very lively and profitable
This farm was living and
thriving today just 150 miles from Washington, D.C.
a dark oil consisting mainly of hydrocarbons
Salatin’s hat had no logo and it was made of grass, not plastic. This was fitting because grass, not
petroleum, is the foundation of his farm’s success.
difficult to analyze or understand
The animals and crops seem to move in circles like some sort of
an animal or plant that lives in or on a host
Eating the grubs and larvae cuts down on bugs and
parasites—in this case, tiny organisms that live on or in the cow—that would bother the cattle.
marked by great fruitfulness
Its soil will be deeper, more
fertile, and even springier underfoot (this thanks to the increased earthworm traffic).
any animal that feeds chiefly on grass and other plants
When we looked at beef ranching, we learned how grasses and
herbivores formed a partnership over millions of years of evolution.
walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
After a moment of hesitation, the cows began to move, first singly, then two by two, and then all eighty of them
sauntered into the new pasture, brushing past us as they looked around for their favorite grasses.
an essential component of living cells and source of energy
For this reason, an acre of mixed grasses can actually produce more
carbohydrate and protein in a year than an acre of field corn.
a shortage of rainfall
And a field of mixed grasses with a deep root system is much more likely to survive dry spells and
someone who pays rent to use property owned by someone else
“The farm had been abused by
tenant farmers for 150 years,” Joel said.
inclined to shake as from weakness or defect
Joel climbed onto the tractor, threw it into gear, and slowly towed the
rickety henhouse fifty yards or so.
intense or sharp
Why does Joel want fermented corn in his manure pile? Because there’s nothing a pig enjoys more than getting tipsy on corn, and there’s nothing a pig is better equipped to do than root it out with his powerful snout and
exquisite sense of smell.
burn with a hot liquid or steam
That’s where, six times a month, several hundred chickens are killed,
scalded, plucked, and gutted.
amount or degree or range to which something runs
“The way I produce a chicken is an
extension of my worldview,” he’d told me the first time we’d talked.
marked by concern with the alleviation of suffering
“Slaughter is dehumanizing work if you have to do it every day. Processing but a few days a month means we can actually think about what we’re doing,” he continued, “and be as careful and
humane as possible.”
make certain of
They don’t need USDA rules to
ensure that the meat they’re buying has been humanely and cleanly processed.
address with continuously, as if with a barrage
bombarded us with the message that all pork is pork, all chicken is chicken.
rule of personal conduct
So avoiding the industrial food chain isn’t just a matter of
principle. It’s also good business.
changed in form or character
And there are people in many countries who are trying to stop the spread of genetically
a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous
"Slow food is good, clean and fair food, we believe that the food we eat should taste good; that it should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal
welfare or our health; and that food producers should receive fair compensation for their work."
prepared or converted from a natural state
And once you give up
processed foods, you have to learn to cook, a skill that is disappearing from many American homes.
Which, truth to tell, left me feeling a little
queasy. Was I going to be able to enjoy chicken so soon after working in the processing shed and gut-composting pile?
a strong solution of salt and water used for pickling
To be honest, there was another reason I chose the
brining and grilling method. Once the chickens were cut into pieces, they wouldn’t look quite so much like the birds I had helped kill and gut on the farm.
a remark expressing praise and admiration
This may not sound like much of a
compliment, but to me the chicken smelled and tasted exactly like chicken.
a food rich in sugar
But it tasted wonderful, everyone agreed, and as I rolled the rich yet weightless
confection on my tongue, I closed my eyes and suddenly there they were: Joel’s hens, marching down the gangplank from out of their Eggmobile, fanning out across the early-morning pasture, there in the grass where this magical bite began.