Regenerative Livestyle Blog

Sharing my regeneration journey, enjoying living in harmony with nature

Joel Salatin in Wanaka

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Joel Salatin talk, last year in Wanaka, was an energizing speech as much in content as in the presentation itself, a great toastmaster exercise. Basically the recurring idea is orthodoxy vs heresy… These are my notes from the event.

Joel Salatin in Wanaka


Orthodoxy and heresy

People used to think the earth was flat – orthodoxy, then came Galileo saying that the earth was round – heresy. Even more when Copernicus said that the Sun was not going around the earth; the Earth was going around the sun- heresy. Then when slavery was the norm- orthodoxy, the Magnacarta established the right to be free- heresy.

We used to learn the Amazon as the ultimate wilderness- orthodoxy, whereas it is actually a planted and manicured forest- heresy …

In medicine, doctors used to think illnesses were spirits- orthodoxy, then it was discovered that it was due to bacterias and viruses… More recently, Pasteur established the germ theory, where we are victims, we can blame something else if we are sick. Meanwhile and more discreetly, Beauchamps was developing the terrain theory. Germ theory – orthodoxy vs terrain theory- heresy. Allelopathy is valid for illness but not for wellness. Heresy is to think you can create terrain for wellness instead of curing illness. More recently still, heresy is to upgrade genetic lines rather than repair genetic weaknesses…


Then, there was this joke…

Imagine we are a club of people who want to create the most unhealthy farm. Then we would choose only one specie, closed inside with no outdoor and a high density, no sun even aircond. All these criteria aggregate, encourage and nurture pathogens. It is the reality of industrial monoculture…

On the other hand, Nature cultivates diversity with an average of 20 species per square meters, to confuse pathogens, create balance and stability.

Today, orthodoxy on a farm is that fertility must be brought from outside, the government creates policies and agriculture rules. Heresy is to believe nature creates fertility, trusting the powerful carbon cycle. Nature is not sterile by definition. The orthodoxy is to grow quicker, cheaper, better, bigger pigs or corn.

The heresy is to grow balanced meaningful biological soup for species to thrive for itself. Let a pig express his pigness!


Then wider…

If a bull was destroying your flower garden, you would sue the bulls owner. GMO are imposed on our flower garden and we are being sued for not accepting being imposed them!

Society promotes segregated food systems instead of integrated food systems. One side producer / one side sellers / one side buyers vs producers/sellers/consumers, all local on site.

We destroyed a lot but we can heal, restore, via environmental participation.

A strong society has few rules and is not compromised by the choice of some individuals, be they different, on the contrary,  a strong society nourishes on different progressive ideas.

A weak society is fearful and paranoid and creates many rules to protect itself from change.

So listen to the heretics!


There are many solutions.

Edible landscaping

Lawn was started by British Royalty as a sign of richness, to show you don’t have to cultivate all your land to survive. This does not mean you do not have a food garden…

Participate viscerally with the earth and sun to create sufficiency and live in abundance.

Build up soils

The biomass creates itself if not impaired. Let the grass grow, so that the total energy/matter on the farm does not deplete with eggs and meat leaving the farm for sale. Lawn and low grass is dramatic in NZ because it does not let nature build up biomass into the soil. High grass not only nurtures soil but it is also a habitat for predator/eater therefore nurtures  biodiversity. Let herb grow to build up soil.

Read the whole story in Joel’s book, now available at Mount Aspiring College Library

Only 1/5 of soil depth is left after 50 years of grazed land. Letting the grass grow sequesters more carbon. Re-carboning the soil is one way of adapting to climate change, as just doubling soil depth would absorb most carbon released since industrialization.

Also build dams, ponds, water retention systems. Build up organic matter.

Local local…

Market locally to avoid transport. 50% of an average farm cost is fuel…. On Salatin’s farm, there is only 5% oil cost.

It does not matter if everyone is still asleep and brainwashed. Do not contribute to the problem. Grow your food, eat locally, grow your grass, build up soil!


One thought on “Joel Salatin in Wanaka

  1. Pingback: Joel Salatin visit | Transition Town Wanaka

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