The world-renowned Grass Farmer Joel Salatin from the US-state Virginia kicks off our series of video interviews. The 63-year-old describes himself as a Christian, libertarian environmental activist, a farmer, a capitalist and sometimes a "lunatic".
The description "lunatic" harkens back to when Joel's father bought Polyface Farm in 1961. The soil was dry and low in humus. But instead of going for conventional methods that promised high yields, the family started to adopt a different approach. They figured: Any heavily exploited piece of land is regenerating itself eventually. So Joel’s father wondered: What would nature do to reactivate the soil on this farm? At the time, neighboring farmers regarded that approach as "lunatic" and did not believe that it can work.
But the Salatins ignored their critics. By closely observing and mimicking nature’s processes and animal’s natural behavior, the family developed a new and clever strategy. The soil on the 250 hectare (600 acres) farm grew rich in humus and its biodiversity expanded impressively. Business is thriving too. The farm today includes meat and vegetable production, a farm shop, an apprenticeship program and regular seminars with sales up to 2.5 Million Dollars per year. It developed into a global role model among regenerative farmers. Today, one may ask, who is the lunatic now?