A COMPLETE HOMESTUDY COURSE IN POLYFACE-STYLE DIVERSIFIED FARMING
What happens when trailblazing urban agro-ecologists Rob and Michelle Avis of Verge Permaculture host superstar “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin for a three-day, three-workshop weekend…then expand and enhance that recorded wisdom in a three-month online intensive?
You get an encyclopedic compendium of small-farming entrepreneurial know-how!
And now we’ve gathered up and distilled every mind-bending morsel of Joel’s mob-stocking sagacity from those online events, and captured it all in one encyclopedic extravaganza of integrated agro-education…
…to inspire, inform, and incite you to outrageous small-farming success…forever!
Don’t put off this opportunity to access this all-inclusive, no-holds-barred, home study course…whether you’re still dreaming of your entrepreneurial farming enterprise, or you’re building on the foundations you’ve already laid, this is the novice-to-guru reference you’ll turn to again and again!
18 VIDEO HOURS OF UNABRIDGED SALATIN SAGACITY
This is it, folks – the pure gold heart of the Salatin Semester! Three days’ worth of Joel’s irrepressible wit and wisdom in three mind-bending, life-changing workshops. No vague theorizing here – Joel gives you a full toolbox of practical how-to’s in each full-day class. From the bare-bones business planning to taking your small and large livestock to market, you’ll learn the entrepreneur’s approach to building a healthy, regenerative beyond-organic farm and providing a proud and prosperous legacy to your family and community!
THE RECORDINGS COVER TWELVE LESSONS SPLIT OVER 3-PARTS:
PART 1: YOU CAN FARM
PART 2: PASTURED POULTRY
PART 3: SALAD BAR BEEF & PIGERATOR PORK
*Note that Salatin Semester Online does not contain DVDs, rather you receive full streaming access to the video content via our student portal.
SEE A SAMPLING OF JOEL’S WIT AND WISDOM IN LECTURES AND Q&A SESSIONS HERE…
You’ll see dynamic, changing camera views as Joel paces, faces off, and gesticulates… audience pans and closeup shots of audience reactions…and of course, full views of all his slides. And you’ll see the priceless interactions between Joel and Rob and the audience during question periods.
256 PAGES OF LUNATIC FARMER ANSWERS TO REAL-WORLD STUDENT QUESTIONS
PREVIEW MORE THAN 30 PAGES OF CONTENT:
We couldn’t resist showing off with this sneak peek! Just a quick browse through the Table of Contents, the Foreword and Introduction gives you a hint at the dizzying range and depth of information that lies between these covers. All of the student forum’s best, most incisive questions and revealing answers, on every aspect of small-farm business management, are yours in this volume.
In 1961, when Polyface Farms began, it was the most worn-out, eroded, abused farm in the area. In this excerpt, you’ll learn Joel’s proven tactics for regenerating pastures with the help of your livestock; how to convert forest to pasture; and how to heal chemically treated land by restarting the soil ecology with organic matter.
Joel deals in depth with the Pigaerator concept in his workshops – but what about the practical details? Get the scoop here on perfect pigaerator candidates and how to house them, from structures to space to bedding, and – who knew? – secrets of the dynamic bedding relationship between your cattle and pigs in the hay shed.
JOEL AND DANIEL IN Q&A, POLYFACE PHOTOS, AND MORE!
6 HOURS OF AUDIO & MORE!
For our three-month Salatin Semester, Joel’s video workshops were just the beginning, as Joel and Daniel gave a total of six live Q&A teleclasses to top off the students’ networking and brainstorming on the online Forum.
We’ve added even more to that package now, with a Data Disk that includes these audio interviews, plus a virtual tour slideshow of Polyface Farms, plus an encyclopedic resource list of books, magazine articles, and useful websites…including live links for easy access!
AUDIO & OTHER BONUS CONTENT:
EVERYTHING BUT THE HAYSEED IN YOUR HAIR!
If you live near Polyface Farms in Swoope, Virginia, it’s a simple matter to sign up for a hayride tour of Joel Salatin’s beyond-organic tour de force. For those of us farther afield, however, this show-all slideshow is the next best thing! From bucolic landscapes of the Polyface buildings and fields, to up-close portraits of the chickens, pigs, cattle and rabbits, to shots of all the buildings and equipment that make the farm functional, nothing is left out…even the cow patties, flies, and mycelium in the mulch get a close look. You’ll never get this much information at an industrial farm!
IF YOU COULD ASK JOEL AND DANIEL JUST ONE QUESTION…
Where one Salatin is audacious, two are outrageous! Joel and Daniel Salatin apply their expertise in real-time answers to students’ real-life questions in these six 90-minute, live-recorded Q&A sessions. Each of the three segments of the course (You Can Farm, Pastured Poultry Profits and Salad Bar Beef) featured two audio interviews, with student queries posed by the forum moderator Andrew Bennett. Here’s what you’ll receive (click the bolded titles to listen to special excerpts!)…
FOR ALL THE QUESTIONS THAT MAY COME TO YOUR MIND….
So where can you go to learn more? Right here! Between Joel and Verge, we’ve prepared an encyclopedic resource list for you… and hyperlinked it to give you easy access to each online item. From books and magazine articles to websites and blog posts, you’ll have all you need to get a solid understanding of every aspect of small-farm life. From philosophy and management of a farm-as-business; to water, land and building management; to livestock and service animal care; to feeding and processing; this resource list covers it all.
LIVE RECORDED Q&A INTERVIEWS
- Call 1: Joel Salatin on The Business Bedrock of the Successful Farm (90 mins)
- Call 2: Joel Salatin on The 10 Benchmarks of Truth…and more! (90 mins)
Pastured Poultry Segment:
- Call 1: Daniel Salatin on The Nuts and Bolts of Poultry & Rabbits (90 mins)
- Call 2: Joel Salatin on Pastured Poultry Perspectives (90 mins)
Salad Bar Beef & Pigaerator Pork Segment:
- Call 1: Joel Salatin on Disturbance & Grazing, The Sale Barn, Parasites, Pigs on Pasture, and more (90 mins)
- Call 2: Daniel Salatin on Water, Fencing, Pasture & Cattle, Grazing Multiple Species & Slaughtering (90 mins)
THIS PIONEERING PACKAGE OF SALATIN SAVVY DIDN’T COME ABOUT OVERNIGHT….
In fact, it’s taken many years to evolve to this pitch of lavish amplitude!
And it never would have come about without the inspiration of Joel Salatin, who empowers his listeners worldwide to defy limitations and take action on their dreams.
Sure, as a regional permaculture education center we’d been in the business of hosting internationally-known speakers, on topics from urban water conservation to solar greenhouses to dryland restoration! Three days of Joel Salatin, live and in person, sounded pretty ambitious to us back in 2013.
But potential students challenged us – why not livestream these three workshops and make them available to the world in real time? We agreed to give it a whirl – and were deluged with responses! Roughly 150 international students from five continents joined our packed local audience of 100, and in one weekend Verge Permaculture became known from the Northwest Territories of Canada, across the U.S. and Europe, to Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.
Afterward, the requests came pouring in – more Salatin, please! – and in 2014 our three-month online Salatin Semester was born. Joel and his son Daniel partnered with us, adding live teleconference Q&As to the original recorded lectures, and local lunatic farmer Andrew Bennett jumped aboard to moderate a student forum for three months of unbounded networking, cross-pollinating and shared problem-solving. More than 300 students signed up around the world, giving international perspectives on successful small-business, beyond-organic farming.
That’s when we realized that we’d built an enduring global resource. This was information that would endure as long as entrepreneurially-minded farmers-in-the-making cherished dreams of creating healthy families on healthy land and feeding healthy populations with healthy food!
SO WHO ARE THESE THREE LUNATIC FARMERS, JOEL AND DANIEL SALATIN AND ANDREW BENNETT, WHO WILL BE YOUR GUIDES ON THIS ADVENTURE? ALLOW US TO INTRODUCE THEM…
ECO-ENTREPRENEURIAL INSTIGATOR PAR EXCELLENCE
With three generations of family farming history, a lifetime’s experience in entrepreneurial, beyond-organic small farming, and growing international acclaim to back him up, Joel demonstrates conclusively that the dream of a profitable, healthy, sustainable, small farm enterprise is quite achievable and downright pleasant, whether you’re living in an urban apartment, a suburban single-family dwelling, or a full-sized farm holding!
During his 30-year leadership of Polyface Farm, he has passionately charted a beyond-organic course, challenging federal and state requirements over issues ranging from the local sale of clean, healthy, and well cared-for meats, to his right to opt out of a highly bureaucratic system that favors pesticides, fertilizers, and GMOs over time-honored – and leading-edge – integrative practices.
In fact, the Salatin family and their working team at Polyface Farms proudly say that they “haven’t bought a bag of chemical fertilizer in half a century, never planted a seed, own no plow or disk or silo”!
Instead, Polyface uses a contrarian land-healing practice that Joel calls “mob-stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization” (in other words, farming the way Nature intended, with diverse and integrated livestock feeding on and fertilizing biodiverse pastures and woodlands).
The result? Despite all the industry experts’ dire predictions, Polyface is now the world’s premier example of sustainable agriculture: a 550-acre, multi-family operation, supplying a customer base of more than 2,000 families, 10 retail outlets, and 50 restaurants. Its popular, high-value products include “salad bar beef” (named for the diverse, self-sowing pasture plants that the beeves eat), “pigaerator pork” (named for the pigs’ role in making compost and tilling the ground), “pastured poultry“ (named for the birds’ free-range feeding on the bugs in cattle and pig droppings), and forestry products. Roughly six interns and two apprentices train on-site at the farm each year, while Joel spreads his gospel of sustainable agriculture at workshops around the world.
In fact, while Joel wryly calls himself a “lunatic farmer,” TIME Magazine has named him “the world’s best farmer” – and the New York Times titles him “Virginia’s most multifaceted agrarian since Thomas Jefferson [and] the high priest of the pasture!”
MEET THE NEXT GENERATION OF POLYFACE MOB-STOCKERS: DANIEL SALATIN
There’s no better way to develop mob-stocking small-farming entrepreneurial savvy than by tagging after an expert…especially when that expert is your dad! Joel’s son Daniel Salatin grew up on Polyface Farms and absorbed his father’s agro-ecological practices through a lifetime of full-immersion participation.
Daniel started his career early, carrying freshly processed chickens when he was in diapers, and by age 7 he’d started his first entrepreneurial venture: a pastured rabbit enterprise. That business is still continuing today, despite having the normal ups and downs, and it’s given him first hand experience with marketing, processing, research and development, and reinvestment of profits.
Today Daniel spends his days running the day-to-day operations of Polyface Farms: orchestrating animal movement, scheduling daily tasks and overseeing apprentice training. He is married to Polyface marketing director Sheri Salatin and has two sons and one daughter.
MEET LUNATIC FARMER ANDREW BENNETT: LOCAL EXPERT WITH A GLOBAL VIEW
Calgary native Andrew Bennett—book editor & moderator of the student forum during the online Salatin Semester—spent his early years travelling for his parents’ work, landing in Jakarta, Indonesia, when Andrew was four. After high school, he returned to Canada to study astrophysics at the University of British Columbia.
Early exposure to the world’s eco-social problems ultimately took priority, and he left university to travel in Central America. Permaculture crossed his path and he began a pendulum swing between environmental degrees and real-life degrees as he followed his passion for agro-ecology, natural building, and the many ways people can lead fulfilling lives in harmony with each other and all life.
After a stint collecting data on wildlife tracks for a highway project in Alberta’s Rockies, Andrew and his wife Caley headed further west for winter fun in the interior ranges of British Columbia. They settled in Rossland to become urban farmers, inspired in large part by the humour, integrated ecological systems, sound business sense, and respect for nature encouraged in Joel Salatin’s books.
Andrew worked as a local journalist until he and Caley launched themselves full time into Moon Gravity Farm on leased land at the edge of town. They expanded from vegetable gardens to chickens, bees, rabbits, dairy goats, sheep, ducks, and geese. After many years of tinkering in small ways with big permaculture ideas, the family is now growing diverse, healthy food on other people’s land using portable equipment and ecosystem design. They’re bolstered by the fervent belief that yes, with low capital investments, retail sales, and inventive creativity, eventually this will make a decent living while healing the Earth and building relationships between people and with the land.
STUDENTS OF THE REAL-TIME SALATIN SEMESTER HAVE ENTHUSED:
There are few people who can inspire you inaction while preaching about cow, pig, turkey, sheep, chicken and rabbit s***. But that's what Joel Salatin does. If you're read his other works, listened to podcasts and still had the question, "But how do I farm like this?" this is for you. Not only a compiled book of global farmers' experiences, tweaks and hacks on Joel's work, it also includes three days of education that Joel provided. Produced as it was being filmed, the video gives you a sense of being in the audience. The editing on the book is well completed and helps the reader with a "detailed contents" section in the back. Overall I haven't seen another product like this that covers what Polyfaces (Joel's farm) does as well.
What a package this is. The content is also totally stellar. I've been a huge fan of Salatin for years, and this is hands down one of the best products he's ever been involved with.
If you want to get serious about farming (especially for a living), there's now a definitive guide from Joel Salatin himself, The Salatin Semester. I've had a chance to peek inside this course and believe it's MOST of the info you would need to be a successful (sustainable) farmer.
This is a seriously useful resource. Short of spending days (and days!) with Joel Salatin in person, this package is a great substitute for anyone wanting an in-depth overview of Polyface Faming systems, as well as the nuts-and-bolts side of the animal enterprises. We'd recommend this to anyone wanting to dive into polyface-style farming.
If you want a detailed tour-de-force of the Salatin farm, this is it. I cannot recommend this enough. You will learn more than you realize you learned! I write and teach permaculture, and this is a wonderful in-depth case study on holistic management, raising cattle, raising multiple species of animals, and building soil.
My overall take on The Salatin Semester is that it is a really good investment for anyone willing to put some serious hours of their own into becoming better farmers. (See the full review here.)
I would love to get The Salatin Semester into the hands of [...] friends, and everyone dedicated to the small family farm, to give them the tools they need to make positive changes to their farmsteads. For the health of the planet (and my stressed out friends), I believe that food production has to evolve back to local diversified production, and people like Joel Salatin and the team at Verge Permaculture are helping to lead the way. (Read the full review here).