The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer

The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer Foodies and environmentally minded folks often struggle to understand and articulate the fundamental differences between the farming and food systems they endorse and those promoted by Monsanto and fr

  • Title: The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer
  • Author: Joel Salatin
  • ISBN: 9780963810960
  • Page: 273
  • Format: Paperback
  • Foodies and environmentally minded folks often struggle to understand and articulate the fundamental differences between the farming and food systems they endorse and those promoted by Monsanto and friends With visceral stories and humor from Salatin s half century as a lunatic farmer, Salatin contrasts the differences on many levels practical, spiritual, social, econoFoodies and environmentally minded folks often struggle to understand and articulate the fundamental differences between the farming and food systems they endorse and those promoted by Monsanto and friends With visceral stories and humor from Salatin s half century as a lunatic farmer, Salatin contrasts the differences on many levels practical, spiritual, social, economic, ecological, political, and nutritional.In today s conventional food production paradigm, any farm that is open sourced, compost fertilized, pasture based, portably infrastructured, solar driven, multi speciated, heavily peopled, and soil building must be operated by a lunatic Modern, normal, reasonable farmers erect No Trespassing signs, deplete soil, worship annuals, apply petroleum based chemicals, produce only one commodity, erect Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and discourage young people from farming.Anyone looking for ammunition to defend a localized, solar driven, diversified food system will find an entire arsenal in these pages With wit and humor honed during countless hours working on the farm he loves, and then interacting with conventional naysayers, Salatin brings the land to life, farming to sacredness, and food to ministry.Divided into four main sections, the first deals with principles to nurture the earth, an idea mainline farming has never really endorsed The second section describes food and fiber production, including the notion that most farmers don t care about nutrient density or taste because all they want is shipability and volume The third section, titled Respect for Life, presents an apologetic for food sacredness and farming as a healing ministry Only lunatics would want less machinery and pathogenicity Oh, the ecstasy of not using drugs or paying bankers How sad The final section deals with promoting community, including the notion that farmers would be a good thing.

    833 Comment

    • Linda says:

      Who could resist a book entitled, The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer, by Joel Salatin?The Bottom LineThe author’s joy in farming and in life are woven throughout the book. Why does he call himself a lunatic? Many of the philosophies and practices employed at Polyface Farm are not accepted by industrial agriculture. I am thankful for lunatics like the Salatin’s and other farmers following a similar path.Prior to writing The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer, Salatin had written [...]

    • Stephany says:

      I hereby nominate Joel Salatin for President. Though it's hard to wish such a terrible job on such an intelligent and accomplished true patriot, and though he'd have to leave his farm, the good that would result for our nation would be worth it. Maybe just one term, Mr. Salatin? Please?Here I am, going along in life feeling like the lone crazy one, calling my representatives to ask for a true free market (no federal subsidies for any industry or business, ever, whether corn, defense contractors, [...]

    • Terri says:

      Joel Salatin raises animals on his farm with the integrity that used to be the norm in the American rural farm lifestyle. He believes in leaving his land better than he found it. You can tell he LOVES his farm. And that includes the chickens, cows and pigs. He believes in allowing the pig to enjoy the very "pigness of the pig." The cows are chickens are pasture fed and allowed to roam. The cow chews the cud that most cows don't even know exists anymore and the chickens delight in big juicy earth [...]

    • Ami says:

      Joel Salatin is always a little bit extreme for my taste. However, his enthusiasm and passion more than make up for his ranting. And, I must add, his ranting can be highly convincing at times.

    • Stephen says:

      Joel Salatin is crazy and glad to be so; in print and in media like Food, Inc and Fresh, he gleefully rejects what the late 20th century produced as conventional farming. The Sheer Ectasy of being a Lunatic Farmer is a defense of farming, and in particular a defense of his kind of farming. While grounded in traditional knowledge, Salatin’s delivery incorporates a lot of modern ecological connections. His style is folksy in the extreme, the narrative a conversation. Salatin is no rube, though, [...]

    • Justin says:

      Few books have ever spoken to me on such a deep level as this one. You won’t find the level of wisdom in here that you will in The One Straw Revolution, for example, or even in the writings of Bill Mollison on Permaculture. Salatin’s is rather a homegrown, from the hip wisdom born from combining biting common sense with a passion for way out of the box innovation and most importantly a pure joy in making animals happy.He understands how land and animals thrive and creates optimum conditions [...]

    • David Galloway says:

      This is my fifth or sixth Joel Salatin book, and every time around two-thirds of the book is a rehash of the rest of his work but I don't care as his books are always informative and entertaining.In this book Salatin mostly writes about how farmers who don't use herbicides, artificial fertilizers, and CAFOs are considered lunatics by Big Ag. Salatin takes us through all the differences between his rolling meadows with happy pigs and chickens to the fecal ponds of industrial Concentrated Animal F [...]

    • Claudia Turner says:

      "Preserve the pigginess of pigs" Once again the visionary Joel Salatin, the "lunatic" farmer from Virginia, has written a cohesive and diverse account and mini-handbook of a solar-driven, locally-marketed, synergistic farmer. With takeaway points, and anecdotes, nearly anyone could quickly absorb the ideas described here. Basically, while still considerably "righteous" this most recent book by Salatin is unlike his first goofier ones in that it is not as preachy, cheesy and/or blistering. Salati [...]

    • Jim Kahn says:

      I have great respect for Joel Salatin the farmer and businessman, but this will certainly be the last of his books that I read. If you have already read one or more of his other books, there is no reason to read this one; it is a simple re-hashing of the same themes and principles. Further, I am officially tired of Joel Salatin the Condescending Christian Fundamentalist. For a book which from its title indicates it should be about farming, Salatin cannot help but weave in his extreme religious a [...]

    • Ariel says:

      Mr. Salatin expounds on the kind of attitudes and actions they take at his farm, Polyface, that are completely foreign to conventional farming (and foreign to liberal thinking as well, in some cases). It helped me see more clearly why it's good to do things like work with the seasons, stay relatively small, use less machinery, and build fences that aren't straight (because fences should go with the lay of the land, which typically means in curves, not grid-like lines). And I already knew that fa [...]

    • Katie says:

      I loved this book. Salatin has a wonderful sense of humor and shares his completely biased opinion with gusto. Whether you agree with him or not you have to appreciate his passion and admit that perhaps the conventional world view can use some shaking up. I believe in much of what Salatin stands for (local, ecological, land-healing, small-scale farming) but I still found my paradigm to be challenged in many area. The only negative thing I can say is that the book could have used some editing. Sa [...]

    • Helen Lyons says:

      This is absolutely the best book. I cannot put it down. I am a 73 year old grandma who lives in town. I was raised in the country and I miss the down home really tasty food. It is not available here in the local grocery stores! If it is it is like looking for a needle in a haystack! It is such a lonely feeling, the ladies at the book club will not be reading this book. Most of what they are reading is meaningless trash. Hey Joel and I have something in common. I think I am a lunatic grandma who [...]

    • Andersreads says:

      Joel Salatin and his way of farming were featured in the movie Food, Inc and the book The Omnivore's Dilemma. In this book Salatin discusses the methods he has developed over the years, and how they work to enrich the land through good stewardship and by using methods that enrich the soil. Salatin is very opinionated, and although I didn't agree with everything he wrote, I agree with the basic premise that factory farming (both livestock and crops) destroy the very land that supports them. And I [...]

    • Jonathan says:

      Great look at sustainable farming from one of the great trailblazers in the US. Salatin is certainly not your average environmentalist, aligning more with libertarianism than any other political view. While I wouldn't agree with quite everything in here, or his way of expressing his views sometimes, from a holistic perspective he clearly has an amazing model that I wish all farmers would take as the example. There are many more philosophical books on this topic, but this book is terrific from a [...]

    • Darrell says:

      A fun read. If you have already ready several of Joel's books, then this one is still worth reading. There are stories I found here I did not find in other books as well as some new viewpoints. If you have not read a book by Joel yet, I do not recommend this as a first. I think perhaps "You Can Farm" is a much better introduction to Joel's writing.

    • Alice says:

      The lunatic farmer is an informative author, for sure. He is an admirable farmer, too, and I respect his lunacy. He is way out of sync with current agricultural practices and I really hope he can get lots of other farmers to adopt his approach. Readers are sure to learn something important from reading this book.

    • Eric says:

      Salatin manages to be a liberal hippy and a christian tea-partier at the same time in this book which I enjoy because his ideas are all over the place, maybe he's found the elusive middle ground. For anyone interested in farming organically and outside the industrial food system this is a must read. He's got some great farming ideas that I have never heard of but would love to try.

    • Kristi says:

      Joel Salatin is a unique communicator and writer, and Sheer Ecstasy was both challenging and enjoyable to read. His writing is infused with humor and sarcasm, which serves him well when he taps a nerve with the reader when discussing agricultural issues bluntly and convincingly. I look forward to reading Salatin again soon.

    • Joshua Tapp says:

      I enjoyed this book greatly. I'm finding him a couple books in to start repeating himself quiet often.You will enjoy this book if you wish to understand why Joel does what he does. Or what makes it so special.I found the pretty thorough explanation of the biodynamic aspects of their farm and the follies of Industrial farms.

    • Brian says:

      Fun read, and a great motivator to start my backyard garden in the spring. Salatin has a unique voice that sometimes takes rereading a phrase or paragraph to understand what he means. I felt like I had an advantage growing up in a rural area, because he uses a lot of phrases that just aren't used in popular culture anymore. It would be really fun to meet this guy or attend one of his lectures.

    • Malia Walter says:

      I can wade through the politics and religious writing to get to the stuff that I'm interested in, but rereading the same stories in a different book is not my favorite. It felt like he didn't have enough material for another book.

    • Virginia says:

      The first two chapters were really greaten it got too preachy. I think it is aimed more at other farmers, but more like the beginning would go farther, I think you get more listeners if its interesting and not preachy.

    • Fernleaf says:

      As always Salatin has some very interesting points and analogies. But a lot of the materials in this book are covered partially or at length in his other books as well.

    • Linda says:


    • Emily Serven says:

      Joel Salatin's books seem to contain a lot of the same material but I don't get tired of reading them, regardless! This is probably my favorite so far. Good, common sense stuff.

    • Amy says:

      Read this one first!

    • Kristine says:

      Of all the books in this arena, this is the BEST! Never has a book been so humorous and to the point. Great useful information that can be use on any size farm, mini or large.

    • Bennae says:

      I really like Joel Salatin. Funny and thought provoking. This book would be a great how-to guide for folks with farms but a little too deep into the details for me.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *