What a great night we had last night. We were able to go see one of our heroes, Joel Salatin, give a lecture on “Local Food To The Rescue” at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. As always, he had really interesting, informative, and insightful things to say regarding farming, local food, and our flawed industrial-mechanical food system.
He talked about how on massive factory farms, they really regard animals as mechanicals, not biologicals. And that’s reflected in everything, from their treatment, care, and feeding of those animals, and the resulting food that those animals produce for us. This is not news to us, obviously, but it just reinforces why it’s no wonder that our food lacks the nutrients that it contained in a natural state 100 years ago! But, as he pointed out, by raising animals properly, kindly, by caring not just for them, but for the land, they can be very forgiving, and will spring back.
We were planning on only staying for the lecture portion, and then scooting as soon as the Q & A session started. Because of the travel distance and resulting time we had to leave in order to make it there, we were only able to get part of our chores done, and had to complete those, including milking all of the goats, upon our return home. But do you think I could resist the opportunity to speak to one of my heroes? Nope. I couldn’t.
I wanted to ask him something that wouldn’t monopolize all of his time, because the Q & A was limited to fifteen minutes total. George says I lobbed a softball at him, but given the time constraints, I opted to ask him something I have wondered about, but wouldn’t require a long answer: if he was just starting out now, would he consider a paper newsletter for customers to be a good idea, or would he stick primarily to electronic communications? I shook like a leaf while I waited to ask my question at the mike. But he answered it as only he can, and I was grateful for the input.
I happen to agree with what he said in response: while the majority of folks probably read their correspondence electronically these days, there are some who don’t even have the means to receive things in that manner. And let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like having that paper in your hands. That’s why I have a paper copy of his new book, Folks, This Ain’t Normal, rather than a version for an electronic reader (which I do not own.) I can’t wait to read it. We would have loved to have stuck around for his book signing afterwards, but we had to hoof out of there right after I heard his answer to my question, because we had an anxious herd of goats with full udders awaiting us here at home.
We put together a Spring newsletter last year, but haven’t done one this year. We’re considering it, if it’s something that might be of interest. Of course, you may already just get your news here on the blog. We’ll be looking for feedback on that, so if you are interested in a paper newsletter, let us know, and we’ll see what the demand looks like.
Have you read any of Joel’s books? Even if you are not a farmer, it would behoove you to do so, if you have an interest in food and health. Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories From The Local Food Front is something I think everyone should read, so they have a better understanding as to why farmers like us have to do things the way we do.
Well, it was a fantastic night, albeit a bit late (we weren’t done with our chores until nearly midnight) and now I need to continue to play catch-up with my Möbius strip to-do list. Or, at least, feed my illusion that I’m catching up!