Joel Salatin at Tara Firma Farms
In Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan introduced us to Joel Salatin, a farmer who’s been practicing a complex form of rotational grazing in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. In the past few years Joel has become a folk hero in certain circles of farmers seeking to challenge the conventional agribusiness model. We read as much as we could about Joel’s Polyface Farm, and got to wondering how his methods would translate to Sonoma County’s different climate. I have to admit, I sort of stalked Joel’s schedule for a while, spying a little item that read “private farm consultation- Sonoma March 17”. After some detective work, I discovered that Joel would be coming to TaraFirma Farms in Petaluma, and got invited to a reception and talk at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Marin.
PART 1: Reception and Lecture part 1
PART 2: Lecture part 2
The following day, we were fortunate enough to tag along as Joel walked the farm with Craig and Tara Smith, giving his observations of how well they were following his ideas. Joel was incredibly generous and patient with hundreds of questions, from the big picture ideas, down to the minutiae of caring for newly-hatched chicks. After you’ve absorbed this inspiring talk from the evening, hear Joel’s critique of Tara Firma Farms in the next segment.
PART 3: The Onsite Consultation