Joel Salatin, the High Priest of the Pasture on Bainbridge Island this saturday

Joel Salatin – High Priest of the Pasture; Saturday June 2, at 2pm at the BPA Theatre

What first caught my attention was the listing of earthworms as one of the principles of Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm. Standing proudly with Transparency, Individuality, and Community – earthworm enhancement is a guiding and defining value leading to the success of game-changing farmer and prolific author Joel Salatin. Describing himself as a Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist-lunatic-farmer, Joel has been featured in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, and the documentary films Food, Inc. and Fresh. Joel came to farming as part of an extended family of innovative, full-time and part-time farmers. As far back as 1961, 9 years before the first Earth Day, Joel’s father saw the wisdom of grass farming, controlled grazing, and composting. That foundation is a keystone of Joel’s success, both as a farmer and a highly respected public figure in the food movement of today.

A closer look at the guiding principles listed on Polyface Farm’s website gives us some insight into what drives Joel’s life and success. Transparency is critical to Joel’s belief that trust between farmer and consumer can only be achieved through a practice of “no trade secrets, no locked doors and every corner being camera-accessible”. Individuality – siting a direct link between honoring the “pig-ness” of the pig (the cow-ness of the cow, etc.) and the health of our society, the farm is operated with a great deal of respect for the animals by providing them with a habitat that honors their unique physiological distinctiveness and needs. The value of Community dictates that the farm’s products are never shipped. Operating on the idea that we should all eat locally, Joel abides by his belief that we should only eat food that requires less than 4 hours travel time from the farm to our kitchen. Following Nature’s Template means that natural patterns provide the “best practices” manual for farming. Long before mad cow disease made the news, Polyface farms fed their cows appropriately as herbivores, not omnivores. And our old friend Earthworms: prioritizing soil health means stimulating soil biota means earthworm enhancement.

The New York Times has referred to Joel Salatin as the “High Priest of the Pasture”. Joel’s passion goes far beyond the health benefits of eating wholesome local foods. He believes strongly that his way of thinking on a large scale would change the strongholds of economic, political and social power, evidenced by the following quote from “Just imagine if people began discovering their kitchens again, and if the average household instead of popping irradiated, amalgamated, prostituted, reconstituted, adulterated, modified, and artificially flavored, extruded bar coded, un-pronounceable things into the microwave, actually prepared whole foods for all-down-together family meals…if we quit feeding cows corn….70 percent of the world’s arable land could return to perennial prairie polycultures building soil and sequestering carbon, that would completely destroy the power of the grain cartel, the multi-national corporations and petroleum usage.” (Joel is rather fond of modifiers in his sentences.)

Bottom line – it seems the cure for much of what ails us and the world – truly is a happy cow.

Don’t miss your chance to hear Joel speak at the Bainbridge Performing Arts Theater on Saturday, June 2. Tickets are $22/adults and $12/students with ID.


The award was presented at the Historic Preservation Annual Meeting June 18th. To read more see


May 18th, 2012

Friday, May 18
Celebrate History Month
If you missed our ‘Beef on Weck’ sandwiches served at our new years day party then this is for you cause we’re doing it again.

The Bainbridge Island Historic Preservation Commission presents a program including the announcement of this year’s “Blakely Award” winner. Food and beverages. At the new Art Museum auditorium.

Public Welcome!

Special music Guest “The Weavils”

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND – On May 30, 2012 WSU Kitsap Small Farms Team in cooperation with the Kitsap County Conservation Tillage Program and the Kitsap Conservation District will host an educational farm walk showcasing environmentally friendly horse farming at IOS Farm on Bainbridge Island. This event features low-impact management techniques including effective manure and mud management, water catchment and cisterns, and no-till pasture renovation., Regardless of the size of their budget or farm, participants will take away ideas to implement benefitting both their wallet and the environment.

“Conservation planning protects and supports the natural resources that sustain your farming operation,” says Diane Fish, WSU Kitsap Small Farms Team educator. “By implementing just one or two of these practices you can go a long way to decreasing the environmental footprint of your farm. We just want to get people thinking about what they can do on their farm!”

IOS Ranch is a seven-acre horse boarding facility that sets an example of conservation planning with their manure management system, water cisterns for irrigation and run-off control and pasture management. Walk and learn about these techniques and see a pasture renovation demonstration using the no-till drill.

WSU has been contracted by Kitsap County to administer the federal stimulus funded Kitsap County Conservation Tillage Program. This event will be the first time to see the no-till drill in action. “Kitsap County is pleased to make this tool available and to partner with WSU to introduce conservation tillage practices for our local farming community,” says Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido.

The IOS Ranch farm walk is May 30, 2012 from 6:00 – 8:00pm and is $10 per person or $15 per family. Pre-registration is requested. You can register online at or by mail at WSU Kitsap Extension, 345-6th Ave, Suite 550, Bremerton, WA 98337-1874. For more information on the farm walk please contact Shannon Harkness at or Diane Fish at or by phone at 360-337-7026.



Thanks to Port Madison’s Kemo Mackay, Pegasus is displaying the photographic art show of the  chronicle of the adventures of the S/V Libertatia and her crew as the boat travels the world again. To see the whole incredible story of determination and guts go to