I don't think I would be that far from the truth if I said that Joel Salatin is probably one of the most famous farmers in the world at this moment.
I read Joels blog after he had visited France and was sad. Although I know that soil erosion is a massive problem, and I know that land management and farming practices are not always good, there is nothing like hearing it from the horses mouth to make you reflect again on the world around you. He commented on the bare soil in the vineyards and how on much of the steep slopes the soil has been washed away and we are down to subsoils (the bit below topsoil). Joel said he was told by his host that France was "not the same all over", and that is possibly true..... But, I do a lot of driving and I know that Joel is right. I have passed more bare fields washing and blowing away in the wind that I care to mention. There are more rocks on the top of some fields than there is soil. Cultivations are done running up and down the slope assisting with water erosion. I have not seen a no-till field (a field that is planted directly with no cultivation or soil disturbance) I have never seen in this area a field with a cover crop (a crop grown for the protection and enrichment of the soil) which is then directly planted with the new crop.
On the up side, I have recently seen cover crops with a couple of farmers though they have then been ploughed in. Better than nothing, though not the best.
How to change behaviour in a community of aging, conservative, often single people, who have little or no help, work long hours and have a lot of debt and instability in their lives, I don't know. I do know that criticising, hounding and abusing them is not the way forward.
I always wanted to change the world, maybe thats why I did the "hippy, crackpot course". Is it time for some baby steps?
See you all soon