Have you ever desired, deep within your soul, to make a comfortable full-time living from a farming enterprise? Too often people dare not even vocalize this. You Can Farm is probably the Joel Salatin book that kicked off more future farmers than any other, and I have to include us in that count. We recently finished reading Joel Salatin’s You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start and $ucceed in a Farming Enterprise. It’s a good.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Salatln. Have you ever desired, deep within your soul, to make a comfortable full-time living from a farming enterprise? Too often people dare not even vocalize this desire because it seems absurd. It’s like thinking the unthinkable. After all, the farm population is dwindling.

It takes ylu much capital to start. The pay is too low. The working conditions are dusty, smelly fan noisy Have you ever desired, deep within your soul, to make a comfortable full-time living from a farming enterprise?

The working conditions joep dusty, smelly and noisy: This is all true, and more, for most farmers. But for farm entrepreneurs, the opportunities for a farm family business have never been greater.

The aging farm population is creating cavernous niches begging to be filled by creative visionaries who will go in dynamic new directions. As the industrial agriculture complex crumbles and our culture clambers for clean food, the countryside beckons anew with profitable farming opportunities.

While this book can jou helpful to all farmers, it targets the wannabes, the folks who actually entertain notions of living, loving and learning on a piece of land. Anyone willing to dance with such a dream should be able to assess its assets and liabilities; its fantasies and realities.

Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about You Can Farmplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Oct 14, Jenni Pertuset rated it it was ok Shelves: The value of this book for me lies not in Joel Salatin’s prose, which is painful to read, but in a simple question he asks.

From my open book post about Wendell Berry’s Unsettling of America: As I read The Unsettling of Americamy own answer came in the form of a question: Though, xan the question, this answer relates to farming, for me its scope is much broader.

You Can Farm by Joel Salatin: Book Review

This is a profound shift in focus for me, because for my entire salaatin life Walatin have been looking hou to a future in which I will be doing useful and meaningful work. Only upon becoming a mother did I feel the value of the work I was already doing. As I ponder my growing desire for work in addition to mothering a toddler, I am still looking to the future and what I might become with more education or more time or more somethingbut I am also able to envision what I can do with what I already have.

Sep 05, Miles rated it it was ok. Though I’m sure some of the information in this book is dated now that it’s 15 years old, it seems like a very handy guide to starting a financially viable and environmentally responsible farm.

Salatin gives a lot of excellent advice, and he certainly knows his business. He demonstrates a profound respect for the earth as he sees it, and I applaud him for espousing such a positive, “can do” message.


I am about to begin my own small farming enterprise, and I’m sure salatij plenty of Salatin’s rules Though I’m sure some of the information in this book is dated now that it’s 15 years old, it seems like a very handy guide to fqrm a financially viable and environmentally responsible farm. I am about to begin my own small farming enterprise, and I’m sure that plenty of Salatin’s rules of thumb will be useful for me as I begin learning the ropes and moving toward something that works for me.

I’m giving this book two stars because, even though I believe Salatin’s heart is in the right place, this book ultimately infuriated me. As a supplement to his advice about farming which seems basically sound, jofl least to an amateur like meSalatin insists on throwing his personal politics into the mix. I’m not necessarily bothered when an author does this, but I find nearly all of Salatin’s non-farming opinions to be either ill-informed or downright offensive.

For someone equipped with an apparently discerning mind, Salatin fsrm to have done very little serious investigation into matters beyond his own strikingly simplistic worldview.

Though it seems to come from a genuinely good place, Salatin’s religion is about as naive as one can imagine; I laughed out loud during his discussion of why it isn’t a problem to kill animals for food: Only humans are created in the image of God. jou

Neither did He make of animals a ‘living soul'” I’m neither a vegetarian nor one who gets particularly bristly about animal rights, but the lack of sophistication here about an issue that is central to many farmers’ lives is staggering. Additionally, Salatin repeatedly plugs the “virtues” of free market capitalism, even claiming that turning our entire health care system over to private companies would solve the health crisis.

Coupled with unequivocal endorsements of almost every spurious, new age, anti-scientific crap you can think of, this book became quite tiresome. I’m sure that Salatin has it right when it comes to promoting certain alternatives to the factory farming model and other destructive farming methods, but it became more and more difficult to trust him as he continued to reveal just how uninformed he was about many important issues.

Salatin clearly feels that his politics and his farm are two inseparable entities, and I honestly can’t fault him for that. I appreciate a man who lives his convictions. My numerous disagreements with the worldview offered by this book, however, tainted what could have been an excellent overall read. Jan 15, John rated it it was amazing.

You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farm Enterprise

Central to Polyface Farm was a carefully controlled rotation tarm animals grazing on the land, with chickens following cows to break up their manure and eat the grubs laid in it, reducing fly problems and providing food for the chickens.

You Can Farm gives not only an overview of Salatin’s farming methods for raising high-quality po I first heard mention of Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farm in an interview with Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and I was fascinated from the start. You Can Farm gives not only an overview jofl Salatin’s farming methods for raising high-quality poultry, eggs, beef, and pork but also gives plenty of practical advice for running a successful farm business.

Although the book talks a good deal about the philosophy and practice of Salatin’s agricultural model, most of the nitty-gritty details are left for his other books, Pasture Poultry Profits and Salad Bar Beef.

You Can Farm by Joel Salatin | Permaculture & Alcohol Can Be A Gas

Still, there’s enough to understand the principles involved, and there are many more general ideas as well. More important is a good deal of advice and the wisdom of experience.


Salatin is encouraging about the prospects for making a living raising the best-tasting, healthiest foods anywhere. At the same time, he’s realistic about the hard work, persistence, and creativity needed to succeed. Rather than being a purely rah-rah book, Salatin would rather scare off potential farmers than have them get themselves into something they don’t really want and consequently will fail at anyway. Still, it’s a very positive book: Not only does Salatin lay out solid principles for a model of organic agriculture that produces excellent food, is sustainable, and improves soil fertility, but he also discusses important aspects of making an agricultural business plan, one that’s customized to your particular situation and interests.

It’s an excellent book, and I’m very much looking forward to reading Salatin’s other books. Dec 31, Wayne rated it it was amazing.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I credit this book with getting me into farming. Joel’s an entertaining writer, but for those who don’t have time to read it, here’s what I got from it in a nutshell: If you’re dreaming of farming “someday” when you can afford to buy land, quit your day job, etc. Stay right where you are, rent some land somewhere nearby, and farm that plot of land. If you do it profitably, you can expand. Pretty soon, you’re managing several acres while still not living on a farm.

You’ll be earn I credit this book with getting me into farming. You’ll be earning a living from your farming, making a profit that you can save. Once you’ve saved enough, buy land. Don’t think of it as “saving up for land” so much as investing salatkn money in a secure vehicle that gives a better return over a savings account. Salatin emphasizes that buying real estate fam a “wealth preservation strategy,” not a “wealth acquisition strategy.

It’s clearly geared toward the suburban or rural dweller who has farmland for rent close to home. Hardly surprising from the man who was quoted as saying, “What do we need a New York City for?

What good is it? The biggest obstacle with that is urban zoning codes that prohibit agriculture, especially animals. It’s just not feasible to rent farmland 30 miles away for raising animals that need tended a couple times a day.

But if you can rent big empty plots around you–vacant lots, corporate lawns, etc. Eventually, by the time you have enough money to buy your own land, you’ll already be an experienced farmer with a customer base fxrm to buy what you grow. Feb 25, Chak rated it liked it Shelves: There is is simply no excuse for any type of agriculture that degrades the environment. I am not a believer in “trade-off” mentality.

I do not believe for an instant that in order to produce enough food we need to sacrifice environmental quality. Included in this goal is smell. Any food production system that stinks up the neighborhood — regardless of how rural — is unacceptable. Excusing farm smells with that euphemistic “fresh country air” business is ridiculous. If you ever smell manure, yo There is is simply no excuse for any type of agriculture that degrades the environment.

If you ever smell manure, you’re smelling mismanagement. He has a profitable, stable, multigenerational business. He and his family enjoy working at it, and have a solid base of satisfied customers. He is constantly innovating, both on the production side, and on the marketing side.