When I read an article in Time magazine called "This Land Is Your Land" (October 24, 2011), I was absolutely inspired. All the things I had been thinking of changing in our lifestyle, all of the things I had been dreaming of for my family, the life I wish I knew I wanted when I was younger...all of these things and more are happening right now at Polyface Farm in Virginia.
Joel Salatin, owner of Polyface Farm has become an inspiration for many young Americans, myself included, who want to return to a way of life that has become harder and harder to find...the life of a self-sustaining American farm family. His mother lives on the property, as well as him, his wife, his children, and his grandchildren. They do have some of the conveniences of modern life like electricity, but they also chop wood for heat, grow their own food, preserve food for winter, home school their children, and sell to the local community for cash. Salatin's methods are not only organic, he has created new methods of farming that are more productive and better for the land than previous methods. He offers internships to teach others to do what he does and does speaking engagements about the importance of breaking away from large corporate farming methods. He offers all of his methods to the world because he wants us to follow in his footsteps.
So, is it fair to call Joel Salatin a new kind of hero? Perhaps not, since what he's doing isn't really so new. What he wants for us is a return to a way of life that is nearly lost. But he is an inspiration to those of us who are looking for a better way. I am currently reading Salatin's book, Folks This Ain't Normal , and another of his books, You Can Farm is next on my list (it's on hold for me at the local library...they sent me a text yesterday to say it's in). I can assure you, as I read there will be more to come on this subject!
Check out the Time article at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2096846,00.html or see the link to Polyface Farms in my Favorite Links section at the bottom of the page.