Simon Fairlie

Simon Fairlie worked for twenty years variously as an agricultural labourer, vine worker, shepherd, fisherman, builder and stonemason before being ensnared by the computer in 1990. He was a coeditor of The Ecologist magazine for four years until he joined a farming community in 1994 where he managed the cows, pigs and a working horse. He now runs a micro dairy at Monkton Wyld Court, a charity and cooperative in rural Dorset. Simon is a founding editor of The Land magazine, and he earns a living by selling scythes. He is the author of Low Impact Development: Planning and People in a Sustainable Countryside (1996), Meat: A Benign Extravagance (2010), and Going to Seed: A Counterculture Memoir (2022).

organic cattle

Monbiotic Man

The imperative is not to stop farming, but to phase out fossil fuels very quickly. Cavalier polemics that cast primary responsibility for our predicament elsewhere are a dangerous diversion.

August 25, 2022


Is There Life After Fert?

A return to mixed farming would bring with it numerous blessings: reduced water pollution, greater agricultural biodiversity, healthier soils, reduced reliance on pesticides and herbicides, more farm jobs and more varied and interesting work.

March 24, 2022


Going to Seed: Excerpt

The 1950s was arguably the decade that best matched a decent standard of living to a sustainable way of life.

February 14, 2022


Greed and Its Offsets

In the face of these pressures there remains a dogged belief amongst many in the farming community that the purpose of agriculture is to produce food. A growing number of consumers are keen to buy high quality local food, produced through sound husbandry (as agroecology used to be called).

July 16, 2021


Wear the Landscape: Review of Fibershed

In the USA, 98 percent of all garments are now imported, compared with just five percent in 1965. Fibershed is a welcome plea for a movement to relocalize textile production, similar to that which has revived demand for local foods over the last 20 years.

February 7, 2020


Quality not Quantity

Quality not quantity is what is needed: good husbandry, not the willy-nilly broadcasting of trees on random hectares. Good husbandry will come naturally when fossil fuels are eliminated, and artificial fertilisers a thing of the past, for it is then that people will fully appreciate the true value of land.

January 23, 2020

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