Combining the voiceover aesthetics of a summer blockbuster (“In a world...”) and the folks-y camera work of public access television (lots of creative framing), a new video from Polyface Farms announces a series of instructional DVDs on farming. The Polyface Primer takes viewers into the fields and woods and glens of Joel Salatin’s Virginia farm, an operation made famous by The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food, Inc. The first single-episode DVD looks at the farm’s techno-historic approach to raising hogs.
“Today’s show combines the most ancient hog production techniques with the best of modern technology,” says Salatin. He’s working with electric fencing and various devices with microchips inside of them (what, exactly, those microchips are doing is unclear in the trailer), but within the context of the ancient symbiosis of pigs and trees”—or, in other words, “reintroducing the pig-ness of the pig to the production lot,” in the farmers words.
Even if you aren’t considering electrifying the stand of woods out back and introducing a few dozen hogs, there’s certainly a high cute-farm-animal quotient here. And who knows? Watching these swine rooting around in the forest, the fuzzy piglets rolling around on their backs, you might be inspired to take up Salatin’s cause and, as he puts it, participate with nature: “Our mandate, I think, as stewards, as humans, is to not abandon the ecology but to embrace it.”