DOOMSDAY

            In preparation for my next two days, where I'll be teaching the Stockman Grass Farmer marketing school in Nashville, Tennessee, I was reviewing some social media counsel and one of the points is that negative headlines stimulate much higher readership than positive headlines.

             It reminded me of all the publicity surrounding the alleged burning inferno in the Amazon.  A couple of weeks ago I had a Brazilian on one of our lunatic tours and I asked her about it.  She said nothing in the media is true, that in fact the fires are less than normal, and that it's all politically driven because their new president is a bit of a firebrand libertarian and friends with Trump.

             Then last week I saw an actual breakdown from GPS acreage and it turns out that she was right.  Indeed, this year's fires in the Amazon are down 30 percent from recent previous years going back 5 or 6 years.  It struck me that in all the media reports I've seen over the last couple of months about this that none of them has put in actual data.  They've all had pictures of fires and hyped headlines screaming  doomsday.

             Now that I have the data in hand, I'm not giving those fires a second thought.  But when you're told that we only have 10 years to survive, those kinds of shock headlines get your attention.  Sensationalism sells.

             That said, I do think we're on a trajectory toward problems:  soil erosion, nutrient deficiency, sickness, insufficient water, desertification.  Yes, there's a lot to be concerned about, but I don't for a minute think we're going to exterminate ourselves and that we only have 10 years before we destroy the planet.

             As many of you know, I'm a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer--the first word is Christian.  We humans, in spite of our faults and our capacity to hurt, will not thwart the overarching plan God has for end times.  It will unfold in His timetable and His method.  Will human activity, depraved as it is, play a part?  Without a doubt.

             I've just become acquainted with the rising notion that the sun is not some nuclear thing; it's rather electromagnetic being fueled by other parts of the universe.  I don't have time to go into it now, but this notion that the cosmos is really electrical and not matter is quite a cool idea.  It points not to a big bang, but to a Source and Design that energizes it.

             As Pilgrims, then, our stewardship has everything to do with current occupation and care.  A Providential paradigm does not in any way diminish the mandate for caretaking and stewardship.  We have no idea what God's timetable is; we know we're supposed to take care of His stuff, love His stuff, respect His stuff as part of our responsibility.  So take the doomsday forecasts with a grain of salt.  Especially the ones that give a year and time for extinction. 

             Meanwhile, let's caretake in honor and deference, out of love for a benevolent Creator who holds things together and is counting on us to steward His stuff for who knows how long?  Let's not mess it up.

             Why does injecting God into the stewardship discussion make it less important or imperative?

TELL ME WHAT TO DO

            I spent Saturday at the Homesteaders of America conference at Warren County Fairgrounds in Front Royal.  What a wonderful gathering.  Some 2,500 people converged on the site and it was a true rush to spend the day with that many folks who don't trust anything orthodox.

             I opened the newspaper this morning to the big front page article about flu shots and how the Centers for Disease Control says we should all get them before the end of October.  I've never had one and have had the flu once in 30 years.  I know lots of people who religiously get the flu shot every year and get the flu every year.

  So having just been at this big shindig Saturday, I can't help but smile at this flu article, knowing that probably not a single one of those 2,500 people buys the flu shot orthodoxy.  That's the power of these kinds of gatherings.  When you swim upstream, it gets lonely.  Co-workers, family, friends all assault you with diatribes about being different, rebellious, or even injurious to society.  We need the encouragement and affirmation that assembling with likeminded people brings.  And by the way, I hope you've marked your calendar for next July 17-18, the first Mother Earth News fair held on a farm--here at Polyface.  It'll be a hum dinger, but it won't be the same without you.

             During the extended conference-closing Q&A session with all the speakers, I was struck by the number of questions regarding "how do you do it?"  For some, it was single parents trying to juggle a more self-reliant lifestyle.  For some, it was financial pressure that kept them from buying their little secluded dream place.  For others, it was job commutes that left precious little time to garden or tend a flock of chickens.  For others, it was health issues that consumed their time and energy, leaving nothing left for gardening and kitchen enjoyment.

             I was struck by these questions because this was from an audience that tends to be fairly self-reliant.  These folks are generally not peer dependent; they don't mind marching to the beat of a different drummer.  These are the elite change agents of our culture.  By and large, these folks garden instead of carting their kids 3 hours to play in a soccer tournament.

             My heart went out to the pleas.  Some of the hardships were heartbreaking.  I realized that no cookie cutter formula for success exists.  I can't offer a recipe to get out of every difficulty.  Looking back on my own experience, I realize how being poor and hungry was the best thing in the world for me.  Teresa and I drove a $50 car; we lived in an attic apartment; we never had a TV (still don't); we never--I mean never--went out to eat.  If we didn't grow it, we didn't eat it; we cut firewood for heat; we wore second-hand thrift store clothes.

             But it was that hunger and adversity that made us creative.  Eliot Coleman and I were talking about this one time because both of us started farming on eroded rock piles.  He observed that virtually all the successful gurus started on eroded rock piles.  Louis Bromfield; Ed Faulkner; Allan Savory.  If one thread runs through all of these stories, it's starting on an eroded rock pile.  So don't discount the adversity; it's the foundation of creativity and perseverance. 

             I can't tell you what to do.  You have to wrestle, struggle, seek, and do all of it aggressively, seriously, with gusto.  Attack it like Dave Ramsey says to attack debt:  beans and rice and rice and beans.  I'm startled by how easily folks quit and get disenchanted.   The opposite of success is not failure; it's quitting.  Successful people failed just as many times as everyone else--except they kept getting up.

             Objectives, if they are to be achievable, must be timed, measurable, and specific.  I think the biggest problem is folks want to whine or they want someone else to give them a recipe instead of wrestling with their situation and then formulating a set of objectives that are timed, measurable, and specific.  "I want a garden" is not an objective.  It's not broken down into measurable, specific, and timed parts.    If you're stuck, sit down and itemize smaller bits to get to the big elephant.  Make each bite measurable, timed, and specific.

             Are you stuck on something?

CIRCUMVENTION, NOT COMPLIANCE

            I will not beat this horse incessantly, but I am very aware that these posts do not get read every day so if I really want you folks to know about something, I need to repeat it a couple of times.

             l've hooked up with John Moody, who worked for several years with the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, to convene a one day conference Jan. 25 in Cincinnati called the Rogue Food Conference.

             The reason is simple:  food regulations have gotten so onerous in our country that creative alternatives to compliance are now in many cases more doable than compliance.  Hence, circumvention rather than compliance.

             Whether it's 501(c)(3) food churches, country club private transactions, membership dividends or pet food, clever, savvy folks around the country are figuring out how to get local food transactions done without entering "in commerce."  That's the phrase that gets you.

             You can give anything away, from raw milk to home made pepperoni; but if money exchanges hands and it enters "commerce," it's all illegal unless you jump through scale-discriminatory licensing and regulatory hoops.  More often than not, the cost of complying with the infrastructure, licensing, and overhead requirements puts launching embryonic entrepreneurial prototypes out of reach.

             If you wonder why authentic food is either unavailable or exorbitantly expensive, more often than not it has nothing to do with market desire, efficiency, production/processing know-how, or resources like kitchens; by far and away the primary reason is asinine scale-prejudicial inappropriate bureaucratic meddling.

             Clever work-arounds are popping up all over the country and it's time to both showcase these innovations and to empower others to utilize them.  This is an entire guerilla movement, under the radar.  It's not on TV news.  But it's alive and well.  It represents the same spirit as the Hong Kong human rights protests or any other basic human dignity protest effort around the world.

             In most of those areas around the world, the kind of food I'm describing is easy to sell and folks are glad to get it.  Here in America, our tyranny is in a different arena, but it's no less vital or important.  This will not be a conference of weirdos, I can tell you.  The speakers will be thoughtful, articulate, well-reasoned defenders of food freedom in a country where our judges write in their opinions that no American has the right to choose their own food.  Communists have not even written such anti-human rulings.

             I am pleading for folks who want to preserve food freedom to join us on this day.  We're hoping to get some media traction but that's a tough slog.  The main thing is to come together for encouragement and fellowship.  Freedom of food choice should not be this hard to defend, but it is.  I know plenty of things occupy our time and all sorts of causes vie for our attention.  But somebody needs to stand up to the food tyrants, whether corporate, consumer protectionists, or bureaucrats, and say enough is enough.  Let's take back our food even if we lose everything else.

             Tickets and information are available at https://roguefoodconference.com/

             Thank you for caring . . . and coming.  I look forward to seeing you there.

             Have you tried to make and sell a food item that you finally gave up on because regulations were too onerous?

OH ROYALTY

             Many of you know I've enjoyed a developing friendship with Prince Charles.  He's come to hear me yak in Great Britain and then he invited me to his special place in Dumfries, Scotland.  Turns out he purchased a slew of FOOD INC. documentaries and gave them to all his friends.  Apparently that's how I got on his radar.

             Influential people are working behind the scenes to get him to stop by the farm when he's next in the U.S.  So I thought the Mother Earth News (MEN) Fair here next year July 17-18 would be a great opportunity to invite him.  I mean, it's not every day that a few thousand people collect on a dirt road to fellowship over homesteading and farming.  And I sure hope you're planning to come.  Scuttlebutt has it that rooms in Staunton are beginning to fill up for that weekend, even though fair tickets have not yet gone on sale.  My dream is 10,000 people over the two days.  That'll make a statement to Virginia--unorthodoxy is alive and well, thank you very much.  The revolution is bigger than you think.

             Anyway, I've done some sleuthing, but alas, the protocols governing British royalty generally and His Royal Highness (they say it HRH) Charles, Prince of Wales, prohibits any of them doing tours of the U.S. during a presidential election year. 

             How was I to know?  Good grief, if I'd known that, we could have pushed this shindig off a year and maybe gotten him.  Bummer.  It's just one of those cultural nuances that we Americans in our free-wheeling individualism can't imagine and certainly don't appreciate.  What do you mean I can't travel to the U.S. whenever I want?  I'm the next king, for crying out loud.

             "No, your highness, you may not go this year."  Can't you just hear it?

             So we're all suffering from the prohibition.  This will absolutely not diminish our party, but it's interesting to know even Prince Charles has restrictions.  Oh, he can't drive either.  Did you know that?  He has to be chauffered.  What a drag.

             As much as we Americans detest it, don't you find royalty fascinating?  What is it about royalty that so captivates the human heart?



GET OUT:  YOU VISIT FARMERS' MARKETS

            According to a study published in The Economist, activities that make you NOT desirable as a housemate include visiting farmers' markets.

             The study, conducted by R.M. Shafranek and titled "Political Considerations in Nonppolitical Decisions:  A Conjoint Analysis of Roommate Choice, ranks relative lifestyle and belief systems as liabilities or assets.

             I think this is profound because these were young people.  Studies like this really help to establish a trajectory, a "where we're going" kind of predictability.

             The single biggest liability is with a person who affiliates with a different political party--so Democrats and Republicans don't want to live together.  That's the biggest.  Second is housekeeping--messies are not desirable.  Well duh.  The next one?  Evangelical Christian.  Wow.  I thought we were supposed to be inclusive.

             The next negative and literally in tie with Christian is a person who goes to bed early.  You'd think with all the medical connections well established between sleep deprivation and health, an enlightened generation would realize the importance of going to bed early.  It always makes me wonder about people who cause trouble or get caught up in trouble late at night.

             Listen, if you're in a bar at midnight, nothing good comes from that.  I will never be shot in a bar at 1:30 a.m.  I won't be shot in a bar at 11 p.m. 

             Ready for the next liability?  Listening to country music.  Oh my.  And right behind country music is the one that got my attention:  visits farmers' markets.  Now why, in a generation that supposedly is interested in climate change and saving the planet, would visiting a farmers' market be a bad activity?  It really makes you wonder, doesn't it? 

             Tied with farmers' market patronage is hunting and fishing.  So let's see, anything involving rural life, music, activities, early bedtimes is a turnoff.  So what is the turn on?

             Yoga.  Hop-hop music.  Being Jewish.  Same political party--boy, I do not like my ideas questioned.  And the most desirable characteristic?  Watching sports.  I don't know about you, but this list does not make me optimistic about our future.

             At conferences where I speak people always ask me if our side is winning.  They want to hear a definitive "yeah, man, we're winning and all will be well."  Folks, I've got news for you, McDonald's is building 1,200 more restaurants this year.  And this list, sadly in my opinion, simply confirms that we are still heading the wrong way pretty stubbornly.  We still like our silos; we'd rather imagine a better future than work to create a better future.

             So let's all just sit around staying up late sitting in a yoga position watching sports with people who vote just like us.  That's the way to the future.  We're not going to talk about the country, eat nutritious food, connect with a farmer, or actually invest in anything concretely ecology-enhancing. 

             So how do you answer the question:  are we there yet?

ANYBODY WANT TO JOIN OUR TEAM?

            I'm quite reluctant about using this blog for things like this, but my team all assures me that a once or twice a year use of this sort will not compromise or cheapen the blog. 

             You'll get what nobody else gets:  the context.  Leanna Hale Barth was an intern nearly a decade ago, married an apprentice, Eric, and the two of them joined our team full time.  They live on the farm and are now as important to Polyface as any Salatin.  Eric is apprentice manager and Leanna has been inventory manager for several years. 

             They have two children, 4 and 2, and another one is on the way in late January.  With those increased responsibilities, Leanna realizes she cannot continue the inventory responsibilities she's held.  She will continue to be ultimately in charge, but she needs an assistant to do the lifting and hands-on working she's been doing.  Furthermore, our shipping and packing is increasing to the point she couldn't do it all by herself anymore anyway. 

             So this seemed like a good time to open up a slot for a new team member on our permanent staff.  That's the background, and here's the plan.  We welcome any and all interest.  Thank you for indulging this use of the blog.  My apologies.

 

INVENTORY MANAGER

 
Salary Position starting at $36,000 annually, paid monthly

                        About 40 hours per week           

                        Growth potential with efficiency and responsibility

 

Job Requirements 

            ~Must be capable of lifting 60-80 pounds on a daily basis

            ~Job requires working in -10 degree F freezers for a minimum of 10-15 hours a                                     week

            ~Must be able to plan and organize freezer space

 

Qualifications

            ~Must be very well organized

            ~Have attention to little details

            ~Problem solve

            ~EXCELLENT customer service skills

            ~Team player

            -Interest in local craft food

 

Job Responsibilities

            ~Packing customer orders 3-4 times per week

            ~Packing and shipping orders, weekly

            ~Packing and loading restaurant orders, 1 time a week (with help)

            ~Communicating when orders will be completed and ready for processing

            ~Sorting and Managing meat inventory

                        ~Weekly pick up of meat, typically Wednesday afternoon

                        ~Unloading meat

                        ~Sorting, categorizing, and totals of all cuts of meat

            ~Managing and stocking retail store

            ~Keeping all work areas (freezers, packing shed, storage shed) clean, organized,                         `and tidy.

            ~Scheduling and meeting customers as necessary during business hours for                         `            `special orders being picked up on farm.

 

Benefits

            Workman's Comp

            Flexible hours and scheduling

            Two weeks vacation

            Most national holidays

            Substantial Polyface product discount

            Family friendly community-oriented workplace

 

Is it okay to use this blog for an announcement like this once in a blue moon? 

Email polyfacefarms@gmail.com with resume /information. Application deadline 10/18/20

STOMPING OUT

            My fall speaking circuit is now in full swing and I'm batting two for two with people stomping out of my speeches.  In a time of supposed tolerance, we're getting pretty intolerant.

             Saturday in Richmond it was a vegan (or vegetarian, not sure which) offended that I dared to question the wisdom of eating mono-culture chemicalized GMO soybean-extracted lab percolated earthworm-killing soil-destroying pseudo-food like Impossible Burger.  Why would anyone be offended at that?

             Of course, I'm supposed to smile, nod, and tolerate the following diatribe:

 1.  You can't love anyone or anything because you eat meat.

2.  You're destroying the planet because cows burp and fart.

3.  You're bankrupting the country's medical system because eating meat causes cancer and heart disease.

             I'm supposed to be inclusive and tolerant as these charges spew, but if the shoe is on the other foot, it's righteous and noble to stomp out of the discussion.

             And then in California this week, the same thing happened although this time it was a government food inspector.  I dared to question the cultural assumption that a bureaucrat needs to sniff and smell every morsel of food to make sure it's safe for consumption.

             I started down my narrative of consenting adults engaging in consensual voluntary transactions and he took offense.  Look, folks, today we're all about getting the government out of our bedrooms; how about getting the government out of my mouth? 

             If I want to go to your farm, ask around, sniff around, look around, and exercise freedom of choice to purchase your food, I jolly well ought to have that right.  Of course, we all know that if the government signs off on it, it's safe.  Every recall is a government inspected food.  While the regulators turn themselves into a knot trying to deal with vaping, they send SWAT teams to confiscate perfectly good food transactions between friends.  For an eye opener, watch the documentary FARMAGEDDON.

             Several years ago in a California university I asked for a show of hands:  "How many of you think a government official needs to inspect food from your own garden to make sure it's safe for consumption?"  About 25 percent of the audience raised their hands.  Folks, this is the trajectory of our culture.

             I'm reminded of the time I spoke at Stanford in California.  The professor squiring me around from class to class in a golf court spat and fumed as we drove by a building plaque bearing newly-etched names of university namesakes:  Condolezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld.  As she sputtered and fumed, I couldn't help but ask:  "I thought you taught inclusion and tolerance here?"

             She spat the response:  "Only certain KINDS of tolerance."  Oh, I see.

             For the record, I'm not a fan of either Rice or Rumsfeld, but they certainly are no worse than Obama ("if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor") and Hillary ("deplorables").  So let's just all settle down, breathe deeply, appreciate our differences, and have a civil conversation.  And if our neighbor dares to question my sacred cow, love him anyway.  He just doesn't know any better. But don't walk out; engage instead, respectfully.  You might learn something. 

             I'm trying not to let this new aggressive intolerance bother me, but it does.  Until now, the only times I know of where people have stomped out of my speeches is if I dare to mention I'm a sanctity of lifer.  Otherwise, curiosity for the other point of view--and hopefully my humor--keeps them in their seats.  Apparently those days are now over.

             How many times has someone walked out in disgust when you're speaking?

LEAVING CALIFORNIA

            It's 5:30 a.m. and I'm at the Ontario, California airport waiting to board and head home.  One of my speaker gifts from yesterday's Grow Riverside conference was a little baggie of organic fertilizer made from poultry manure at an egg farm.

             TSA kicked out my bag and of course this little baggie of fertilizer required a swab, a supervisor, and finally, they told me they had to sample it.  I'm not sure if they were going to put milk on it and eat it with corn flakes.  As I stood there under scrutiny for a tiny baggie of sample organic fertilizer, I couldn't help but realize how out of the mainstream farmers are.  I told the TSA guy "you people are ridiculous" and let him confiscate it.  They'll throw it away.  The chickens that made the poop; the farmer that went through mountains of compliance to get the fertilizer business legal; the people who handled the material, packed it--every animal and every person in this process is denigrated as that little aggie gets tossed in the trash, which will go to the landfill, joining other biodegradable planetary healing materials at a useless dead end.  And we worry about Trump's phone calls?  Really?

             Statistics are interesting.  And stories.  I'll share a couple from yesterday's conference and conversations.  First, the fact that right now the U.S. has 40 million extra egg laying hens in the country.  Egg prices have collapsed--50 cents a dozen.  All the egg farmers are losing money hand over fist.  They overbuilt as a result of a shortage a couple of years ago.  The thought of getting 50 cents a dozen can't even compute in my head.  At Polyface, our GMO-free feed cost is $1 a dozen and our labor (legal and well cared for) is $1 a dozen.  The idea that a poultry farm can exist even for a day at 50 cents a dozen shows the economic divide between commodity and craft.

             Story.  The lady who drove me out to last night's banquet has a farm in an area designated "mixed species."  Fifty years ago all these farms in the area had cattle, sheep, and crops.  It took me awhile to understand that "mixed species" did not mean a Polyface model with cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys, or what we commonly call "multiple species."  No indeed, mixed species means you cannot have any domestic livestock--it means "wild species."

             So here is a farm that cannot get fire insurance, with biomass building up and nothing to eat it, and planners and regulators won't let them have a cow to eat it.  Furthermore, they cannot cut an oak tree or even prune the branches.  So here they are sitting on supposed farmland worth $150,000 an acre, prohibited from livestock, unable to find fire insurance, prohibited from running a chain saw, watching their biomass get old and die and build and turn brown and dry . . .

             During my talk, I zeroed in on the carbon economy and eliminating fire by turning biomass into compost, substituting the money spent on chemical fertilizer for biomass harvest.  It seems so reasonable, but no reason exists here.  So think about all this the next time California burns.  Don't feel sorry.  It's what they deserve, even though many people understand the problem and would like to fix it.  So burn, baby burn, and I'll lose no sleep over your stupidity.

             Planners estimate that California's population will double by 2050.  Climatologists predict that the number of very hot days will go from 30 per year to 90 per year. 

             Are we insane?

BELLY BUTTON ORANGES

            I'm in Riverside, California today speaking at the 6th annual Grow Riverside Conference.  Riverside is the 12 largest city in California and 43rd largest in the U.S.

Located about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, it had two gold rushes.  The first was real gold in the mid-1800s, of course.

             The second was around 1900 with the development of the Navel Orange--or as they say here, the orange with a belly button.  That brought mountains of wealth into the area and now they're scared to death that a little insect is going to take down the trees.

             The city created a roughly 5,000 acre agriculture-preserved green belt around the city a couple of decades ago but all those farmers that had those properties are dying or quitting and now it's a quarter unutilized.  They're desperate to figure out how to attract a new generation of farmers onto these protected lands.

             I visited Amy's Farm yesterday, a working agri-tourism farm filled with school groups.  From the airport yesterday (in Ontario, CA) I went past numerous dairies, which are slowly leaving the area.  They bring in all their feedstocks and transport their manure 50 miles south.  Talk about a carbon footprint.

             Anybody here in the area who has a small farm can get all the manure they want for free because dumping it locally free is cheaper than exporting it, even if the farmer gets paid for it.  Many of these land blocks are small, about 10-15 acres.  This has become a bedroom community for LA.

             I told them that these urban farms have some real advantages.  Proximity to markets, proximity to waste streams, and access to labor.

             The other speakers have been interesting.  One bluntly forecast that  tomorrow's workforce in America will be hispanic.  Assimilation is critical. 

             Homeless tents dot the landscape.  It's quite shocking, and here it's a lot less of an issue than around San Francisco.

             I'm relishing the fresh local citrus.  Nothing beats it where it grows--like everything else.  The stifling regulations are a key point of discussion.  For all the people leaving California, plenty are still coming.  I don't think it's going to be depopulated any time soon.

             Have you been to Riverside?

 DIRE FUTURE

            The media headlines are all abuzz today about the newest UN climate study showing that we're in for catastrophic climate change.   We're past the tipping point; the oceans can't handle the warming and things look bleak.

             I am not a climate change denier.  All you have to do is look at satellite images of the earth over the last half century and the ice masses are considerably smaller.  You don't have to be a scientist with sophisticated measuring devices to see the shrinkage.  I was in Alaska two years ago and drove on major highways through what 50 years ago were massive glaciers.  They've receded 25 and 30 miles; at their current rate of melting, they will absolutely be gone in just a few years.

             Siberia is melting, revealing mega-fauna long frozen.  When I was in Sweden last they told me Monsanto has moved into their agricultural sphere dramatically preparing for the new grain basket of the world to be located in northern Finland, Sweden, and Norway.  Can you imagine northern Scandinavia being the bread basket of the world?

             The report goes on to warn of more frequent and violent storms as this disruption shakes the earth.  These predictions may or may not be true.  We've never been here before.  Sometimes I think we're too sophisticated for our own good and cause ourselves unnecessary angst.  And I don't know how much of it is human-caused and how much of it is simply an earth cycle.

             When I look at this stuff, I'm pushed to ask myself:  "What can I do?"  Let's assume all the predictions are accurate.  What can I do to prepare?  I can't affect the hurricane in the Bahamas.  I can't affect the drying of Australia.  But I can do something about my life, my situation, my tiny corner of stewardship.

             So here are agenda items for Polyface:

 1.  Build more ponds.  We've been irrigating with the beautiful K-line system for about a month now and are draining our ponds of the water they caught and stored during the winter and early spring--remember how wet it was?  North America, prior to European conquest, was 8 percent water; today we're less than 1 percent.  They were beaver ponds.  So every spare penny we're dumping into excavating permaculture-style high landscape ponds to catch violent rain/snow events and cushion drought affects.  You should see these irrigated pastures; they are vibrant green, lush, growing like gangbusters, flooding the dry air with transpiration and biomass activity.  This we can do.

 2.  Upgrade the forest by weeding out the diseased and dying and releasing the vibrantly growing trees.  Crank up the chain saw and chipper and get to work converting poor growing individuals into carbon for composting to build up organic matter in the fields.  Every percent increase in organic matter adds 20,000 gallons of water retentive capacity per acre; since 1961, we've gone from 1 percent to 8 percent, which is 140,000 gallons per acre.  That sponge is invaluable in times of earth discomfort.  And a healthy forest is a more resilient one. 

3.  Reduce food waste by shortening the chain between farm and fork.  Right now 40 percent of all food produced gets thrown away.  The closer we buy and sell to point of production the less inventory spoilage and damage.  Forget the Caribbean cruise and fire up the canning equipment.  Leave the supermarket and the exotics; eat close to home, seasonally, from local sources preferably or at least direct sources.

 4.  Do more to develop resilience in our own home.  We've already put a solarium on the south side of our 1790 log cabin house; that's a cool retrofit.  We can grow leafy greens year round and get passive solar heat gain in this old house.  Increase your rain barrel to massive cisterns; if more of us installed them, the price would drop.  Right now cisterns in Australia are a quarter the price per gallon that they are in the U.S. and it's simply because we don't have a competitive and vibrant demand.  Store food by canning, freezing, dehydrating.  Dave Ramsey says we should all have an emergency fund of cash to handle 4-6 months of economic catastrophe; how about an emergency food larder to handle a weather catastrophe?  Root cellars?  Yes.

             This is not an exhaustive list, but I think it's helpful to review it and realize that in the face of dire warnings, when the first reaction is paralysis because it's such an overwhelming problem and then depression because there's seemingly nothing we can do about it, focusing our attention on practical, actionable steps to prepare personally is an uplifting, enjoyable activity. 

             Sorry this is a long post today, but it's hard to counter all the negative without digging into the positive a bit.  And remember, if you like this, send it to friends to increase our tribe.  Thank you.

             What personal, practical shifts have you made in your life to prepare for these unsettling times?

A LETTER TO ELLEN DEGENERES

             Dear Ellen--

             Now that you've launched your #BeNeatEatLessMeat campaign, I'd like to encourage you to refine the message to #BeNeatEatLessJunkMeat.  To lump all meat into a "bad for you and the environment" ball is incorrect, unfair, and offensive.

             Roughly 75 percent of all the agricultural land in the world can't grow veggies.  It's too steep, too infertile, too rocky, or two far from diesel fuel.  But these areas grow grass.  You could eat that grass all day and you'd die.  Humans can't metabolize grass.

             But the rumen bacteria inside an herbivore can upgrade grass to meat and milk, both extremely nutrient dense foodstuffs for humans.  To deny humans the food value of 75 percent of the world's agriculture area is to condemn millions if not billions to starvation, and I know you wouldn't want that.

             Feeding the world without animals?  The numbers just don't stack up.  Now how about food quality?  Let's look at a short list of comparisons:

             FOOD                              QUANTITY                        PROTEIN                        CALORIES

 

            Beef                             3 oz. (one serving)              25 grams                           173

            Quinoa                  3 cups                                    25                                       666

            Black beans          2 cups                                   25                                       613

           Edamame                    1 cup                                    25                                       249

 

In case you missed it, 3 cups of quinoa and 2 cups of black beans is a pile.  I might not want to be in the same room with you if you've eaten that much.

          A wonderful letter sent to you from Amanda Radke, a rancher, points out that your fave CoverGirl makeup uses ingredients from beef.  And her point about beef producing less greenhouse (GHG) gases than landfills is good too.

             Perhaps the most disingenuous aspect of your crusade is that you refuse to parse the difference between regenerative and degenerative beef production models.  To refuse to recognize the clear soil building versus soil depleting reality of a mob stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration model offends anyone with an ounce of functioning brain fatty acids (most of which come from animal fats). 

             So how about we stop the war against diversity and nutrition?  How about we stop the war against enough food?  Let's appreciate that people are different and that if you thrive on a non-meat diet, good for you.  Most don't.  You of all people should appreciate diversity and not demand a one size fits all approach.

             You should come and visit Polyface.  You would see such abundance in wildlife, insect life, pollinators living in, above, and around our perennial pasture grasslands it will make your heart sing.  I challenge you to go visit where your veggies are grown and tell me those areas germinate as much life diversity.  Go ahead, take a look.

             How about let's promote eating good food, authentic food, ecologically enhancing food, from whatever source?  And let's not bathe the world in uncharitable elitism.  Hmmmm?

             Respectfully,

             Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm

 What would you tell her?

SUGGESTIONS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE MARCHERS

            We're all immersed in the media coverage of this weekend's climate strike and consummate marches to whip up the movement.  I'm elated that folks are concerned about the environment.  Perhaps this is the next step past Earth Day.  But as I've read and heard the themes from the speeches and watched the sponsors, I'm not sure it's effective.

             For example, our local Mary Baldwin University was a proud sponsor of Staunton's event, but their dining services won't even purchase GMO-free, pastured meat and poultry.  Strikers demand reduced carbon footprints, install more solar power, protect rainforests, the Chesapeake Bay and reduce plastic.

             The rules around setting goals that can be reached are simple:  measurable, timed, and specific.  The problem with the above list, as reported in the newspapers anyway, is that they don't adhere to any of these.  So it's a lot of walk, a lot of talk, but no action.

             In light of that, I humbly offer the following list of goals:

 1.  Boycott all fast food places that sell industrial chemical-based food, including Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat that use GMOs, chemicals, and monocultures.

 2.  Drink coffee only if it's in a washable and reusable container.

 3.  Refuse to take the children to any athletic event more than 1 hour away.

 4.  Plant a garden in a backyard.  Borrow one if necessary.

 5.  Don't eat any prepackaged, processed food; eat only whole foods that you prepare yourself in your own kitchen; eat left-overs for lunch; take it with you to work.  "Bring lunch to work day."

 6.  For one year, cancel all vacations that require air travel and instead visit 5 local points of interest (museums, farms, nature spots, etc.).

 7.  Volunteer at a local farm:  dig fence post holes, chop thistles, build fence.

 8.  Build a solarium on your house so you can grow produce year-round and enjoy passive solar heat.

 9.  Do not spend more than $200 on clothes per year per person.

 10.  Get a chest freezer so you can buy local pastured meat and poultry in-season and in-volume; cut grocery store trips to once every two weeks.

             These are specific, measurable, and timed.  But you won't see anything this practical or this personally responsible; it'll be all about other people; those people; over there.  It's never about me. I've got news for you, folks, it is all about me.  If we don't get that right, we won't get any of it right.

             Now that I've shared my list, what's one you'd like to add?

THREE UNDERSTANDINGS

            Saturday I did a fundraiser for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund at Reverence Farm in Graham, North Carolina.  The day's events included a farm tour and I was privileged to be on the one led by Suzanne Karreman, the driving force behind the operation.

             I liked her three-part goal for the tour, or as she said, "I want to show you three things:  responsibility, possibility, and hope."

             She delivered in spades.  Although only 5 years old, the farm has definitely made a splash in its area, including a wonderful cafe along State Rt. 87 just south of Saxapahaw.  You can't miss it:  a majestic metal fabricated and decoratively painted 10 ft. tall chicken stands sentry out front.

             But back to the three things.  Responsibility is the idea that none of us can escape making choices about our food and farming protocols.  Animals in industrial orthodox systems essentially eat in their own bathroom, which is "gross," and wouldn't be the place of choice for humans either.  Keeping the animals moving onto new ground protects them from the unsanitary conditions prevalent inmost animal outfits.

             Second, the possibility that by careful management we can build soil, increase organic matter, increase water retentive capacity.  In other words, we can farm destructively or regeneratively; we can leave less than we found or more than we found.  Too many folks are so absorbed in the Conquistador mentality, which includes a chemically-based protocol, that the idea of grabbing fertility out of the air and building abundance simply by changing management never enters our imagination.

             Third, hope.  That is where possibility meets responsibility.  In five years, Reverence Farm has doubled its productive capacity not by planting seeds, applying fertilizer, or any of the normal outside-in techniques.  Rather, it's occurred by tightening up the management to fully capture and leverage nature's templates toward productivity.

             As Suzanne pointed out, the notion that in another 10 years they could double again simply by letting natural processes work at their peak speaks volumes to the scarcity and food insecurity issues of our day.  It means the earth is not overpopulated.  That we're not running out of food.  That our grandchildren can have a happy life.  That water, soil, air, and biological abundance can be there for them too. 

             It was a simple and profound message that can truly lift our hearts.  In a day of negativity and fear, Reverence Farm stands as a beacon of truth and hope.  We need lots more farms like this.

             Are you helping them proliferate?

"ALL USE IS ABUSE."

            An herbalist says she does not want to learn from Polyface "how to use and abuse animals.  All use is abuse.  We should all already be vegan."

             This in response to a mass pitch about joining the ACRES USA-sponsored Small Farm Academy I'll be teaching in the next few weeks.

             This attitude brings to mind the ditty economics professor Walter Williams enjoyed:  "My wife told me I use her.  I said of course I use you, sweetheart.  If I didn't have any use for you, I wouldn't have married you."

             It's funny but it's also profound.  Love and care grow out of use.  By the strict definition of "all use is abuse" even using soil to grow herbs is abuse.  Where does it stop?  It's such a ridiculous nonsensical statement that it leads me to believe her brain has already atrophied due to starvation for adequate nutrition.

             All employees are abused because employers use them.  Our children are abused if we use them to help with chores.  Mentors are abused when we use them for references on job applications.  Water is abused when we drink it.  Trees are abused when we mill them into lumber so we can build a house.  Minerals are abused when we mine them to make steel for a car body.  This line of reasoning is absurd.

             I'm glad somebody uses me.  Perhaps the most important human need is the need to be needed, which grows directly out of use.  Failure to be useful, to feel needed, directly leads to depression and loss of self-worth.  Teachers use students to feel necessary.  We abuse business every time we use it?  Really? We abuse Amazon every time we buy?

             Certainly some use can be abusive, but certainly not all use is abuse.  Tell that to a starving child--no, you can't eat that meat because doing so is abusive.  This gets right to the sacrosanct elitism of the statement.  Plenty of people need to eat something--anything.  The reason animals are such a bedrock of human nutrition is that they can be preserved in real time without energy and they can move when geo-political situations demand fleeing to safer havens.

             And if you think those of us living in relative security and luxury are beyond this need, you don't appreciate the fragility of security and luxury.  Let any calamity occur, from sudden energy disruption, economic collapse, epidemic or social upheaval, and our American nest would be gone in a heartbeat.  And then if you can catch a rabbit you might live another day.  This has been normal throughout human history.  Being able to take the time and energy to utter a statement like "all use is abuse" requires completely aberrant luxury and disconnection from our ecological womb.  Many people still are consumed with trying to survive to another day.  More often than not, that's a glass of milk or something caught and butchered, or maybe even an egg found and cooked.  Or a tomato.  Or ear of corn.

             How can a statement this nonsensical be uttered by any credible person.  As Teresa, my sweetheart says:  "And she votes!"  Oh boy.

             What would you say to a person who thinks "all use is abuse?"


NATURE'S VIOLENCE

            Yesterday I went up to clean mud and silt off the intake pipe that starts our high water system.  We have a spring up on top of the mountain behind the house that we've tapped.  It runs into a pipe that lies along the road all the way down the mountain and keeps our high system going--we have two, a high system and low system.

             The little basin that collects the spring water serves both wildlife and our livestock.  The bears, squirrels and deer that use it stir up the fine mud in it, which then coats the intake filter and eventually clogs it up.  About twice a month I go up and clean off the screen and scoop out the accumulated mud around it.

             Normally, when I arrive the water is crystal clear like a wishing well.  But yesterday it was murky from recent stirring.  I probably surprised something with the 4-wheeler when I arrived.  The spring is about 40 years away and downhill from the road, so I park up there and walk down to it through a ground cover of large ferns.

             Yesterday when I finished the quick cleaning and started back up to the 4-wheeler, I noticed at the side of my path a bucket-sized hole dug in the ground.  It caught my attention and my first thought was "who's been up here digging?"  Upon closer examination, I noticed down in the hole a massive yellow jacket nest.  The bees were there working on it, but the nest had obviously been torn in half.  Ahhh.  A bear.

             A bear undoubtedly found the nest, dug into it, and ate the larval bees.  Bears actually don't attack bees for the honey; they attack them for the larva (baby bees).  I looked around to make sure the bear wasn't eyeing me and headed back up the path to the 4-wheeler.

             As I rode home I couldn't help but think of the struggle for survival.  Everything is struggling for survival.  The bees built their nest thinking they'd be safe.  The bear wanders the mountain looking for a morsel here or a morsel there.  Both are struggling to survive.  Both use their wits, talents, creativity to try to outsmart the adversaries.  Nobody gives one an advantage over the other.  Some days the bear wins; some days the bees win.

             What if someone decided it was unjust, or unfair, for the bear to destroy the bees' nest?  What if someone decided to subsidize the bees with bear-proof habitats?  The bears would be denied one of their favorite foods and the bees would proliferate perhaps to toxic proportions.  I think the struggle makes each party appreciate the other more; the bees the resourcefulness and terror of the bear; the bear the cunning and camouflage of the bees.  Indeed, the bees pollinate blackberries, which are another bear favorite.

             The struggle has its own beauty; it's own choreography.  It's both heartbreaking and affirming.  In our culture today, a lot of do-goodism tries to eliminate the struggle in life.  But legislating away the struggle doesn't make heroes; it makes wimps.  It makes dependents. 

             What has the struggle taught you?

 P.S.  Remember, if you like these posts, send them to a friend.  That's how we build our tribe.  Thank you.

WELLNESS SUMMIT

            Saturday Polyface hosted a wellness summit to love on unorthodox health practitioners and affirm them in a culture that seems intent on marginalizing, demonizing, and even criminalizing them.  We had 30-40 professional health practitioners, primarily from the eastern U.S. but a couple from California.

             They were herbologists, nutritional therapists, yoga and massage practitioners, crystal therapy, physical therapists--goodness, I don't even know what everyone called what they did.  But it was incredibly gratifying to get all those people in one place, have them meet each other, encourage each other, inspire each other.  It's a lonely world out there on the edges of orthodoxy.

             In a time of publicity regarding tolerance, we are becoming far more intolerant.  Just try questioning orthodox infant immunizations.  Just try being a pregnant woman telling your family and friends you're drinking raw milk.  Just try telling your diabetic friends that they can cure it with diet and lifestyle and don't need any drugs.

             Most of these professionals who came had their own crisis stories that drove them away from orthodoxy.  I could write a book, a compilation of all these stories that brought people to a distrust of the fraternal medical community.

             The highlight of the day, for me at least, was sitting mesmerized for 2.5 hours at the feet of Dr. Zach Bush.  I had never met him in person until Saturday.  Doing as many presentations and speaking gigs as I do, I get to listen to a lot of presenters.  For a person to mesmerize me on the edge of my seat even for 30 minutes takes some doing.  Zach did it for more than 2 hours.   Nobody stirred; nobody moved. 

             Perhaps the most interesting part of his presentation to me was his recurring theme about loneliness.  That really struck me because we here at Polyface convened this whole shindig to surround these practitioners with affirmation, realizing that unorthodoxy by definition is a lonely place.  But the fact is as a culture we've isolated ourselves in profound ways.

             We've hidden handshakes behind legal contracts; we've exchanged personal interchanges for electronic interchanges; we've traded physical community with virtual community; we've lawned over our gardens and outsourced food production to nameless, faceless corporate entities.  The list could go on and on, but you get the drift. 

             I've always said that a central part of our farm is re-building community. From May through September, 25 of us work here and our chef prepares evening communal meals that we enjoy together Monday-Friday.  That's a real support group.  As I age, I'm incredibly grateful to be surrounded by all this youthful energy.  To leverage elder wisdom on youthful energy is the elixer of the ages.

             So Zach is big on the power of a hug.  Not a short professional hug, but a lingering hug, like more than 10 seconds.  It's one of the most healing things we can do.  They don't cost anything but empathy and time.

             Have you hugged someone today?

NO TIME FOR BREAKFAST

            Wendy's restaurant chain (more than 5,000 in the U.S.) has just announced it is re-entering the breakfast business after a failed attempt several years ago.  According to their press releases, Americans eating breakfast out increased enough since the first attempt to be confident in this up-coming roll-out.

             My favorite meal of the day is breakfast.  The reason is pretty simple.  I have always gone out and done chores prior to breakfast.  Chores take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours, depending on how things fall.  Right now I'm moving the eggmobile every other day.  I move it on one day and then the second day all I have to do is open some nest boxes (drop the perch boards so the hens can get into the boxes; the perch boards act as exclusions to keep the hens out at night). 

             Sometimes I have to set up an electric fence for the cows.  A host of things can occupy that pre-breakfast time.  Moving chicken shelters was the most time-consuming normal component of chores until Daniel got big enough to do it, and now other staff and students.  I still enjoy it, but don't need to as often.  We used to milk a cow every morning, but that went by the wayside and we now have a raw milk herd share from Creambrook.

             I have numerous things to check on in these early morning hours.  I get up at daybreak and head outside for chores every day, including Saturday, Sunday, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving.  That's my routine.  The point is that when I come in for breakfast, I've already put in a couple hours of work.  That's the hungriest I am, usually, in a day.  So I like breakfast; a nice, big hearty breakfast.  Bacon or sausage and eggs (usually 3 eggs), raw milk, fruit.

             Teresa, my 39-year wife and love of my life, has breakfast ready for me when I come in.  That's our official team start of the day.  It's a time to discuss our plans for the day--"what do you have to do?", listen to the news on the radio, read the newspaper and get situated for the day.  It's both a respite and a launch for the rest of the day.

             I feel sad that so many folks don't even have time for a home-made, home-centered, family-oriented breakfast.  It's such an important part of my daily routine that the idea of jumping out of bed, jumping into the car, running by a drive-through window for a muffin and coffee just sounds like a horrendous way to get going.  Or maybe folks don't stop, and that's the problem.

             That grabbing breakfast at a fast food joint is now one of the hottest food trends speaks volumes to our hurried, harried lifestyles.  We've gained frenzy and lost family.  We've gained convenience and lost communication.  We've gained food-like substances and lost nutrition.

             What do you eat for breakfast?


FEEL GOOD TOOTHLESS

            Yesterday I spoke to a conservative political think tank in Richmond and one of the other speakers was a Republican state Senator running for re-election.  She gave a short list of her greatest accomplishments while in office so far, one of which was  a bill requiring hospitals to give estimated cost of services if you ask.

             Offering this as a great example of "across the aisle" diplomacy, was appalling.  Of course the Democrats would love this bill--they love anything that creates more regulations and government intrusion.  And for a conservative Republican to sponsor and then be proud of more regulations is the problem with the Republicans.  Further, she vowed to carry on the idea and require it on all private physicians too.

             The bill carries no penalty if a hospital refuses.  It carries no penalty if the estimate is off by 100 percent.  The hospital can say any old silly and comply with the law.  It's completely toothless.

             But beyond that, it seems to me that the conservative theme would be not heaping more regulations on the medical community, but getting the government out of the medical community.  How about letting anyone who wants to start a hospital do so, without a "certificate of need?"  How about letting someone who wants to start a hospital that discriminates against people start one?  If it's their business and their money, if they want to serve only Hindu Vietnamese bald people, what right do I, you, or the government have of forcing them to serve others?

             As I sat there and listened, I became painfully aware of just how ubiquitous "government oversight" is in our culture now.  You can scarcely spit or pee without a license and some bureaucrat  telling you how to do it, where to do it, when to do it, and how much to do.

             Isn't it interesting that Franklin Roosevelt's wartime (WWII) government interventions in wages and salaries forced employers to offer health insurance instead.  If they couldn't adjust pay scales, they had to offer something to reward excellence, so they picked health insurance.

             When people quit being responsible for their own health care, the government penetrated farther and then when folks don't like what they have, rather than extricating the government from health care, folks want more.  This is Einstein's definition of insanity:  doing the same thing and hoping for different results.

             If the problem is the government, then reduce its involvement; don't give it additional responsibility.  I would tell people upset about hospitals not giving service estimates:  "go to one who will, use social media to expose your interactions, write letters to the editor, agitate, and when enough people begin demanding it, some will offer it.  Those will get more business and the opaque ones will dry up."

             Oh, that's right, hospitals aren't businesses.  Or are they?  See how convoluted things get when you have hybrid public-private entities?  A public institution does not have to cotton to the marketplace; it's above clients.  So everyone can finger point, in a big circle, and nobody needs to do anything.  If I were running for office, I would campaign hard to eliminate government involvement in health care, completely, finally, and comprehensively.  My comprehensive health care would be you're in charge of your wellness and nobody is going to use the government's gun to extract money from a neighbor for your health care.  While that has its own imperfections, the net imperfections are far fewer than the ones currently foisted upon us by a government monopoly.

             Government health care makes no differentiation between folks who eat well and those who don't.  Folks who exercise or those who don't.  Folks who get all the infant vaccines and those who don't.  Folks who smoke and those who don't.  Folks who use drugs and those who don't.  Folks who follow the Kardashians and those who don't.  Folks who gamble at Las Vegas and those who don't.  Folks who eat at McDonald's and those who don't.  I'm offended that folks who engage risky behavior get to use societal violence at the end of a gun to extract my wealth to pay for their wellness.  It's just not fair.

             Do you think I should pay for your surgery?  If so, what else do you want to use violence (government gun) to make me pay for?

AMAZON'S FIRES

            If you've been watching the news at all lately, you're aware of the world wide interest in Brazil's Amazonian fires.  The new president is being blamed for not enforcing regulations but the biggest direct culprits are allegedly cattle farmers and logging companies.

            I never assume I'm getting accurate information on these things so I won't dip into the who said she said aspects.  What I know is that if indeed the culprit is cattle and logging, neither of those is necessary from that region.

             While I understand the plight of the impoverished in the region and their desire to exploit their resources for economic gain, that is symptomatic of a much broader socio-cultural issue.  The fact that these poor folks see this as their only alternative for remuneration is a failure much broader than harvesting timber and cattle.  And I won't even start on the big companies.

             What I want to bring to the discussion is how the failure of rich countries to properly steward their resources creates undo pressure on non-rich societies to further exploit theirs.  Right now, the U.S. spends some $5 billion a year fighting wildfires.  That does not count the loss of property and life in these fires.

             Both grazing and strategic timber harvesting would stop or greatly abate this devastation.  While our rich country elitists ban grazing that could prune biomass and reduce fire hazards, companies offer poor folks in the Amazon a market for their wood.  That is wood that could come from America's forests and cattle that could come from ecologically-enhancive grazing on both public and private lands.

             Those of you who have attended a Polyface Lunatic Tour know that one of my favorite stops, what I call "the heart and soul of the farm," is the carbon shed.  I explain the truly integrated carbon economy, using open land and forest land symbiotically to grow soil and enhance manure.  In that discussion, I point out that all of our North American forests are weedy.  They're overgrown, over-dead, over-junked with crooked and diseased trees.  Especially wilderness areas.

             Pre-European occupation, they were thinned by strategic fires.  Today, we have chippers and chain saws to be more precise and offer better management than just fire.  As a rich country, we now fail to steward our own resources and foist the shortfall onto those less able to make good choices.  That is a moral ecological outrage.  If you don't like the fires in the Amazon, look in the American mirror.

             Another stop on these farm tours, of course, is the salad bar beef.  I point out that with our mob stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization, we're beating the county average productivity on grasslands by about 400 percent.  Folks, we don't need the Amazon to grow nutrient-dense beef.  We can double the world's production of herbivores without cutting a single Amazon tree simply by using our technology (electric fence, plastic pipe, shademobiles) to increase our management.

             Here at Polyface, we get that additional production not by planting seeds, not by buying chemical fertilizers, and not by using pesticides and herbicides; we get it by moving the cattle every day to a different paddock.  This rests most of the farm all the time, allowing the forages to go through their juvenile growth spurt before being pruned again.  It's not rocket science.

             In all their hand wringing and condemnation toward the folks destroying the Brazilian Amazon, why don't these finger-pointers demand that American cattle farmers move their cows every day?  Why don't they demand that we graze overgrown areas in California?  Why don't they demand that we fire up the chain saws and harvest declining, mature trees for both lumber and chipping (compost)? 

             The easiest thing in the world is to point fingers and assign blame.  The hardest thing is to accept responsibility, appreciate our culpability, and make internal changes.  That's acting like an adult instead of a child.

             Do you agree with Al Gore that the chainsaw is the worst invention ever?

 Remember:  if you like these posts and you'd like others to see my perspective, thank you for sending them to your friends.

WELLNESS SUMMIT--A WEEK AWAY

            This will be a final mention of the upcoming Wellness Summit we're hosting at Polyface next Saturday, September 14.    We still have some room for more folks but already have plenty for a meaningful day.

             The goal is to love on the alternative health community.  Around the margins of health care are thousands of practitioners who don't embrace current medical orthodoxy.  These are folks who heal diabetes with diet.  They heal pain with acupuncture and massage.  They use herbs instead of heavy drugs.  They dare to suggest alternatives to opiods.

             Too often, the practitioners who walk to the beat of a different drummer, who take the road less traveled, feel ostracized and alone.  Here at Polyface, we recognize the close connection between unorthodox farming and unorthodox  medical care.  To not use chemical fertilizers is an ideological cousin to not using drugs for health.

             We felt like these folks needed a haven, a place to gather and be affirmed, encouraged and re-energized to keep going.  When you're a maverick, it's lonely out there.  And when you hear threats about your practices, get called names like quacks, it's demoralizing and depressing. 


            The morning will be a farm tour hay ride and the afternoon will be a facilitated discussion, emceed by Dr. Zach Bush.  Bush probably leads the accredited medical community right now in connecting the dots between the soil and the human micro-biome. 

             Although it's open to anybody, we're targeting wellness practitioners and their families.  You can register and see more information on the Polyface website… http://www.polyfacefarms.com/product/wellness/?fbclid=IwAR2PybwbqfMfrpw1HtZDt1zzG4Pgt7FQRiW-La35p_NQysRfTNNzp_ZU8bI

             I hope to see you here.  Thank you.