Chris Smaje

After studying then teaching and researching in social science and policy, I became a small-scale commercial veg grower in 2007. Nowadays, when I’m not writing about the need to design low-impact local food systems before they’re foisted on us by default, I spend my time as an aspiring woodsman, stockman, gardener and peasant on the small farm I help to run in Somerset, southwest England

Though smallholding, small-scale farming, peasant farming, agrarianism – call it what you will – has had many epitaphs written for it over the years, I think it’s the most likely way for humanity to see itself through the numerous crises we currently face in both the Global North and South. In my writing and blogging I attempt to explain why. The posts are sometimes practical but mostly political, as I try to wrestle with how to make the world a more welcoming place for the smallholder.

Chris is the author of A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity, and a Shared Earth, and most recently, Saying NO to a Farm-Free Future: The Case for an Ecological Food System and Against Manufactured Foods.


Attending to the sacred

This is the formidable challenge of our times – to create limits and localism while not creating arbitrary rules of social exclusion.

March 18, 2024


Q: Can (small-scale) farming feed Britain (or Tokyo, or the world)? A: Yes … (probably)

A small farm future out of practical necessity, then, but also one evincing positive cultural possibilities. But practical necessity is the critical driver.

February 29, 2024


How many solar panels can dance on the head of a pin? Thoughts on the eschatology of energy transition

The main pushback of substance I’ve had to my book Saying NO to a Farm-Free Future is that this era of clean energy abundance indeed is upon us, making manufactured food feasible and confining my arguments for agrarian localism and a small farm future to the dustbin of history. I doubt that, and in this post I’ll try to elucidate some of those doubts.

February 12, 2024

book cover

Why Small Farming Is Essential for Creating a Sustainable Future

With more farmers today than at almost any point in history, humanity’s future will likely be agrarian. We must imagine that world into being.

January 24, 2024


The energetic implausibility of manufactured food revisited

The issue is no longer our individual consumption choices within an existing global commodity food system, if it ever was. Like it or not, that system is unravelling, and I think the result is going to be the widespread adoption of low-energy local food systems.

January 23, 2024

Vallis Veg from the air

Food, land, work and rent: the real story of Vallis Veg

Still, the wider issues concerning food, land and labour are important, and in view of the present historical moment on our farm and in the world it seems opportune to discuss them.

December 11, 2023

Load More

1 thought on “Chris Smaje”

Leave a Comment