Scratching the Surface: Soil biology in agriculture, March 2017 - Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, a dynamo of a man on a mission, teaches how to grow soils, chickens, cows, pigs, goats, and just about any other farm animal one can imagine, and he seems to be making a living at it. He claims that everything he does is illegal, and I suspect he is correct. He has non-traditional ideas about farming, yet he builds upon basic concepts. He has a reason for everything he does, and he makes sense, common sense (if there is such a thing). 

Scratching the Surface: Soil biology in agriculture, March 2017 - Joel Salatin

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Salatin is a god to my son-in-law. I think he's met him.

It's interesting how many laws and regulations there are.  I think there are good reasons for a lot of them, if not most.  But some are just somebody in political or regulatory office had their own preference or taste, or applied the idea that everyone had to do things the same way.  In some states, you can't collect the water from your own roof, to use for watering your own garden.  I can't believe how many regulations there are for country life here, including what I went through this winter to raise the cabinets by one inch because they did not meet safety code for propane.  It feels like there is a law for every action that someone takes.  Social and environmental good is important, but the laws do not always seem oriented in that direction.

Daniel, I share your experience and your concerns for environmental good. Health and safety should be paramount, and I support them, within reason. When the profit motive becomes the motivator for laws, rules, and regulation, the difference is important. I don't know whether one inch is a reasonable distinction or not, and I think your question is a valid one. At the same time, I wonder where a reasonable distance of cabinets to propane is. 

The old bromide, "an inch is as good as a mile" obviously doesn't apply. Is a half-inch a reasonable distance or is an inch necessary? 

Just as there is no such thing as "a little bit pregnant" is there such a thing as "a little bit too close to propane"?

Whatever the answer, your kitchen remodel looks outstanding! Your skills at remodeling become clear with the outcome of your project!

Joan, as far as the kitchen goes, in the end I just did what they said to do.  The one inch distinction was 18 inches vs. 17 inches, which did not seem like much to me.  But I did it, and that's that.  Thank you for the compliment!  Now I just need to do the last little bits of trim, which for some reason I never seem to complete!

Recently I hauled about 6 or 7 truckloads of brush from a pile that had piled up over the past few years, tree trimmings, fallen branches, etc. Ning wanted to burn it all, and I considered that.  The neighbors burn brush all of the time.  They were also complaining about our pile, although it was barely visible from the road.  Still, there are regulations and a permit is required for burning.  Ning kept insisting that we burn, but I didn't want to go through the hassle of the permit process and possibly more property inspections, which always  seem to turn out bad due to unanticipated issues.  So I spent several days cutting, piling into the truck, mashing down, more piling, hauling, and unloading, mostly in the rain.  By myself, since I didn't want Ning around to continue telling me we should burn it all regardless of regulations and potential violation tickets or fines.  Of course, there are good reasons for regulating burnings - noxious smoke, risk to property, risk to forested areas.  As it happens, I don't think that sodden water saturated soil and grass were much at risk, but it's undestandable that regulations are needed, and I obeyed.

I have a spare septic sustem, where former owners more than a decade ago had a trailer on the acre that no longer has power, buildings or house, or connection to the system.  The dept of health wants me to pay to have it inspected every year to make sure it is not overfilling.  I keep telling them, there's no house there, no other source for filling the system, it's not used.  I eventually need to have it filled with sand, but I keep forgetting it.  I don't know why they insist that i have a system inspected when there is not even plumbing leading to it and hasn't been for a decade.  Oh well.

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