It isn’t hard to see why there isn’t much institutional support for the sort of low-capital, thought-intensive farming Joel Salatin practices: He buys next to nothing. When a livestock farmer is willing to “practice complexity” – to choreograph the symbiosis of several different animals, each which has been allowed to behave and eat as it evolved to – he will find he has little need for machinery, fertilizer, and, most strikingly, chemicals. He finds he has no sanitation problem or any of the diseases that result from raising a single animal in a crowded monoculture and then feeding it things it wasn’t designed to eat. This is perhaps the greatest efficiency of a farm treated as a biological system: health.
I was struck by the fact that for Joel abjuring agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals is not so mush a goal of his farming, as it so often is in organic agriculture, as it is an indication that his farm is functioning well. “In nature health is the default,” he pointed out. “Most of the time pests and disease are just nature’s way of telling the farmer he’s doing something wrong.”
Source: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Large Print Press), Pages: 221
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