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What Can a Lunatic Farmer Teach Us? – Episode 059

In our society, people seem to fall at two extremes of the spectrum. We’re either rabid environmentalists or amoral materialists, either strict evolutionists or staunch creationists, either leftist liberals or rightwing conservatives. Somehow we’ve grown to think that there is no middle ground to any position. In the words of those old western movies… you’re either for us or against us and you better make a choice. Those who consider themselves Christians are not immune to this extreme response either.
Is there no balance, no middle ground that we can come together on in these and other matters that affect us? Joel Salatin, our guest on Off the Grid Radio this week says yes there is, and in fact Christians carry this message of balance uniquely, because we should understand that we’re a part of the physical world that actually operates by spiritual, eternal, and unchanging rules. We have the opportunity to show the rest of the world what real balance is like.

Off The Grid Radio
Ep 059
Released: July 29, 2011

Bill: Welcome, everybody, it’s Bill Heid today. We’ve got a very special guest – Joel Salatin. We’ve got Joel on today because we want to talk about a number of things Joel’s got an amazing background. He’s a farmer, educator; I would say a diplomat, an ambassador – both for Christ and an ambassador for lunatic farming, of all things. Joel, welcome.

Joel: Thank you, Bill, it’s great to be with you.

Bill: It’s great to have you today. One of the things that I think we have in common – we talked a little bit prior to coming on air here – we’ve got a lot of things in common, especially our Christian libertarian or small government, capitalist “we’ll solve some of these problems without big government doing everything for us, becoming nanny state.” You’ve certainly written a lot about that. Do you want to tell us a little about – we were just mentioning that you were on The 700 Club recently. How is this paradigm being received by a lot of Christians and other libertarian folks? Tell us a little bit about what happened on The 700 Club recently.

Joel: We were featured – it was a nice long, five minutes, which is a long time in a news sector – featured on The 700 Club. It created quite a stir and was well received. I think what’s interesting is that the conservative Christian community, which before now has pretty much been the take dominion and has owned the capitalist “use the resource,” is now beginning to understand – I think primarily through the homeschooling movement, which was essentially an opt-out movement and a “take charge of my own familial autonomy” – at the natural progression of that movement is “what else should I become autonomous or opt-out of the greater culture about? I’ve got education, now what about medicine?” We’ve got conservative Christians whose parents think the chiropractors are quacks going to the chiropractor or a naturopath or homeopathy. We’ve got little sugar pills around the houses of conservatives. One of the things is a flour mill and a garden and taking charge of our own food supply as we realize that this stewardship mandate includes educational, recreational, medical, lifestyle … as a Christian community, for too long, we have gotten our catechisms right and memorized our doctrine from a very spiritual standpoint, but one of the things we’re beginning to see, I think, as a Christian community is that we are supposed to be a living physical, visceral object lesson of redemptive capacity that walks before our world in physical object lesson. As a farmer, that means that I’m supposed to have a redemptive, forgiving farm that is less prone to disease, that is less prone to tornadoes, less prone to cold, draught … that’s all a part of this resiliency and forgiveness that we build into the landscape around us. We’re supposed to have forgiving relationships so that we’re not bickering as husband and wife, we’re building resiliency and redemptive capacity into these relationships. It spans everything.

Bill: I love that perspective and I love how you’ve brought in the idea – I think the word dominion has got a bad rep. What folks like you and I mean about dominion – early in the Bible we start talking about having dominion over the earth – you and I are not talking about this concept of brute capitalism that strips the earth, of exploiting everything and everyone, but actually putting back more and giving more than you take and leaving the earth a better place. Really, I would say that word probably early in the Bible, Joel, I would rather translate that as stewardship, wouldn’t you? And be good stewards.

Joel: Yes.

Bill: Dominion to me almost means like a jack boot to the throat, in our vernacular. I’m not sure it always has meant that.

Joel: Yes. I think you’re exactly right. To help bridge the distance between, for example, the radical environmentalist fringe and the conservative Christian community, I use the term ecological massage. That is part of our responsibility as stewards, is to massage – which has a healing mystique behind it – to massage the environment with the correct type of disturbance to freshen up and move the ecology, move the environment, to greater levels of healing and resiliency than it would in an unmassaged – what I call a static state. That principle of disturbance for freshening or plowing ground, if you will – I hate the word plowing because we’ve got too much tillage going on anyway – but the idea of disturbance is critical for so many things. If you want to plant carrots out in your backyard, you don’t just throw some carrot seeds over your shoulder into the yard and say “now I’ve got a garden.” You’re going to have to take a spade and a hoe and a shovel maybe and you’re going to have to do some disturbance if you want to build a house. You don’t just have everything all pretty the first day. You backhoe and it’s all torn up and the husband and wife are arguing about how big the door is, where the dormers are … Einstein said you can’t have construction without first having destruction. The Egyptians have the metaphor of the phoenix rising from the ashes. These are all very worldly metaphors that I think describe spiritually you can’t have salvation until you have repentance. Repentance is extremely disturbing. The radical environmentalists that want to lock down wilderness areas, lock down the parks, lock down large land areas and deny farmers the ability to use their land, deny people the ability to use their land with preservation and easement requirements – that lock down mentality is absolutely not what allows the strategic disturbance factor to move ecology to higher successional levels, to metabolize more solar energy into biomass, any more than it’s appropriate for somebody to say “you don’t have to repent. God loves everyone. Everything’s cool. It’s just one big heavenly party here,” and just talk above love; we’re not going to talk about sin or repentance or anything. One of the things that I’ve really learned in my life, and I want to perceive this, is when you get onto truth – you get a threat of truth – it runs straight through spirit, physical, emotional. We live in such a compartmentalized society left over from the Greco-Roman Western reductionist, linear compartmentalized, fragmented systematized type of thinking that we don’t have an eclectic view. One of the things I think that we need to cultivate is this eclectic view that everything relates to everything and a truth idea – an idea of truth permeates everything. In fact, you should see when I talk to very liberal, tree-hugger type crowds, which I talk to a lot of those kind of people, when I use this kind of metaphor and terminology object lesson and say “folks, that’s what was wrong with both the Bush and the Obama bank bailout plans is that it artificially propped up an inappropriate status quo and did not allow the level of disturbance necessary to spawn and breed and freshen up a new innovative way of looking at things.”

Bill: Joel, that is brilliantly stated. We’re going to go to a little bit of a break here but I want to comment that often times the opposite of what we don’t like isn’t the right thing. What I’d like to talk about when we come back is probably something that you wear in closely is just because a tree-hugger wants to save the earth, as they say, so then conservative Christians have said “if they want to save the earth, then I want the opposite of whatever they want, so I’m going to exploit it and destroy it,” and that’s not right either. Let’s talk about that when we come back, right after the break

[0:10:01 – 0:14:15 break]

Bill: We are back. Bill Heid, today, talking with Joel Salatin. Joel, we were just mentioning the idea that if a liberal tree-hugger wants to save the whales, traditionally Christians have taken the position “then either I don’t care” or “I want to burn whale blubber for lamp oil …”

Joel: Yeah, so you’ve got Rush Limbaugh with his machine gun in the jungle shooting monkeys. That is not the way to move radical environmentalists to a different perspective.

Bill: Can I interject one thing? Because I know you went to Bob Jones and I know you’ve got a little bit of a theological side of this – what’s interesting about both those perspectives, they’re both humanistic.

Joel: Yes.

Bill: Let’s face it. God sets up some boundaries. I love the way you talk about humble boundaries. Sometimes they’re not so humble, in terms of how God states them to us. But you talk about boundaries. Can you talk about boundaries a little as we morph this conversation – whether it’s the book of Leviticus or whatever – talking about boundaries. There are some boundaries in the Bible and they apply to us. What I love about what you’re doing and how you’re bringing that in – let’s say you’re talking to a liberal group about the Bush and Obama and how they’re both anthropomorphic, as it were, so then what’s the right paradigm? They have to be wondering “what in the world is this guy talking about?”

Joel: A lot of times they certainly don’t get it the first time. I go in and I say “I’m a Christian, libertarian, environmentalist, capitalist lunatic.” The truth is that, to most of my Christian friends, I’m a raving environmentalist. And to most of my environmental friends, I’m a raving capitalist, Christian, Wall Streetified wacko. I tell people “I have enough weirdness here to make everybody mad.” I guess that’s a gift. But when we talk about boundaries, we talk about natural templates or paradigms. I believe that creation was made, that the templates, the patterns we see in the creative act are absolutely – they’re there as part of the order that God created out of the chaos – when his spirit moved across the water and it was all chaos. For example, in the first chapter of Genesis we see that he made plants and he made the plants to have seeds and the seeds to sprout after their own kind. Well, transgenic modification not only makes new life forms that don’t re-procreate after their own kind, but in most cases the multinational corporations that patent these seeds and own this life – it’s a new kind of slavery, to own life – they actually sterilize them so that the plant grows and makes seed but the seed is sterile. So on two counts, both from a sterile standpoint and a “not after its own kind” standpoint, transgenic modification, manipulating the DNA structure to create new life forms, i.e. to create sex among species which the plumbing doesn’t match up, that violates God’s creative order. What I say is, there are some things – Deuteronomy 29:29 says the secret things belong unto the Lord – that there are absolutely parameters to human development that become ethical-moral boundaries on our creative capacity. We humans – we’re pretty innovative. We’re pretty creative. We have the ability to be so creative that we can create things that we can’t spiritually, morally, physically, emotionally, ethically metabolize. This is one of the problems now with, for example, being able to keep people “alive” with tubes and machinery. Our country now spends 50 percent of its medical bill to prolong life an average of six weeks. This is an incredibly, in my view, an incredible cost – emotionally and in wrestling with issues – pulling the plug, not pulling the plug. These are issues that our innovative, creative capacity has foisted upon us – moral and ethical conundrums – that I’m not sure the human psyche was created to make. Now, does that mean that we don’t discover? Do we not research? Do we not innovate? No, it doesn’t mean we don’t. But it does mean that we ask moral and philosophical questions as we go in. The fact is, in our culture we don’t really ask “should we?” we only ask “can we?” To go into unabashed, amoral human creativity without asking “should we?” worships human creativity to the exclusion of moral and ethical parameters that could come back to haunt us later on.
Bill: Again, I think that’s brilliantly stated. The truth is, if we don’t believe in some sort of creation motif, our alternative seems to be that we’re operating by blind chance – that we came here by blind chance so we’re sort of “e-protoplasm” as it were. If that’s the case, what one protoplasm or matter in motion or bag of chemicals does to another or creates is just so much blowing in the wind. I’m always very interested in the question that my old Rushdoony used to ask “by what standard?” What standard are we going to measure these things by? You talked earlier, Joel, about Deuteronomy 29 – you go back a chapter in 28 and there’s curses and blessings. When you violate the boundaries that God provided to us because he loves us, not because he hates us, but because he loves us, there’s these temporal curses that seem to always show up in the scriptures. Don’t you think, in a way … I feel like we’re living those curses. Just because we haven’t been washed away in a flood, look at our cancer rates, look at the world that we live in is a curse.

Joel: Absolutely. You can’t read the Bible without understanding the very, very clear relationship between the spiritual and the physical. The whole Israelite promise of a gift of good land, the whole promise of Canaan. You’re right, all of the physical – weather, insects and diseases – these diseases will not follow you if you follow this … the clear idea of a visceral manifestation of God’s merciful structure is supposed to be manifest in our lives as part of the overwhelming magnetism that draws people to God’s redemptive power. That means as Christian businesses, for example, we should exude an aura of healing and our workers should be smiling. They shouldn’t be angry or frustrated. I mentioned it on our farm, we should be producing food that is non-pathogenic, non-toxic, nutrient-dense, that’s not manipulated to exclude the nutrient basis. That’s the kind of thing that we should be doing with our food system. If the Christian community were following these lines and these standards, our actuarials for marriages and sicknesses and all this would be extremely far superior to mainstream and the fact is that they’re not because the tree huggers co-opted the fruits and nuts movement so we – I’m saying “we” as a Christian community – tend to say “they’re a bunch of fruits and nuts and tree huggers, so we run to Twinkies and coca cola.”

Bill: Exactly. Some guys, like Rush Limbaugh – as you said before – he knows that his radio show has to be entertainment so he will mock the antithesis what the liberals will want to do and he’ll say “I’m going to, on purpose, eat these Twinkies, eat this processed food, because these tree huggers say vegetables are good for you.” Again, I think the amazing thing that they both have in common, they’re both extremely humanistic. And why does the pendulum always have to swing 180.

Joel: It all overcorrects.

Bill: Who made that up that says these things are mutually exclusive all the time? And don’t you think theology – we’re going to go to a break, let’s talk about this too because it’s a little bit of a theological issue – why is there always this either-or issue to theology or our applications of theology in agriculture as we’re talking about. We’re going to talk about that in a minute, when we come back from this break.

[0:25:08 – 0:29:19 break]

Bill: And we are back. It’s Bill Heid again, talking with Joel Salatin. Before we left we were talking about this idea of always the pendulum swinging the other way. They usually swing right past God’s way and back over into a different paradigm. The opposite of tree hugging isn’t cutting the tree down, right Joel?

Joel: No, not at all. The opposite of worshipping the tree is worshipping the Creator who made the tree and asking him “what do you want me to do with this tree?”

Bill: well said.

Joel: That’s the opposite. And that indeed is the problem with the whole worshipping the creation as a mechanical thing. What’s interesting to me is that the spirituality that the radical environmental movement attributes to the earth – you’ve got Gaia – Gaia theory that the earth is actually a being mother who thinks – is of course as far out as the more conservative fundamental view in our culture which is that life is mechanical. We look in a microscope and we break apart little parts and we say you and I are just little parts of electrons, neutrons and protons and we’re protoplasmic structure to be circling around. Either one of those extremes – either the creation as spirit or life as mechanical are both incorrect extremes. The fact is, yes, there are mechanical components to life, but you and I are far more than protoplasmic, inanimate structure to be manipulated however cleverly hubristically and imaginatively manipulated. This is why it’s interesting to me. I’m probably the only person – I’m probably the only Bob Jones graduate who has also talked at Yale and at UC Berkeley more than once and been lumped with those guests because ultimately food is a very, very broad tent – how food is produced, how food is processed and what kind of food we eat. That is something that draws all people and it’s not a surprise that the sacrament of the Lord’s supper revolves around food, the bread and the wine, which in that culture the bread – without refrigeration and without preservatives – bread would get moldy in a day so it indicated an extremely fragile – probably the most fragile food available in that day, whereas wine without refrigeration was perhaps one of the most stable foods in that day. So that sacrament of the Lord’s Supper speaks to both the fragility of daily devotion to God and the long-term security of God’s unchanging and unfailing love and devotion to us. You have those food components throughout, in all these beautiful metaphors and to think that food is amoral and has no consequences is short-changing ourselves to the awe and the majesty that surrounds us on a daily basis.

Bill: And again, I think you’re right on it. There’s a sacred aspect of farming and I like your perspective on it. I think too often folks believe that folks believe “it’s all about me,” and yet there is a transcendent concept involved when we take away the me – especially in agriculture starts thinking “what’s the sacred trust here? What is this idea that’s bigger than just me?” If I’m going to buy a farm and I’m going to make the payments and I’m going to go into debt and violate all those boundaries that I was warned not to violate and go into debt, I’ve got to rip the living heck out of that soil to make that payment with corn. We’re right up here in the Mississippi River, Joel, corn ground is pretty good but it’s pretty expensive. You’ve got to strip it out to make your payment. But if you think that farm is going to your grandson, how are you going to treat it then? What is the sacred trust involved now?

Joel: That is why I say ultimately we are in the land healing business. I see our entire farming and food system as ultimately our calling is to be in the land healing business. The fact is the floods come, bad weather comes, things happen – so how do we build healing capacity into our soil? That comes with organic matter, it comes with perennials, with keeping the soil covered more often than not, along with all the other organic matter that requires an onsite carbon cycling program, it requires a diversified kind of thing, where you have both livestock and plants. There’s no functioning pattern in nature that is just animals or just plants. Yet we have farms trying to be either one of those. That is not a template that you see anywhere in nature. So we actually come to it looking at what are the templates in nature that have built soil? And they’ve always revolved around perennials, periodic disturbance and herbivores either being hunted by two-legged or four-legged predators. That is the way soils have been built. That is what we’re still mining in America’s breadbasket – we’re still mining the soils that were built with buffalo, perennials and hunting – both animal and human hunting. Tillage – this is why in the Old Testament you had the sabbatical – you had the seven-year fallow. They didn’t fallow the grazed land, they fallowed the tilled land, because it was the tilled land that was extractive of the organic matter which is what builds the carbon and the organic matter, the till into the soil. So it was all about holding that in. Today we feel like – I say “we” as a culture, collectively – we feel like “well, we don’t have any of those parameters anymore because we can just go down to the store and buy chemical fertilizer, made with petroleum energy. We’re not fettered anymore. We’re not anchored or tied to these old historic boundaries.” We can say that for a while but in the last hundred years 50 percent of Iowa’s topsoil is now gone. In just 100 years, we’ve depleted 50 percent of Iowa’s topsoil. It’s going away as surely as morning follows evening. You simply can’t shortcut God’s order but so long. That applies in the spiritual realm, emotional realm, relationship and the physical realm. You simply can’t short change God’s order for so long before it comes back to haunt you.

Bill: I couldn’t agree more. One of my favorite books is Thomas Kuhn’s book, “The Structure of Scientific Revolution.” I don’t know if you’ve ever read that but it’s all about how as we move through time, the scientific community adopts certain paradigms as being true. So anything against that is seen as an ultimate violation of that culture’s systems or motifs. I guess what I’m wondering is, how did we get from the concept that you just mentioned about soil and building the soil – how did we get to the idea from there to feeding dead cows to cows and expecting good things to happen from that culturally? What’s your take on that? It just seems bizarre to me.

Joel: My take on that is that when you view cows as just inanimate piles of protoplasmic structure, where there is no inherent cowness of the cow – there is no reverence or respect for the inherent pigness of the pig – and of course this comes straight out of evolutionary thinking which is all about fatalistic happenstance. When there is no inherent respect of a living being, be it human, animal, plant, that there is some essence to that being that transcends the mechanical components of that being, then everything is no more sacred than a plastic doll or a copper plumbing widget. It’s only as we inject this level of beingness of the being that creates an actual foundation for a culture to preserve the Thomas of Tom, the Maryness of Mary, the sanctity of life and all of these components. Why do kids shoot their classmates in a school or whatever? Well, when you’re told that everything just happened and we’re just piles of protoplasmic structure, like a cow or like a tomato plant, just rearrangements of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus and a bunch of little molecules rolling around, you have just completely undermined the sacredness of life, the sacredness of biology and the difference between biology and mechanics which is fundamentally mechanics cannot heal. If a bearing goes out in your car, you can wait 10 years for the car to rest and that bearing will still be broken. But a bearing can go out in your emotional, spiritual or relational life, or with the landscape – plants around you – and that can heal. That’s the fundamental difference between the biological and the mechanical world. That’s why we absolutely cannot view the biological world from a fundamentally mechanical perspective.

Bill: Well said, Joel. We’re going to talk about that some more when we come back. Let’s go to a little bit of a commercial break and we’ll be right back with Mr. Joel Salatin.

[0:40:01 – 44:15 break]

Bill: It’s Bill Heid here and we are talking with Joel Salatin, indeed, about better ideas for off-the-grid living. If we’re going to make a difference in our world, we’ve got to figure out how to get off this crazy control grid that we somehow have been psychologically induced into participating in. I think the devil’s got to be smiling someplace, just looking at this raw consumerism, raw production; this constant fluctuation or oscillation from Atomism to Monoism, back and forth, and finding no Godly barometers by which to judge our culture. Joel’s been doing a great job talking about that. Joel, how do we get – is this a Sunday school project? Is this a school project? Is this for parents? We’re going to have start working on the next generation to see this idea of sacredness in our callings and our farms and what we’re doing in our foods. Where do we start? Where do we dig in, no pun intended?

Joel: Oh, my, that’s such a big question. I wish I had a nice cookie cutter formula. I guess my answer is to build some autonomy – you can call it autonomy, independence, personal security – you can call it whatever you want to in your own life. That means if you’re in debt, try to get out of debt; if you’re dependent on the supermarket, pull the plug on the supermarket; if you’ve got a window box, grow a tomato plant in it. You can pull the plug on the food processors by returning to your kitchen and discovering domestic culinary arts. There’s never been a culture who has spent more money remodeling and gadgetizing their kitchens and been more lost as to where the kitchens are. We need to turn off the flat screen and get in that kitchen … we’ve got all sorts of new technogadgetry from slow cookers to time-baked everything else. I’m not talking about slaving away 10 hours in your kitchen like great, great grandma did. I’m talking about using modern technology to rebuild and redevelop unprocessed food coming into your kitchen. Any more than you can be spiritually alive by simply reading somebody else’s rehashed book about whatever, you need to get into the scripture itself and digest some of that every day. The same thing is true with our unprocessed food – get some unprocessed food, meet your farmer, forgo the Disney vacation. Your kids will learn about Thumper and Bambi in time enough and instead discover your farm treasures in your community. Support your local farm community and your local economy. When you go to buy at Wal-Mart, most of the dollars immediately head to Bentonville, Arkansas, even though they write a nice United Way check and get their picture in the paper to show how locally responsible they are. Basically, all the money exits the community. But when you buy locally and get your work done locally, get your food locally, that dollar circulates to go into your local bank to let people that want a house to make a loan against it; the circulating local economy. These are all ways – I call these all very subversive acts and I think it’s great to be subversive. I don’t know why it is that anybody that’s opposed to the status quo is called an insurgent but I like being called an insurgent. I think insurgency is wonderful. I like to be in insurgency for truth and righteousness in our culture and encourage others to join that insurgency. This is not picking up guns or anything. What it is, is looking at your life and saying “where can I reduce my dependence, increase my security and create autonomy in my lifestyle that makes me less dependent and less tied in to the thinking and the system that is predicated on enslaving the world economically, emotionally and spiritually?”

Bill: Yeah, so you’re trying to say “let’s become autonomous from the control grid, but let’s be obedient to God at the same time.” Those things are compatible, quite nicely. At Polyface Farms you’ve got an event coming up – we want to talk about that. We’re going to talk a little bit about what you want to do. You wrote a book – a wonderful book, everyone should read it – called “Everything I Want to Do is Illegal.” You had spoken at Liberty Law School to the students there about your book. My assumption is Polyface Farms is still there. You found some things that you can do that are still legal, praise the Lord as we say.

Joel: Oh yes.

Bill: You demonstrate those things from one point to another, from the ground all the way through marketing, about what you do. And you’ve got a field day July 9th coming up where folks can come there.

Joel: Mm-hmm. We’ll have a field day July the 9th. There’ll be – I don’t know – 1500, 1600 people here. We do a farm tour, we’ll have trade show – both organizations and infrastructure that we use from electric fencing to water systems to all these things that are high-tech things but that allow us to return to this massage of the landscape to work with the natural templates. For example, the electric fencing – we can, for the first time in human history, we can duplicate what the large migratory herds of herbivores and birds did before land ownership. We can duplicate that on a domestic, commercial, privately-owned land scale. That’s never been possible before in human history. These are huge breakthroughs in natural templating that we’re able to do now with new technology. It’s a pretty exciting time to be alive. It’s very exciting.

Bill: And it’s wonderful where you can take technology, the work that – man’s created in the image of God – so we’re created to think God’s thoughts after him. So we look at the templates that he’s created originally and we say “OK, what are those templates and how can we reintroduce more basic, realistic models back into …” – again you’re doing redemptive work and you’re re-engineering the templates from our culture back to the way that those humble boundaries were meant. I think that’s just ingenious because, really, you have the best of all worlds there. You’re not saying “let’s just blow the world up and live like cavemen,” which a lot of people say that. A lot of the de-population people say that.

Joel: Absolutely.

Bill: They say they’d love it very much if the earth’s population was reduced to all but them and a few of their friends. We’re not talking about reducing it backwards, we’re talking about healing the earth.

Joel: And, in fact, by using these things now – and I’m not talking about using more petroleum or anything – I’m talking about just capitalizing on solar energy with the technology that we have. On our farm, we average five times the county average in cow-days per acre – what one cow will eat in a day – we average over five times the county average and we haven’t bought a bag of chemical fertilizer or planted a seed in 50 years. These principles work. We’ve demonstrated that they work – us and other farmers around the world. There are not even enough of us to register a blip on the scale, but that doesn’t mean it’s not truth. Too often truth is in the backwaters of the culture and is considered foolish, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true and it works and we can demonstrate that. It’s pretty exciting.

Bill: Well, it’s very exciting, so I’d urge everybody, if they get a chance to go out there … how can they find more out about the show?

Joel: The easy way is to jump on our website and we’ve got information there. It’ll link you to the registration which is being handled through Acres USA Magazine. Acres USA handles it all. You can go directly to the Acres USA Magazine site or you can go to it through our site that links to theirs for the registration of the field day. But yeah, it’s a very exciting day. And it’s real fun to have a day that really honors the Creator as an environmental event as opposed to honoring the Creation.

Bill: And you’re going to meet a lot of wonderful people and the people that you’re going to meet aren’t going to have scowls on their faces. They’re going to be very excited about being there because they recognize the fact that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and that God’s put us here for a reason. There’s hope and there is this redemptive capacity of man. I don’t know of anything more exciting in the world than that, Joel. To me, it makes me happy that we’re able to be alive. My fingernails are a little dirty from planting last night, but just to be able to go and see how other people like yourself are making this thing happen – it’s a gift. We want to thank you. I’ve got another quick question. Everyone should go to Amazon and type in Joel Salatin’s name. We’ll have the link for you – you can buy his books there. He’s got wonderful books – “Everything I Want to Do is Illegal: Crazy War Stories,””You Can Farm,” “Salad Bar Beef,” “Pastured Poultry Profit$,” “Family Friendly Farming,” this idea of multigenerational stuff – all the stuff that we talk about at Off the Grid, Joel’s written really wonderful books. Is there a favorite book that you have, Joel, as we begin to close out here?

Joel: Yeah, my favorite – probably “Everything I Want to Do is Illegal” is my favorite book, but all authors – your favorite one is usually the last one you did which is “The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer,” which is big picture, lots and lots of humor, great stories, but it helps to put all this in large, cultural perspective. It’s been very, very well received.

Bill: Another attribute I would commend you on is, as much as you’ve been through with a lot of these things that you write about in “Everything I Want to Do is Illegal,” the idea that you can smile and laugh and know that God is sovereign, God is providential is just a fantastic thing. I want to thank you again for being on the show today, Joel. I would suggest that everybody, if you get a chance, go check out this field day that they’re having on Polyface Farms on July 9th. Thank you again, Joel, for being on our show.

Joel: Thank you, Bill, for having me. It’s been an honor.

Bill: God bless.

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