The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Folks, This Ain't Normal

Folks, This Ain't NormalFolks, This Ain't Normal is Joel Salatin's first book put out by a mainstream publisher.  Previous self-published works, with titles like Everything I Want to Do I Illegal and The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer, have helped make Salatin a household name in homesteading circles, and I suspect his newest book may make his celebrity less of a niche obsession.

Or maybe "anti-celebrity" is a better word.  Salatin works hard to disagree with everybody, which is why I think adding his new book to our club will stir up lots of interesting ideas.  Salatin's primary thesis is put forth by Allan Nation in the foreword: "A policy of one-size-fits-all regulation means that a regulation that is a minor nuisance to a large industrial processor is a farm killer for a farmer trying to sell directly to a customer."

To Salatin, this policy issue is really about families, raising your kids right, and making a living while helping the earth.  He explains his book as being "a story of carbon, soil building, ecological innovation, and a lifetime of swimming the wrong way."  In six short pages of introduction, we meet his entire clan, from grandparents to grandkids, and that sets the stage for an engagingly written, highly personal narrative that is, at the same time, relevant to every American reader.

We'll be discussing the first three chapters (up through "Hog Killin's and Laying in the Larder") next Wednesday, so go hunt down your copy and start reading.  Folks, This Ain't Normal isn't in our tiny library, but is more likely than many of the other books I've recommended to be available for checkout if you live in a moderately sized or larger town.  I'm looking forward to hearing your take on Salatin's lunacy.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I've already finished it. And checked out more of his books.
Comment by Irma Wed Nov 21 12:18:58 2012
Went to the local library and requested the book on interlibrary loan yesterday. Apparently they don't get many requests like this because both of the gals at the counter had no idea how to process my request. They had to call for reinforcements. :D
Comment by Shannon Thu Nov 22 10:46:15 2012

I just read his essay in the Food Inc. companion book at the library! I've been resisting watching Food Inc. because it's precursor Fast Food Nation still gives me nightmares about maltreatment of field and meatpacking laborers.

I eat vegan but his essays are good at saying no that's not enough--you really need to go off the grid/buy local. And he is a really engaging read, I'll be sure to request this book!

Comment by Rosary Thu Nov 29 23:57:26 2012

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