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The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer Paperback – Sep 8 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Polyface (Sept. 8 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963810960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963810960
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #136,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Joel Salatin and his family own and operate Polyface Farm, arguably the nation's most famous farm since it was profiled in Michael Pollan's New York Times bestseller, The Omnivore's Dilemma and two subsequent documentaries, Food, Inc., and Fresh. An accomplished author and public speaker, Salatin has authored seven books. Recognition for his ecological and local-based farming advocacy includes an honorary doctorate, the Heinz Award, and many leadership awards.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By qwerty on Dec 9 2010
Format: Paperback
Typical of Joel's style this book reads like Joel speaks -- or at least the way he speaks in an interview. It is a good book if you are already apart of know-what-you-eat movement but the style may not be suited to someone who is reading about lunatic farming for the first time. It isn't a "how-to" manual -- so if you are looking for specifics you won't find them here and should read his other books that are specifically about chickens or cows or starting a farm.

I enjoy Joel's rants as a public figure for what will hopefully be the most important food revolution of our modern times. I enjoyed reading this book and I will read it again.

It is an interesting and thoughtful book but would be much improved with the assistance of a good editor (lots of typos).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By san's thoughts on Jan. 25 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Joel Salatin is not only a great farmer, but a great communicator. This was the first book of JS that my husband and I have read and now we have all of his books. We have even been motivated to raise chickens - Salatin way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 41 reviews
100 of 101 people found the following review helpful
Good lunacy Oct. 11 2010
By Lily Bear the Brown Lab - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll get the negatives out of the way up front. First, this is basically a re-write of earlier works. The same themes, the same stories, the same references, appear over and over again in Salatin's work. He's sort of like your crazy uncle who tells the same stories every Christmas. If you have read You Can Farm or Everything I Want to Do is Illegal, you will be able to complete his thoughts without reading to the end of the paragraph. Second, he needs a decent proofreader. There are an annoying number of typos of the sort that spell check doesn't catch. Third, he ends every chapter with the same sentence... a silly and irritating device. Finally, there's a ton of white space, blank pages between chapters, etc. Delete those pages and all of the stories we've heard in other books and this would be a 50-page pamphlet.

Should you read this? Despite the complaints, my answer is yes. It's the kind of message that you can't hear too often. Salatin gets under your skin. You really feel like his crusade should be your crusade. You start thinking of things that you can do to defeat Monsanto, CAFOs, industrial corn, and the rest. Your list of acceptable restaurants dwindles. Your shopping habits change dramatically. You see the countryside with new eyes when you go on car trips. You sneer (moderately) when you see a weedy field with a few cows and no electric fencing. You get hungry.

Buy the book, read it, and then pass it on to a friend. You'll be glad you did.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
worth actually buying this book Oct. 20 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a library patron. But I bought this book because I couldn't stand the thought of the 1 - 2 year wait until it would likely be available. And, I'm glad I did. I notice another reviewer had some of the same critiques I did, startling number of typos (startling in that Mr. Salatin rightly promotes professionalism and attention to detail) and repetition from earlier works. None-the-less, I delighted in all of it. I think it would be an excellent work to recommend to those you'd like to expose to this way of life and think you've likely only got one shot to make a case. But to that end, I wish this work, like his others, had the suggested reading section at the end. Such a list was, after all, how I found Joel Salatin in the first place.

Will you like this book? If you're of the Gene Logsdon, Wendell Berry, Eliot Coleman persuasion - or want to be - then you'll love it and should go ahead and get it.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A handbook for life? Oct. 26 2010
By Kelly W - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Joel Salatin never fails to make me think deeply about the status quo. Polyface Farms books are always incredible, but in this one Salatin presents an intelligent and spiritual commentary on his life's work. Lunatic Farmer is an easy read, packed full of amazing bits of agricultural teachings and personal wisdom. His ideas about stewardship are sensible and inspiring. Each chapter contains detailed information about Polyface practices, yet the writing is clear and entertaining. Although the theme is profound, you'll be laughing every few pages for sure. If everyone who considers themselves an animal rights advocate (or environmentalist) reads this book, there just might be an agricultural revolution! At the very least, we could experience a much needed awakening about what's really happening to our landscape and our society.

"You can tell the greatness of a nation by the way it treats its animals" M. Ghandi
34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Sheer Self Promotion Dec 2 2010
By fin - Published on
Format: Paperback
So first off, I like Joel Salitin and what he does. this book however seems to be more about proving to all his neighbors that he and his dad were right all along to not be using chemical inputs and bad grazing management practices. they were right of course, but I know that already. Joel is very knowledgeable about a lot of farming and ecological matters and his skill at matching his farm practices to the cycles of nature is truly great. however, the narrative is smug and self serving with a terminal dose of "i told you so". Happy as I am that the world has come to regard Joels farming practices as sensible, a book describing them in detail with reference to why they work better than traditional methods would have been a much better read. rather than being informed about how Joel farms, the reader is informed on how right Joel is...

I would recommend reading Michael Pollan for the Polyface Farms story. he's a much better writer and there's really not that much more info in this book, unless you are really interested in how right Joel Salitin is and how often he proves it to his neighbors and the government.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Well, shoot. Now I want to be a farmer. Oct. 23 2014
By April Rowen - Published on
Format: Paperback
Well, shoot. Now I want to be a farmer. A locally-based, community-imbedded, environmentally-enhancive, nutrient-dense farmer.

I'm shocked, angry, excited and passionate all at once. Reading this book is like taking the blue pill, and I'm walking around now, blinking, with port-holes all over my body and driving around in a very sketchy little spaceship thing, wondering what the heck to do and where to go from here. After offering husband the blue pill, we both swore off globalist, mega-corporate, industrialized food ("concentration-camp food").

Now we are looking for land. I can't believe I just wrote that. You see how powerful this book is? It has completely, 100% changed our lives. We, who know nothing about farming and everything about our modern society, want to live a life of integrity, meaning and purpose in healing our land, creating real food, and making thousands of beings happy.

Thank you, Joel Salatin. We are excited to travel across the country to one day meet your farm. And your Chickeny-chickens, Pigerators and Salad-Bar Beefers. In the meantime... know anybody who has spare land in Northern California?

Buy this book, if you want to change yours and your children's and their children's lives. It's a blue pill, be warned. Very much looking forward to inhaling Joel Salatin's other books as we save up for them. Worthy investment!