Folk’s This Ain’t Normal – Book Review

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I love to read, but with two small kids, an acupuncture practice, this blog, a busy kitchen, and my secret trashy tv habit, I rarely get a book in these days. Until I discovered AUDIO BOOKS!

I easily drive at least an hour per day in the car (don’t feel too bad – it’s a gorgeous commute complete with mountain vistas, sparking ocean waves, and sometimes even dophins) but I typically spend that time yacking to my family (hands-free of course) or writing my next post (inefficiently) in my head.  But now, I have an HOUR of reading time per day!  Hooray! Genius, if I do say so myself.

I also discovered this handy website –  For a monthly membership, you get audiobook on MP3 per month plus tons of great discounts and prices on additional ‘listens’.  Right you can try Audible and get a free audiobook download with a 30 day trial- or get your first 3 months at Audible for $7.49/month!- Both are great deals, because audiobooks are normally so expensive.

First up in my audio booklist: Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World-. I first was introduced to the author, Joel Salatin, from his appearance the films Food, Inc and Farmageddon, and when I found out he wrote this book, I knew I wanted to read it.

Joel Salatin is a super likable, down-to-earth old-school farmer and eco-superstar the owner Polyface Farms in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. From everything from the way we raise or children to the way we feed the masses, he not only points out ever-so-clearly why it “ain’t normal” but why our “abnormal” ways are simply not sustainable either. Each chapter also ends with some practical real life things we can do to begin to create change –  from learning to compost and growing food in our back yards (or deck containers) to replacing the family parakeets with a couple of chickens or building a solarium on the south facing side of your house.

I have to admit to feeling a bit guilty about burning fossil fuels as I listened to this book in my car. But Salatin’s words left me super inspired to get my kids busy in the kitchen, getting their hands dirty with our garden experiment, and helping out our neighbors with some chicken chores.

Click here to get Folks, This Ain’t Normal

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  1. Delia Trenholm via Facebook says

    Must have 😉 he is coming here to speak march 20 and the hubby is going (we farm) super excited

  2. Delia Trenholm via Facebook says

    Must have 😉 he is coming here to speak march 20 and the hubby is going (we farm) super excited

  3. Kristen Papac says

    I obviously haven’t read this book and I am sure it is good. I’m just curious as to how you feel about Salatin feeding his chickens soy. The WAPF crowd often puts him on a pedestal and a lot of farmers, including John, emulate him because of his pastured poultry book. I know that no one is perfect, and that farmers work hard and have to make profit. But what about heritage breeds that don’t need to eat soy?

    • says

      Hi Kristen – I have definitely having been mulling this thought over and over in my head, but my answer keeps coming down to the final product. Yes, ideally I would prefer soy free chickens, but the one’s from our farmer (Dey Dey’s) are still too small to make sense for me. When John comes up with a solution for growing them bigger, I will most definitely be buying them, but for now, I get his pastured chickens which receive some supplemental feed that contains soy.

      Aside from his, the only soy-free chickens I’ve been able to source would be shipped from either South Carolina or Pennsylvania. I don’t know about you, but the carbon footprint of those chickens outweighs the soy issue for me.

      The explanation I have heard regarding the soy issue (which I think you may have told me) is that because chickens are smaller animals with a shorter lifespan before slaughter, they don’t accumulate the soy bi-products in their tissues in the same way a large animal like a pig or cow would. I have no idea how much truth this holds, but until I have a better local solution, I am going with it.

      Besides, if the only unfermented soy my family consumes is through the partial feed the pastured chickens are receiving, I feel ok with that. For now.

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