Credit: Susan McGuinness
Paul and Garrett start discussing their interaction with Joel Salatin in a restaurant in Moscow, Idaho. Lectures and workshops with both Paul and Joel Salatin had been held in late June, 2013 at Palouse Permaculture. Paul gives his grandfather’s recipe for Basted Eggs. Punctuality issues: Paul likes to get to presentations early, take questions from the early-birds and then start his presentation on time. They are in the panhandle of Idaho.
They went on to discuss what they had heard about Joel Salatin’s new book, Field of Farmers: Interning, Mentoring, Partnering, Germinating, which will come out in October, 2013. In it Salatin writes about connecting farmers of a certain age (average in U.S. 60) and younger would-bes. This challenge is not limited to the States. The book speaks to both youth and elders. Paul brought up that this challenge exists also in the Permaculture Community i.e. Mike Oehler, who is looking for potential heirs. The initial expectations on both sides are impractical. It’s about rites of passage on both sides. The youngsters need to learn about hard work and learning from mistakes and the elders need to re-connect with the young. They went on to say that Moscow, Idaho included a vibrant farmers’ market. It seems that there are many sorts of communities in the area, some more savoury than others.
Mike Oehler is a good example of an elder with high expectations who is open to having youngsters come to his place, be mentored and, maybe, participate in the inheritance. One very good point is that just the experience of having spent time with these elders is priceless.
Paul, while driving Joel, asked about going hayless. Joel said that at this point in his area, Virginia, he’d managed to get hay use down to 40 days of the year. He stores enough hay for 2 years. He has a system that helps him avoid owning, running, and maintaining hay-making machinery. Owen Hablutzel will be consulted on this issue.
Farmer wannabes: Joel spoke about newbes to the land near him who buy land and spend lots of money on the house, go way into debt for non-essential things and then have to go to Joel for food. Joel’s principal is if you are serious about farming you buy your 10 acres not spending much on infrastructure before getting a return on the land.
In another car conversation Paul asked Joel about his take on Permaculture. Joel voiced concerns about the proportion of talk to do (too high), woo-woo and commitment to poverty (he’s against it). Paul informed him that part of his mission is to help people run permaculture establishments in a profitable way. Joel then asked about Hugelkultur. Paul was delighted to teach Joel Salatin, whom he respects highly, about Hugelkultur. We wait, with interest, to see if Mr Salatin incorporates them on his property.
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