef, swine, rabbits, chickens (broilers and egg layers) and turkeys. They use no chemical enhancements on the land, no antibiotics in feed, no tilling of the soil and no fertilizer accept composted manure. His techniques are portable and can be used in a backyard in any country in the world. He's written several books on the subject and tours all over the world discussing his discoveries. Maybe Thom could interview him in the future.

Hate to bust your bubble but Joel buys in conventional grain feed too. Not gmo but not organic. There are better grazing farmers out there than Joel.

And if Thom doesn't want to eat meat that's his choice. But we will have to have livestock integrated into sustainable farming systems.

EdBourgeois's picture
EdBourgeois
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May. 14, 2010 11:24 am

Like organic chicken, turkey and beef! I haven't seen organic pork yet. I hope that one comes along for those who like it but I have seen nitrate free!

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MrsBJLee
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Feb. 17, 2012 8:45 am

Probably recent crop failuers in the country (including livestock hay and grains) will lead to more vegans. I returned from a trip to Calif. not long ago where a small pig farmer sold one pig for the same price he used to get for a pickup truck load of pigs.

Meat-eaters should probably begin filling their freezers.

The home gardener can collect/store enough rain water and use heavy mulching to conserve soil moisture. to tide himself over drought periods. Industrial farms can't.

Range-raised chickens eat a lot of bugs, weed seeds and sprouting greens.. Caged chickens rely entirely on the corn crop.

A concentration of food production lessens food security in the long run. I'm anxious to see how industrial agriculture will cope with the alternating periods of drought/floods generated by accelerating global warming.

About the only thng I can see them doing is raising prices dramatically to make up lost income from less product. The individual farmer who doesn't have vast tracts of land spread all over the country to spread his risk will be in deep doo doo right along with the customers at your local supermarket..

As always, I recommend taking up gardening, and learning to do it well.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

My bubble is intact. Polyface Farm makes no claim of being organic. Joel starts his broiler chicks on grain. He doesn't use heritage breeds in his broiler operation either. The chicks he buys are selectively bred to enhance quick developement and rapid turn over. He also uses corn in his swine production, but his technique causes the corn to ferment and sprout. He buys all of his grain from local producers. His son developed a strain of rabbit that is able to thrive on pasture alone. He concentrates his energies on growing grass and thereby developing the fertility of his land. He happens to have developed techniques of making a living from the process. In fact, his techniques out perform all of the other farms in his area. For example, the average cow days (number of cows per acre per day) is 80 for the county. Joels average is 400. I agree that Thom should be vegetarian if that is his choice. I also agree that no ecosystem is complete without herbivors and omnivors. Please name better grazers than Joel. I'm truly interested.

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Dan Ferguson
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I prefer animal production to be done within permacultures on appropriate land. The specific land should determine what is produced on it in an integrated approach not the farmer or his consumers. Consumers need to be more aware of the impact of their food desires. The recent bacon obsession is a prime example of this. Sheep for meat and wool make a lot of sense within many grazing situations yet are very under utilized by both farmers and consumers.

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EdBourgeois
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May. 14, 2010 11:24 am

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