Patrick Timpone: […] we may talk about the bees with Joel Salatin. He is on the line. Just quite a prolific guy, and he is quite a farmer. He’s got rabbits, he’s got pigs, he’s got cows, he’s got poultry, grass-fed, sustainable. On his website he says, I like this, I read it this morning, family owned, multigenerational , pasture based, beyond organic farm in ShenandoahValley, Virginia, polyfacefarms.com. Mr. Salatin, good morning.
Joel Salatin: Good morning.
Patrick Timpone: How are things in the Shenandoa Valley?
Joel Salatin: Well, if you’ve been watching the national news we are in one of those states where we had the “derecho”, which is a high, sustained, swirling, many tornado wind, and we’ve had quite a week of it, but we are OK.
Patrick Timpone: You didn’t get hit badly with, how do they call these things? “derecho”, “diricho”.
Joel Salatin: Yeah, well I’ve heard “derecho” but it might be “direcho” I don’t know.
Patrick Timpone: Yeah, I think it comes from the Spanish word, it means “straight ahead”, “derecho”.
Joel Salatin: Well I can tell you, we right here, at our particular area, I think we got the worse of it, we lost maybe a thousand chickens, and some outdoor poultries, we had a couple eggmobiles flip over, and of course tons and tons of trees down, I’ve been out all morning cutting down more trees off of boundary fences, we’ve got neighbors cows coming on us cause of course we are the only ones with good grass. [laughs] So whenever a fence goes down the neighbors cows come to us. [laughs]
Patrick Timpone: You lost a thousand chickens? If I lost a thousand chickens I would be on Prozac, just kidding. How do you deal with that as a farmer? That’s just amazing to me.
Joel Salatin: Well, you just move on. You know, once they are composted and you’re not looking at them anymore it kind of, you know, goes into the past.
Patrick Timpone: My goodness. How many chickens did you start with before the storm.
Joel Salatin: Oh well, on the farm here we probably have five thousand, so.
Patrick Timpone: Five thousand chickens?
Joel Salatin: Yeah, in various stages of production, all the way from almost ready to process all the way down to chicks.
Patrick Timpone: My goodness, so you must have a lot of land to deal with that.
Joel Salatin: Well, we have a hundred acres here, of pasture, and then of course we rent another eight places around, and the other places. You know it’s interesting, the different places had different losses. Here we had, our eggmobiles were [indistinguishable], these are the portable hen houses on wheels, that follow the cows, the chicken scratch the cow patties and eat the fly larva, as biological pasture sanitizers, but one of the farms has four and lost two, and one has two and both of them tipped over on their side, but the chickens were OK. So you know, it is really fickle, just depends on which side of the hill you are on, but anyway, we are going to be OK. We are catching up, it’ll take us a little while to actually get completely caught up, but we are going OK. Fortunately we didn’t lose power, one of our biggest issues during it all of course we’re hot, we’re 98 degrees, we’re in this unbelievable heat wave, and the biggest issue was keeping all the animals watered. Here at our farm, you know, thirty years ago we put in a gravity water system, we built a couple of ponds up in the mountains and we have 5 miles of water lines down from the mountain, from these ponds, and our water never even knew there was a power outage.
Patrick Timpone: So you build ponds out in the mountain, and gather rain water and such, and then you gravity feed it down to your farm, that’s brilliant.
Joel Salatin: We think so, it doesn’t take any electricity, and it really is the most forgiving way to handle water, so many farmers don’t realize, not only how important water is but how much we can actually manipulate and manage water in a good way. I look around and so many times we have the notion in our culture that the best ecology would be if all the humans would just leave. I call that “ecology by abandonment”. So I look at myself and say, OK, why do I have this big brain, and opposing thumbs and all this ability above the animals? And I think the reason is so that we can bring our creativity and innovation to massage this ecological womb we are nested in. And one of the ways we can do it is just like a masseuse would, you know, some times when they put their finger on your sore spot it hurts a little bit but generally it is that putting the finger on that painful spot that actually is what gets you better. And so going up into these ravines in the mountain and building ponds to catch winter run offs , that’s a flood problem downstream, so that it can be metered out through the summer time, is one of the most aggressive land healing things that we can do, and farmers should be doing it, you know, routinely.
Patrick Timpone: We are talking to Joel Salatin, his website is polyfacefarms.com, he’s got lots of books, including “Folks, This Ain’t Normal”, “Pasture Poultry Profits”, “Family Friendly Farming” , “Everything I Want to do is Illegal”, “Holy Cows and Hog Heaven”, “The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer”, “Salad Bar Beef” and “You Can Farm”. How do you have time to write if you are a farmer. You must stay up late!
Joel Salatin: I do it in the winter time. I don’t write this time of year, but in December, when the season is over, and things have slowed down, then I’ll carve out a couple or three weeks and crank out something that I have been thinking about for a long time. I wrap up stuff, and have little files with projects that I have been working on, and you know, I add to that stack of stuff as it goes and then when I write the book I pull out that bunch of stuff I’ve been collecting for it and bang it out in three or four weeks.
Patrick Timpone: So this idea, I run on your website, and one of our past guests, Harvey Ussery, he was on the show, and he kind of got me all fired up to get some chickens, and we have about 15 chickens that are 2 months old and they’re just the coolest thing, I just love having them around. First time ever this lifetime that I’ve had chickens Joel. But anyway, Harvey said something in the book that you mention on your website, that if you smell poop around, then something is not right. So I got to wonder, you have thousands of animals pooping, constantly, and your place doesn’t smell. That’s amazing.
Joel Salatin: Yeah, and the reason is because, if they are outside, we move them all the time, so they are not collecting, building up the manure in one spot, so they are moved everyday, and if they happen to be inside, in the winter or if there is a blizzard, they are bedded up with what I call a carbonaceous diaper, that can be wood, straw, hay, sawdust, but a deep carbonaceous bedding pack, which keeps a proper carbon nitrogen ratio in the bedding so that all those volatile nutrients that you are smelling when you smell manure, are actually absorbed by the carbon in the diaper. And those are the two ways to manage the manure so that it is actually a blessing and not a curse.
Patrick Timpone: So Harvey taught us that and I am doing it here, and I can’t believe it. I have no idea what I am doing, and it works. You can’t smell anything, and I am using wood chips and hay, oak leaves, and wood shavings, kind of thing, and I have it about a foot and a half deep in the chicken coop, and I don’t believe it. And Harvey said, if you smell just a little bit of ammonia, just put some more carbon, so that’s essentially what you do around your farm?
Joel Salatin: Yeah, that’s exactly right.
Patrick Timpone: You are composting all the time.
Joel Salatin: Yeah, exactly, that’s what drives this place you know, decomposition. The sun grows biomass, vegetation, which then decomposes and feeds the soil, and the soil then grows the vegetation, and it is all one big cycle. And part of our problems today, in what I call segregated mechanical agriculture, is that we have broken apart this historic cycle and are trying to separate them, and assuming that fossil fuels are going to make up all the differences, and that’s probably not the case.
Patrick Timpone: So tell us how you use the cow manure to feed the chickens.
Joel Salatin: Well, of course the cows are pooping, you know, a lot [laughs]. Yeah, actually a cow drops 50 pounds of material a day. Now, a lot of that is urine, of course, but anyway, it’s substantial, yeah. And that manure of course is attractive to pathogens and flies, and things like that, and so what we do is, of course, the flies are going to lay their eggs in it, and then in a couple of days they are going to hatch out in a little larva, maggots, but you know, larva is a much nicer word. And just like the [indistinguishable] on the rhino’s nose, and all the birds that follow the bison in the Serengeti and buffalo in Botswana, all these types of birds, peck through the dung, so we follow the cows with our eggmobiles, and the chickens then spread out in search of these cow patties. And boy let me tell you, they learn, they run to those cow patties in the pasture like you and I run to a bowl of ice cream, cause they learn real quick which ones they’re looking for. And they just scratch the little crusty top off and inside that pie will be, oh goodness, a tablespoon or two of larva, and boy just as fast as they can peck, a chicken can peck pretty fast, they can just peck peck peck those things out of there. And then as they scratch it open, to reveal, to expose the larva, so they can eat them, they spread the cow pats in a much wider area, so that it actually acts as a fertilizer spreader for the cows, so that the dung then, instead of occupying a tiny little ten square inches of surface area, occupies you know, maybe fifty, and so they act as a fertilizer spreader as well.
Patrick Timpone: So then you don’t have flies, because they are eating the larva?
Joel Salatin: Yes, well, there are flies, but they are minimum. We are not in a scorched earth eradication policy here, but the idea is to maintain some sort of a balance. I mean, even deer, you know, you go up to a deer lounging in the woods, up in the wild, and they’ll have five or six flies on, this is certainly part of the whole cycle. So it’s not like we are trying to eradicate and eliminate, we are just trying to come to a comfortable balance, and that’s what the chickens do.
Patrick Timpone: Then, are they eating other stuff when they are around, or they just do the larva thing?
Joel Salatin: Well, the main thing is that they are eating larva, of course the other thing that they’re eating is that, since they are following the cows right after they graze, now there are newly exposed grass hoppers and crickets and all sorts of bugs, and of course they are eating those as well. And then another thing that’s happening that you don’t see is that, as they scratch those cow pats into the soil, the sun actually kills a lot of the little microscopic pathogens, whether they’d be little parasites, or even, you know, infectious type pathogens, the sun is a great sanitizer, and so by spreading that cow pat out, it exposes it to the air, and to the sun, so there is an additional sanitation going on.
Patrick Timpone: So what does this do for, what kind of quality of the egg do you get from the chickens eating all these guys.
Joel Salatin: Oh yeah, the eggs are dark orange, real rich yolks. Mother Earth News magazine, a couple of years ago commissioned a two year study, we did it for two years, from twelve pasture poultry farms around the country. We sent our eggs off to a lab in, I think it was Oregon, and had them nutritionally tested, compared to the USDA nutrition label on eggs, and the differences were just outstanding. We are not talking just about a 10-20%, we are talking about, I remember one, it was folate, that’s a real important nutrient for pregnant women, and the USDA egg I think it’s 29 micrograms per egg and ours was 1037 micrograms per egg. These differences are just incredible. I think if Americans would really pay attention to the source of their food and to get the stuff that is really nutrient dense, probably we could reduce a lot of supplements, the pill supplementation use.
Patrick Timpone: So if you are eating eggs, I guess you can spend the money in getting the worms and you wouldn’t have to buy the folic acid, kind of thing. [laughs] So, is it the bugs, Joel? the bugs and the worms that really do it for the egg, more than anything else?
Joel Salatin: Well, a lot of it is grass too, I mean, it is the whole system, it’s certainly bugs, worms, the exercise. You realize that 99% of the egg laying hens in this country are in big confinement animal feeding operations, you know, 50 000 birds in a house the size of a football field, most of them in wire cages, put in there 9 birds per a 16 by 22 inch called the battery cage. 9 birds don’t even have the room for them to all sit down at one time, and that kind of environment, those birds are breathing in fecal particulate, there’s all sorts of dust in the air, there’s feathers, and manure, and fecal particulate, and they are simply breathing that in, all the time. And it actually abrades like sand paper the very tender mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and creates lesions, which then create a direct interface for the fecal particulate in the air, and their blood stream. That breaks the bird’s normal immunological barrier to direct interplay between their inner workings and their outer workings. We have that kind of thing too, and so all these things, the bugs, the worms, the exercise, the fresh air, the sunshine, the green grass, all these things work together. I don’t know of any studies that have been done where they gave the bird a perfect environment with no bugs, or a perfect environment with bugs but no grass, or you know what I’m saying? It would be really hard to create such an experiment. But, you know, when you add all the things together, what you have is a really nutrient dense egg, including using a non hybrid bird you know. We use a bird which lays about 20 or 30 eggs a year less, fewer than the commercial hybrid, but that’s just enough fewer eggs, so that she is not cannibalizing her own body skeletal structure to keep up with the calcium requirements of this prolific egg production.
Patrick Timpone: Is there GMO and heritage birds as well as seeds and stuff? I mean, same kind of principle?
Joel Salatin: OK, hybrids are not GMO. You know, GMOs are where you mix species, so that you are forcing a breeding where, in my layman’s vernacular, I call it where the sexual plumbing doesn’t match. In hybridization, like Mendel’s peas, you’re simply crossing the same species, but different breed types, like in cows maybe a Holstein and a Hereford, or an Angus and a Hereford, or a Holstein and a Guernsey, these are simply breeds, but their sexual plumbing matches up, and that is hybridization.
Patrick Timpone: So the difference is like a heritage seed and a Burpee something that’s who knows what.
Joel Salatin: Yeah, then you go on back, and you go into heritage or purebred, purebred would be something that is not hybridized, where you haven’t even crossed strains or breeds of corn or beans, peas, or whatever, you are breeding the same breed on its own. You know, a Hereford on a Hereford on a Hereford, or golden bantam corn on golden bantam corn, not golden bantam corn or silver queen. And so, the genetic modified organism movement has created a third thing, it used to be that we had just pure-bred stuff and hybridized stuff, now we have purebred, hybridized and GMO. So there’s a third kind of classification here, that I am sure there is a lot of people that are confused about.
Patrick Timpone: Here is an email, Arena, she says “I live outside of Sacramento, on three acres, have about 20 birds, and all I have is city water at my disposal, to give them to drink, what does Joel suggest”.
Joel Salatin: Well, city water, is the city water terrible?
Patrick Timpone: I am just assuming she would be thinking in terms of chlorine, fluoride, and all the rest of stuff.
Joel Salatin: Well, couple things. One is, twenty birds are not that many, if you had a couple of cisterns off a roof, you could collect water. But twenty birds are only going to drink, what, no more than half a gallon a day.
Patrick Timpone: You could purify the water some way, or get rain water off the roof.
Joel Salatin: Yeah, you could get rain water, or obviously you could run it through a purifier. Another thing, when push comes to shove, would be that grass is nature’s number one detoxicant, and that’s why you go to the health food store and get chlorophyl tablets. And so, don’t throw out the baby with the bath tub, in other words, don’t not have chickens because you may have to use city water. Depend on the grass, make sure they are moving all the time, and getting some green material, and that will do a lot towards detoxifying any kind of situation you might have.
Patrick Timpone: Kind of like with people, eat your salad, move a little bit. Keep the lymph system going on.
Joel Salatin: Exactly!
Patrick Timpone: Here is an email from Ron in Georgia, “I just want to personally thank Joel for his contributions in ensuring that real food is available for those who want it. I am lucky enough to acquire all my meat from a farmer who visited Joel’s farm and subsequently acquired Joel’s farming model, another example that one man can make a huge difference, and so many thanks to you”.
Joel Salatin: Thank you, that’s very kind.
Patrick Timpone: You have a lot of people that visits your farm every year.
Joel Salatin: Yes we do, we are kind of the old hag in the race you know, and we’ve been out there a long time and it’s quite an emotional change for us to kind of be the ugly one for a long, long time and wake up one morning and suddenly you are cool, you know? Yeah, it is the Cinderella story. So we are really just raveling right now in this new national awareness about food, about nutrition, about just whole wellness, you know, the whole idea that if I am sick I must be pharmaceutically deprived you know, that’s not the approach to wellness that more and more of us are taking. We are starting to realize that ultimately it is up to our own responsibility, and I just get wonderful stories all the time with people who have come to better eating and better dietary food purchases through illness. It is too bad that illness has to be the wake up call, you know, everybody comes on their own terms, and comes with their own epiphany.
Patrick Timpone: I don’t know Joel, for what it’s worth I’ve had this health cane for about 30 years, and I have certainly taken nutrients and things over the years and I still do, but I still look at them as tools and crutches, cause I really believe that at the end of the day we can figure out how to get highly nutritious food and wouldn’t have to take much of anything extra, maybe just some herbs.
Joel Salatin: Yes, I couldn’t agree with you more. I take a couple of supplements too. The fact is that we haven’t gotten to where we are overnight and we won’t get out of it overnight, and there are absolutely some high tech and certain potent, super things to help to do the transition, it’s wonderful, whether those are juicers, or whatever.
Patrick Timpone: If you don’t mind my asking, you must have thousands of eggs. Where do you sell them all, are you able to market and let people know the kind of quality that you have?
Joel Salatin: Well, we have kind of three legs of our marketing stool if you will. One leg is here at the farm, we have a farm store, and we sell a lot here at the farm. People come, some from nearby, some come from way way far away. Even some come once a year and stock up of everything. And then we service about 50 restaurants in the area, including in the edge of Washington D. C., and then finally work with four thousand families in what we call the metropolitan areas, Richmond, and up and down D.C., the southern Maryland area, within four hours, that’s how far we will go. So four thousand families, what we call metropolitan buying clubs, they’re just drop points, there is no membership fee, if you buy you are in, if you don’t buy you are out. And so between the buying clubs, the families that we service and the restaurants, and the on farm, the eggs go. As far as how do you market, well, the eggs just market themselves, you know, the quality, the dark, they’ve got texture, they’ve got color, the yolk stands up high, the albumin, the white, is very viscous, which indicates structure. So the eggs are probably one of the most noticeable things, because you don’t have to cook it to tell, you don’t have to do anything, you just crack it open and you can see it.
Patrick Timpone: You can see it, yeah. So do you do an equal amount of vegetable production, equal to the meat, the pigs and rabbits.
Joel Salatin: No, not at all.
Patrick Timpone: So you are much more into the real denser foods.
Joel Salatin: We are, we’ve been a pastured based, animal based situation for a long time, and we have a huge garden for ourselves, and with our interns, our stuff and everything, we do eat a lot of vegetables, and produce, we have berries, we have apple trees, and mulberries, and we pick wild blackberries, and they’re just coming in, this is their season right now. It would help if we get some rain in the next couple of days to help plump them up, if it’s real real dry then the wild blackberries are kind of small and anemic. If you get a nice heavy rain as they begin to ripe, it just gives them a real nice shot. Of course the wild ones are never as plump and big as the domestic ones and there is a big difference in weather from season to season. So, we do scavenge, we make our own apple sauce, and we do a lot of our own produce.
Patrick Timpone: The argument that it takes too much of the natural resources, water etcetera, for beef, and just doesn’t make sense, has been made I guess since vegetarians have been on the planet, right? So, how do you respond to that, talk a little bit about that whole idea. You know, people say, it just takes too much space, and destroys the land, and too much water, just grow wheat or something and you´ll be a lot better off than raising a cow.
Joel Salatin: Right, well, it’s becoming such a common argument, I do answer this a lot, it certainly isn’t a unique question. So the deal is, first of all you have to understand that the data, the database, that has been used in things like the UN’s report, the long shadow, and things like that, the data points that are being used are assuming an herbivorous, a domestic herbivore, that’s of course lamb, cattle, yaks, alpacas, llamas, whatever, but it’s assuming that the domestic herbivore is eating a) grain, and b) in a confinement animal feeding operation towards the end of its existence, those two assumptions. Now, as soon as you, and I guess the third assumption would be that they’re not being managed in their grazing, they are basically running willy-nilly. And you take those three assumptions, and from those, all the negatives occur. Now, at the start of this discussion, I always say, OK, I repent in sackcloth and ashes for all the environmental devastation that herbivores have done throughout history, both domestic and wild. But for the domestic ones is not the herbivores fault, it is the managers fault, so, how do we manage them so that they fill their ecological niche, which is, their ecological niche is, you know, there is no environment in the world that is herbivore-less. Every single environment in the world has an herbivore, so what is the purpose? The purpose is the herbivore is the pruner to restart the juvenile rapid metabolic growth point of forages, and those forages include everything from, you know, weeds to herbs to grasses, to legumes, to even shrubs and things like that. And so just like an orchardist would prune an orchard, or a viticulturist would prune a vineyard, to stimulate vibrant, aggressive growth, so nature uses the herbivore to prune these, the herbaceous plants, so that they don’t go into senescence, what I call the nursing home age, so they actually restart their fast biomass accumulation cycle. So that the herbaceous material, the vegetation material, is not either going into dormancy, and not collecting solar energy. You want that plant to be growing rapidly, accumulating biomass, which can then in turn decompose and feed the soil fertility cycle. So that’s the niche that the animals play. On our farm we are looking at nature and say, how does nature do this?, you know, without damage, so that it actually enhances, and builds soil. And the way nature does it is with movement, with the predators who move the herbivores, and they keep moving them onto fresh ground all the time, and then there’s a long rest period before those animals come back to that area, and that rest period is long enough for the forage to achieve what we call energy equilibrium, where it has accumulated the amount of energy that was spent in sending forth the new shoots after it was previously grazed. And by doing that, we can double, triple and quadruple the amount of biomass that we produce per acre, and instead of soil depletion, and carbon loss, we actually sequester carbon, build soil, and you know, all the negatives that the grain based concentrated animal feeding operations feedlots and willy-nilly grazing, all that data and those assumptions become completely inappropriate, and we actually can use the herbivores in their historically normal niche, which is as a mass pruner to maintain this chlorophyllic, photosynthetic biomass accumulation cycle and keep it going at a good clip.
Patrick Timpone: So it’s using evolutionary intelligence of man being creative, the opposing thumbs kind of brain thing, to do it properly. And not just putting them out there and say OK you cows just eat whatever you want, cause they’ll probably screw it up.
Joel Salatin: That’s right, well, and the beauty is that for the first time in human civilization, in the last forty or fifty years, we now have the technology through electric fencing, very very simple, I mean, all the electric fencing for a 200 acre farm can go in a pick up truck, you know? So it’s a high tech, space age, information dense, but low mass material, that we can now for the first time in human civilization, very cheaply and very easily, manipulate, and I am using that in a very respectful, honoring way, we can manipulate that massage across the landscape in a way that’s never been possible before, the closest that anybody ever got to it before was the nomadic cultures, but the problem with the nomadic cultures was that typically they overgraze because of the tragedy of the commons, that was one of the biggest issues.
Patrick Timpone: So this electric fencing is affordable, kind of simple thing, it’s tied into some kind of battery, and it keeps the animals where you want them?
Joel Salatin: Yeah, it is as simple as little filaments running through a polyethylene tape, or what we use here is a special malleable aluminum alloy that’s highly conductive and it’s light as a feather and you can make it permanent, you can make it portable, it never rusts, it’s highly conductive, and you use a less than one amp energizer, using computer microchips offers 10 thousand volts of pain. In other words, it doesn’t hurt you but it is painful. In other words it doesn’t kill you, amps are what kill you, volts don’t kill you. And so the point is that it is extremely dependable and it runs on a little solar charger or on a deep cycle battery for a month, and you can energize miles of fence at one time, and you can move these animals everyday so we call electric fence our steering wheel, our accelerator and brake, on that four legged portable sauerkraut vat that we call the cow.
Patrick Timpone: [laughs] four legged sauerkraut vat.
Joel Salatin: Yes, four legged sauerkraut vat, she is basically a fermentation tank, that cow is taking in carbohydrates, taking in vegetative material, into an anaerobic environment in her rumen and using her enzymes just like making kimchi or sauerkraut and fermenting internally, and converting that cellulitic structure into meat and milk that we can then eat. There is a reason why there were no vegetarian antique cultures, the reason that all the historic antique diets center around seafood or herbivores was because those were the two nutrient dense foods that did not require tillage. Not until very very recent times has tillage become cheap with fossil fuels, petroleum, and then chemical fertilizers have made the fertility cheap seemingly, but when you say grow wheat instead the fact is that the amount of petroleum and energy required to grow the nutrients in wheat is way way more than that required to grow it in beef or dairy as long as the beef and dairy are manipulated like I’m suggesting, with a daily move, on perennials instead of annuals, and on small paddocks every day, moved around, rather than a stationary, as long as it is all portable. So it’s got to be portable, it’s got to be perennial, and I don’t know what the other one is, I got to think of a p real fast, but you get the picture. And as long as it mimics the way the wolves and the buffalo danced on the American plains, and built the great deep soils of Illinois and Iowa, as long as those patterns are adhered to, the moving, mowing and mobbing patterns of nature, then suddenly, all the data points are inappropriate and we actually have a land healing system rather than a land debilitating system. And it takes way less energy per nutrient density than any kind of tillage based or annual based agriculture.
Patrick Timpone: So what happens when cows eat corn? Never mind soy, never mind GMO, let´s just say, even if it is organic, you are gonna get the best corn you’ve got and best soy we’ve got baby, and we are going to give it to the cows.
Joel Salatin: Well, what happens is, remember what I said that the cow is a portable sauerkraut vat, and what happens is that it changes, it acidifies the rumen. The rumen is supposed to be fairly basic, or neutral pH, and what it does is that it’s much hotter without the cellulose. It would be like you and I eating a diet of Snickers candy bars for example, it gives you this sugar high, it gives you this unbelievable metabolism, you gain weight, but it’s not healthy. And so that’s what it is for the cow, and actually the liver swells with toxicity, they do gain weight, but it’s a very shorten lived thing. In fact, if they were not butchered when they are, if they were kept on those rations, in another couple of months most of them would die.
Patrick Timpone: Really? They would die? Die of what?
Joel Salatin: Yeah, of abscessed livers, acidosis. What happens is, it starts an area of acidosis, and it is manifested in lots of different ways. For example, if you take the stomach of a cow and you open it up, it looks like a extra turf, with all the little ciliae, in the stomach lining. If you take one out of a feedlot, all the ciliae are gone, it looks like a soccer ball. It’s smooth, there’s no antenna. I don’t want to get esoteric with you but all of these very tender interfaces are just sheared off, and so what happens is that the acidosis situation and that funny protein, funny abnormal nutrition completely changes the entire polyunsaturated fat profile, the conjugated linoleic acid, changes the riboflavin, the omega, all the B vitamins, riboflavin is one of those, and that meat that you eat or milk that you drink is completely nutrient deficient, and the nutrient profile is completely abhorrent, compared to an animal that’s eating the more traditional diet.
Patrick Timpone: Is it that different?
Joel Salatin: Oh it’s amazing, just riboflavin, 300%. Riboflavin is one of the nerve vitamins that calms you down, and it can help with things like some of the school shootings and the road rage, and other things that we are seeing in our culture are partially due to, you know, the short fused, is created because people are not getting enough riboflavin, which they used to get in grass finished meat and dairy, and now it´s not there because the cows are not eating salads, they’re eating potato chips, or eating hot starch.
Patrick Timpone: And how much of the beef in the United States would be raised on grain rather than grass? What would you guess?
Joel Salatin: Well, I would say that, remember, all beef is raised on grass up until weening, and much of it even beyond that. It’s in that last part, 100 day grain cycle, that undoes everything up to that point.
Patrick Timpone: That’s when they really fatten them up.
Joel Salatin: That’s when they go to the feedlot.
Patrick Timpone: But then you go to places Joel and sometimes they say these are grass fed but grain finished, and I go, oh, OK.
Joel Salatin: No, that’s called clever speak, it’s a nice way to say it, and a bad way would be it is charlatanism, but it only takes 14 days of grain feeding to chase all the CLA out.
Patrick Timpone: 14 days of grain feeding to take all the CLA out of the meat?
Joel Salatin: Yeah, that’s all it takes. And of course, Cornell years ago did studies where they were dealing with E. Coli outbreaks, and what they found was that if they just put the cows on hay or roughage for 14 days prior to slaughter that it would bring that rumen back into balance and eliminate all toxic E. Coli. What happens is E. Coli, which is one of the digestive bacteria, it can’t survive in an acidic environment, because the rumen is not an acidic environment, our digestive system is much more acidic. So typically, if you happened to ingest a little bit of manure or something, you know, years ago, it would never hurt you because your acidic digestive system would kill the E. Coli. Today what we have is mutated, acid-loving, acid-tolerant E. Coli because of the acidulated rumen of the animal, of the herbivore. So now instead of us killing it, it kills us. And Cornell showed that just 14 days of hay feeding before slaughtering would virtually eliminate the entire E. Coli problem in the whole country. And you know, you would think that the industry would stand up and say, oh well, if that’s how easy it is we will start a new protocol. But of course instead the industry poo-pooed it and said it wasn’t double-blind, and you know blah, blah, because the industry is driven by grain. And so they don’t want to miss one day of grain going down the gull of that cow, because of course our farm bill programs subsidizes grain production and doesn’t subsidize hay or grass. There is a whole skewed situation in the culture that is prejudicial toward an improper feeding type.
Patrick Timpone: And the USDA is to this day giving money to plant and not to plant mostly GMO corn and soy.
Joel Salatin: Well, they don’t care whether is GMO or not.
Patrick Timpone: But it is though, isn’t it?
Joel Salatin: Most of it is. The point is though that the six crops that our tax payers subsidize in this country are all annuals, non of them is a perennial, non of them build soil, they all deplete soil and they all are annuals and require tillage and stuff to plant.
Patrick Timpone: And those six are?
Joel Salatin: Cotton, sugar cane, corn, wheat, rice and soy beans. There you go.
Patrick Timpone: Boy rice requires a lot of water too, God love them, as good as brown rice is for some, it’s a challenge, we are having some real things here in Texas, they are just cutting off the water of the rice farmers down south Texas, men, no more water for you.
Joel Salatin: Oh wow, I wonder when they are going to cut the water of the golf courses.
Patrick Timpone: Well, come on [laughs]. I don’t think that’s going to happen. Can you stay a few more minutes or do you have to go farm?
Joel Salatin: I can stay a few more minutes.
Patrick Timpone: OK, cause I’ve got so many questions and calls, and if I even mention the GMO thing, I know it’s a black hole, cause I wanted to talk about rabbits a little bit, but I gotta ask you, we had Don Huber on, a professor, you may know him.
Joel Salatin: Yes, yes, absolutely.
Patrick Timpone: For two hours and he told us tales of his work and it’s pretty well expert on micro biology ecology, and just what happens to our guts when we eat meat from GMO corn and messing with the terrain, it’s not pretty Joel Salatin.
Joel Salatin: No, you know we have this idea, this mechanical view of Nature, in our culture, it’s kind of an extension of the greco-roman, western reductionist, linear, compartmentalized, fragmentized, individualized, parts-oriented, segregated, disconnected kind of thinking. [laughs]
Patrick Timpone: Can you say that again?
Joel Salatin: I don’t know if I can do it in the exact order but I’ll get most of them. The thing is, our culture doesn’t ask how to make a happy pig, or how to make a happy tomato, it simply asks how can we grow it faster, fatter, bigger and cheaper, those are the only questions that matter. And when you simply ask those kind of, what I call, “unsacred” questions, it moves you into a paradigm and then the paradigm manifests itself into a production model that actually circumvents or cuts corners, to things that we can’t tell or natural patterns and even things that we don’t know why they are important yet. And you know, lots of times, our discovery of the shortcuts, I call it nature’s profit and loss statement, nature’s P&L statement, it took us 14 years as a civilization to connect the dots on DDT and infertile frogs and three legged salamanders, it took us 14 years. And you know, we are at the 15th year now of GMOs, and last year which was the 14th year, there were 76 studies I think, worldwide, impugning not only the empirical evidence, the promises of GMOs, that they are going to do this and the other, but also the kind of work that Don Huber has done, where it is condemning of the technology itself. Another good example is mad cow. You know, for 30 years the US duh, I call them US duh [laughs], took farmers like me to steak dinners and treated us to Monsanto-supported seminars, to teach us this new scientific, progressive way of feeding cows, you know, dead cows. And most of us jump on the bandwagon, we want to grow faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper. And our family, we did not go that route, not because we hated the US duh, or hated science, or were anti-progressive, we didn’t go to it because we looked the world over and did not find a pattern where herbivores eat carrion, it doesn’t exist.
Patrick Timpone: Eat what?
Joel Salatin: Carrion is dead flesh, herbivores eat forage, they don’t even kill things. We raise here thousands of cows in our lifetime, and I haven’t even seen a cow kill a mouse. You know, if a mouse happens to run across, they just look at it, you never see a cow even try to stump on it, or try to bite it, never, not even a mouse. So here we were, thirty years until that finally caught up and there was this big collective “oops, maybe we shouldn’t have done that”. So there is a lag time in some of these things, and we have to be very careful in what we innovate, and what we use our cleverness for, in case we conceive things, innovate things that we can’t physically, spiritually, morally or ethically metabolize.
Patrick Timpone: I am scratching my head thinking, well, cause I really believe and understand karma, I wonder how the cows got themselves in a position of getting themselves eaten if they’ve never eaten anything? It´s an interesting question. [laughs] I just threw that out there, Joel. Maybe it is their karma just to be eaten because they are giving their lives for us and some people eat meat I guess.
Joel Salatin: Well, the fact is that everything is eating or being eaten, if you don’t believe it go lay naked in your flower bed for three days and see what gets eaten, you know [laughs]. When people go out and scratch our pigs, they’re so cute out there, I say, just remember, keep moving, cause if you sat down, and got still for an hour, they’d begin eating your hears and your nose, and your fingers, and then they would eat you up and in 24 hours they would be eating your liver and your gut and everything else.
Patrick Timpone: So everything is always eating, everything.
Joel Salatin: Yes it is, you know, when you eat that carrot, you mash it down with your teeth, and all your three trillion internal digestive bacteria that surround those bits that you’ve masticated with your teeth, and eat it up, that carrot has given its life so that you may live. I mean, this is, there can be no life without death. This idea that we can somehow enter a state where we can have a non sacrificial existence, or an existence that doesn’t require any sacrifice, it´s completely unrealistic idea. Foundational to ecology is this whole cycle of life, death, decay, regeneration, life, death, you know, that cycle. So the cow certainly benefits us dramatically in being able to take all of this unbelievable land that yearns to convert solar energy into carbon, and convert that into something. You and I can go and graze grass, you know, you can eat some, it doesn’t taste very good, you can’t metabolize it, but the herbivore can, and that is a wonderful niche that they occupy.
Patrick Timpone: I’ve had people on the air that argue that science can show you that grass takes up more available nutrients, if they’re there, than any other plant species on the planet. Now, isn’t that interesting, why would that be?
Joel Salatin: Look, it’s not zero sum, an acre of grass pulls out more carbon, more atmospheric nutrients and places them in the soil, than anything else.
Patrick Timpone: Oh, from the heavens to the soil.
Joel Salatin: Exactly, the carbon dioxide cycle, that whole carbon cycle is not just one way. In fact what’s fascinating is that if a vegetative piece, whether it’s a tree or grass or flower or whatever, if it decays, it gives off the same amount of carbon dioxide in decomposition as if it ferments in the cow. The beauty of the cow is that the cow has restarted that vegetative cycle, so that because the plant is taking in, remember a hundred pounds of grass is 95 pounds of air and sunlight, only 5 pounds of soil, so yes, perhaps an acre of grass can uptake more nutrients from the soil than wheat. It can also download far more solar energy, more biomass, and more atmospheric nutrients than any other crop as well, even more than trees. The carbon sequestration capacity of grass is about double than for a forest and so to say that the grass takes up more nutrients is simply to appreciate that grass is the highest level of carbon metabolic activator on the planet. Far better than wheat, far better than corn, far better than trees. Now that doesn’t mean we should never have corn or wheat or trees. What it does mean is that the foundation of an ecological food system is grass, is perennials that go through herbivores. Because that is a cycle that actually regenerates itself, it does not require the input of tillage, whether it’s human labor, draft power or fossil energy. It is a system that actually runs on real time solar energy and mobilizes itself in that the cows can move around, and you can actually walk them to your back porch and butcher them, you know they have motive power, wheat doesn’t have motive power, you gotta move it somewhere.
Patrick Timpone: So, if what you’ve just said about grass is true, I was kind of getting goose bumps while you were talking about downloading the nutrients from the sun, God, that´s pretty cool. And it’s not just the other way of taking it up. So if that’s true, then why wouldn’t we humans be able to digest grass. I mean, if it’s all set up, we can go and chew grass, some say you could juice it, but even then it’s not nutrient, it’s more cleansing, it cleans you out, it doesn’t feed you.
Joel Salatin: Exactly, for us it would be a portion of some sort of a tonic. You know, why do we have eyes in front of our heads instead of on the sides like a cow, because we are a predator, we’re like cats, we’re like lions, we’re like leopards, you know. We are a predator, all the herbivores have eyes on the side of their head and they can see in about 330 degrees around their heads, because they are prey animals and so they have eye sight all the way around whereas all the predators have eyes in the front of their head and they can only see about a hundred and eighty degrees across and, why? God made it that way, I don´t know, and the thing is, instead of kicking against it, why don´t we embrace that beautiful choreography, that beautiful pattern and order, and embrace it and enjoy it, for what it is? You know, let’s just be thankful.
Patrick Timpone: So before we go, I want to talk about, it almost seems mundane, after what we just talked about, but let’s do it anyway, pigs and rabbits. So pigs gotta be like this dirty, sloppy, kind of yucky business, uh?
Joel Salatin: No, that’s one of the funniest things we do as we bring people to watch our pigs, again the key is, if it’s going to be outside, the pigs have to be moved all the time. And historically you know, outdoor pigs, and certainly when the industry talks about outdoor pigs, they want to take you right back to the nineteen twenties, you know, the hog cholera outbreaks, and Iowa feedlots and all that, outdoors, and it was a mess. Because we didn’t have polyethylene plastic pipe, we didn’t have electric fencing, we didn’t have nursery shade cloth. Those three things, nursery shade cloth, polyethylene black plastic pipe, and electric fence, have completely revolutionized the outdoor pig production capacity, to do it in a sanitary, hygienic, more pig friendly way, that it could have ever been done in the history of civilization. The only civilization that really approximated it before this time were the Spanish in the Iberian peninsula with the black footed pigs under the cork trees, eating acorns. But they had full time herders, young boys would go out and be full time herders of these groups of pigs, moving them around. And you know, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, these guys in pilgrimage America, they had pigs, but pigs were kind of a peripheral thing. They were out in the fringes, in the woods. Obviously Switzerland had them to eat whey from cheese making, they’ve always been used. But the omnivore, the pig and the chicken, their historical role throughout history has been of a scavenger and a food scrapper recycler. That´s why there were always chickens next to our kitchen, to eat scraps and things out of the kitchen. So it was only in extremely recent times, that with the petroleum we have been able to cheapen the cost of tillage, by not using draft power or human power, and give us this cheap tillage where we can plant annuals and do it cheaply. For the first time we have actually started feeding omnivores most of their diet not as a scavenging or peripheral diet, but rather, a grain based diet, cause they’re not herbivores and they cannot live on grass either, just like us. So we have substituted all of this perennial mass, nuts, acorns, chestnuts, all these things, sugar beets, just all sorts of peripheral type items for omnivores, we have substituted that now with grains and we are taking all of those food waste, half of edible human food never gets eaten, and it doesn’t even get eaten by animals anymore because we landfill it, because again, we’ve segregated our food system rather than integrated it.
Patrick Timpone: So, you can actually afford to have non-GMO grain for the pigs?
Joel Salatin: Yes we do, and we are constantly trying to find alternative sources. We run the pigs in the woods with electric fence. Nylon rope and electric fence, we go out without harming the trees at all, we can run these nice five acre paddocks out through the woods, and the pigs will pick up huge amounts of grubs and bugs and mass persimmons, fallen walnuts and acorns, in Texas they could pick up all the mesquite beans, in northern California they could pick up all the pinyon pine trees, every place has all this wonderful perennial material. In Australia I did a seminar a couple of years ago, I didn’t know what they had that was indigenous. I was, you know, the venue was a library, that was where they were doing the seminar. So during lunch break I just walked out cause I knew I was going to be talking about pigs, just walked out around the yard of the library, and picked up three different kinds of nuts that were lying around the library lawn. I didn’t know what they were, so I came in, and of course they identified them all as wonderfully nutrient dense perennial nuts, you know, that drop. That’s what you feed pigs, you don’t have to go feed them wheat and corn and soy beans, you know. We’ve got the technology now with nylon rope, electric fence and polyethylene pipe to deliver water, we’ve got the technology to be able to use these in a perennially based system more beautifully that has ever been done by any indigenous culture in the past.
Patrick Timpone: But Joel Salatin, you know that if you eat that fat, all that saturated fat you are going to, you know, get high cholesterol levels and a heart attack.
Joel Salatin: But the fat that’s in these pigs, we call it olive oil fat, this fat stays extremely soft, I’ll give you a story. If you go to a pork barbecue, and you’re pulling pork, the fat is real hard, you got to separate it from the meat. But our fat is so polyunsaturated that it melds into the meat and there’s no fat to separate, that’s how soft and gentle it is. And we’ve learned that from Chipotle Mexican Grill, we supply two of their restaurants and the general manager’s were out here for a restaurant chef appreciation day a couple of weeks ago and they said that it took half the time to pull out pork for their carnitas. It took half the time because they don’t have to worry about any fat cause the fat’s all melded into the meat itself, as opposed to being this hard greasy paraffin-type fat that you have to trim off.
Patrick Timpone: Oh I see, so there’s probably a real nutrient difference between the grass fed fat and the grain fed fat.
Joel Salatin: Absolutely, there’s not only nutrient difference but there’s fatty acid profile difference, and there’s definitely a huge difference in the ratio of the polyunsaturated, saturated, unsaturated.
Patrick Timpone: But as you know Joel Salatin, over all there’s still doctors out there, God love them, they mean well, they’ll try to push this cholesterol thing, I mean. It’s still going on to this day, and we’ve been talking about it for 20 years, that it’s been a scam.
Joel Salatin: It is, it is a huge scam, and I don’t know, again, people, you know, you just try to put your faith in something, and everybody is responsible for who they are putting their faith in. And if your doctor is writing notes on little drug company note pads, which most of them are, you got to think what is teeming his mind to tell you to do when he’s got country club memberships payed for by the drug companies.
Patrick Timpone: Well, Joel Salatin, these cholesterol lowering drugs are over 10 billion dollars worldwide, probably closer to 15, so that’s a pretty tough nut to crack if you want doctors start to say that cholesterol isn’t, you know, it’s tough, man. And then what it does to lowering the cholesterol and building testosterone, it can be very challenging, you get these cholesterol levels down 150 that the docs want you to get, I don’t think it’s healthy, but that’s just me. Let me ask you about rabbits and then we’ll go. I’ve always heard that rabbits, these guys, are just too lean, there’s not enough fat on these things, it’s just not a good meat to be eating, but you raise a lot of rabbits.
Joel Salatin: Well, we raise some, I mean, we’ll maybe do about a thousand-ish a year, which is a lot for a little operation I guess but it certainly isn’t big commercially. One of the reasons, we absolutely understand the reason that rabbit is preferred in rations for the military is because it has more protein per ounce than any other meat, it does not store fat in its viscera. Now, the negative is that, as you know, a lot of the nutrients in the meat are in the fat, and so you can’t get, if all that you ate was rabbit you actually can become nutrient deficient, if the only protein you eat is rabbit. But just as a diversified diet, as a part of a regular diversified diet, rabbit is a wonderful nutrient dense protein, high protein meat.
Patrick Timpone: But you wouldn’t want to have it on going, it’s just not enough fat.
Joel Salatin: Well, that’s right, you know, different cultures eat more, some eat more, some eat less, the Italians have always eaten rabbit, British have eaten rabbit substantially, yeah, if you had it once a month, just for change of pace and fun, that would be fine.
Patrick Timpone: Of course the whole fat thing is still going on, people still think that if you eat fat you’ll get fat, I mean, they still think that.
Joel Salatin: Yeah, that’s right, what you need to do is get rid of the Ritz crackers.
Patrick Timpone: Yeah, I think you are onto something, the whole metabolic syndrome with the grains and the sugar, the insulin levels, I think there’s more and more evidence, and this is really where the heart disease issue really is. But then I think your argument is well taken though, where people can talk about the meats, because when people talk about meat, they’re not talking about the meat that you raise, they’re talking about good old grain fed, whatever. And that’s a whole different story, right?
Joel Salatin: Yeah, there’s a new book out, the Locavores Delusion I think the title is, that obviously is a play on the Omnivores Dilemma or whatever. And the assumptions there again are completely, what I would say is that they are 1920s based. All these, you know, the industrial scientists that are taking people like me to task, they all think that they have made technological progress since 1920, but our side, we are stuck in the past, we are a bunch of [indistinguishable], and we refuse to embrace technology, we refuse to embrace any of these, we refuse to embrace science, you know? We’re anti-technology, and so we are stuck in the 1920s. And that’s why I am very very quick to point out that our farm is not grandpa’s farm, grandpa would have given his eye teeth for the things that we have today. Goodness, scientific composting didn’t even really come to worldwide attention until the 1943, when Sir Albert Howard developed the formula in India and brought it to the world in An Agricultural Testament, that was really the first scientific [indistinguishable] if you will for the biological movement, and that’s only since 1943. So our side absolutely has embraced appropriate technology and we have moved rapidly forward and have overtaken the mechanical segregated approach, they just don’t know it yet and they’ve got a ton of public money fondling into them to make sure that they poo-poo our progress.
Patrick Timpone: I know that in your website you mention the term libertarian and I heard on the radio this morning there is a fellow somewhere who took to the supreme court the government who said that according to the interstate commerce clause that he couldn’t grow more wheat than what they said he could on his land, do you know about that case? And he wasn’t even selling the wheat. And they took him all the way to supreme court and he lost. And God love him, the court said, if you grow more wheat than we say then you are going to affect the price and of course according to the interstate commerce clause, you loose. I had no idea that case never even happened.
Joel Salatin: Yeah, that’s one of the reasons I wrote the book Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal [laughs].
Patrick Timpone: What kind of things do you want to do that’s illegal?
Joel Salatin: Well, lots of things you know, we’d like to butcher our beef here at the farm, we’d like to turn our pork fat into good lard, that we can sell, you know a commercial kitchen is illegal in a agricultural zone, so you have to have a multi-thousand dollar, freestanding, licensed re-zoned facility, you know, in order to do that. And then of course you got everything from educational, it is illegal for us to do seminars and charge people to come. Of course we do it anyway, but according to the ordinances, this is an agricultural zone, and it can’t be used for any educational endeavors. We can’t have a woodworking shop because that’s commercial use, and you can’t have a commercial use in an agricultural zone. There’s stuff that affects us, federal, state and local, but it’s huge. I mean, the interns that we have, OSHA says they are employees, they have to have up to standard housing which is, you know, licensed and inspected, and commercial plumbing and everything else. And these kids, these are consenting adults, they’d come here in a tent just to learn how to grow food. We’d like to do all sorts of things which require commercial kitchens, and again, we’re talking about consenting adults. If you want to buy my egg noodles why does there need to be ten bureaucrats standing between us, and liability, to come here from a neighbor across the fence and buy egg noodles. We’re talking about consenting adults, we’re talking about who owns my person, who owns my body.
Patrick Timpone: I would suggest you do, Joel.
Joel Salatin: Well, yeah, that would be a pretty dramatic thing, cause right now our culture has decided, and the supreme court has decided that society owns my body, and as soon as society owns my body, by virtue of being able to, you know, if wellness is up to you, up to the government, is up to society then obviously society has a vested interest in making sure that I don’t participate in risky behavior like drinking raw milk or eating pork fat or anything like that.
Patrick Timpone: Well, you could maybe endorse your birth certificate on the back, I hear as a security, and just do something with that, but that is a whole another show Joel Salatin [laughs]. I don’t wanna go down there cause that’s a really black hole, but there are people doing some creative things. I wrote a letter to McDonalds about a month ago and said, when I worked for McDonalds, Mr. McDonald, I wrote to the CEO, they were using beef tallow, back in 1965 and 66, the healthier thing ever to fry french fries and they would taste better than Wendy’s. You guys would explode the market, and you know that’s true! What they fry in it now is dangerous, so I got a letter back saying, thank you Mr. Timpone, we try to do the very best french fries we can, blah, blah.
Joel Salatin: Yeah, well some food writer was asking me about this big announcement about Burguer King. They have a 5 year plan now, that they are going to go to cage free eggs, and what, non-gestation grade pork farrowing. And he asked me, what do you think about that?, and I said, you know what, I am 10 minutes from a Burguer King. They’re right there, all they have to do is pick up the phone and call me, I would be glad to serve them some pork right now, why wait 5 years for. Give me a break, there are thousands of farmers like us across this country, dying for just a 2% niche of the market, and the market makes sure that we don’t get in, with all sorts of, you know, insurance requirements, best agricultural practice requirements. They’re all written by the land grant universities, in cahoots with the fraternity of food inspectors and insurance companies, the whole thing is a charade. Look, if they want to get good food they can get it, we are right here, in every city, just give us a call, we’ll serve them some. Today.
Patrick Timpone: The safest thing, if you do want to fry something, if you have beef tallow, that’s really the way to go, isn’t it?
Joel Salatin: Yeah, absolutely.
Patrick Timpone: There is no trans fats there, there’s nothing.
Joel Salatin: That’s right, that’s good stuff.
Patrick Timpone: Well Joel, it was a pleasure to have you here, if someone wants to get one of your books, you have a bunch, which one would you recommend? You have eight, if they are going to do a little farm thing, what’s a good starter of Joel Salatin?
Joel Salatin: If you’re just looking for the broad stuff, certainly the last one, Folks This Ain´t Normal, would be the one to get. And by the way it is also on audio, you can get that on audio as well, and kindle, the other books are not. But the next one would be The Shear Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer. If you really want to dig down into what does it make him different, what makes him think that he’s different from other places, that, the Shear Ecstasy is a fun read, it was fun to write, kind of my favorite book of all of them. And then if you are really wanting to do something and start, well, whether it is a backyard or anywhere, then You Can Farm, is the how to and the big picture, how we’re thinking here. So that would be my recommendation.
Patrick Timpone: You can farm, I wanna be a farmer when I grow up Joel.
Joel Salatin: Yeah, as opposed to you can’t farm.
Patrick Timpone: Well Mr. Joel Salatin, thanks so much, we’ll come visit in the Shenandoa valley, what city exactly is it?
Joel Salatin: Near Staunton, Virginia.
Patrick Timpone: Joel, thanks a lot, it was a real honor to have you on the show, we enjoyed it so much.
Joel Salatin: Oh, my pleasure. Thank you for having me, take care.
Patrick Timpone: Joel Salatin, a lunatic farmer, doesn’t sound like a lunatic to me. Pretty fun stuff, you can farm, so let’s get that book.