Perhaps incorrectly, or even arrogantly, I’m anticipating that my soon-to-be-published book Saying NO to a Farm-Free Future might elicit pushback from those unconvinced by its arguments for agrarian localism.
My Plan B is no hey presto. It’s a numbers game. Slowly try to build a second, low-tech, distributed world within and around the edges of the mainstream world.
To foster those opportunities there’s a lot to be said for embracing Luddism – that is, for assessing whether new technologies are likely to benefit in the round the people or other organisms they affect and, if not, organising against them.
The time has come to announce my new book, Saying NO to a Farm-Free Future: The Case for an Ecological Food System and Against Manufactured Foods.
It wasn’t that long ago in most places that a lot more people lived more land-based lives grounded within more local and more renewable economies than today. It’s unlikely that the future will involve faithful replication of these lifeways, but it’s well worth understanding how they worked…
But inasmuch as the small farm societies of the future will be peasant societies I think they’ll be ‘reconstituted’ peasant societies…, rebuilding themselves out of the declining structures of an earlier economic system in the absence of an ‘authentic’ prior peasant tradition – albeit, I confess, in a very different historical situation.
Each year I save more seeds, from my own plants, from what I forage, from neighbors… This is where Charles Darwin and Mother Nature converge with our new climate extremes.
After liberalism, then, I believe the task is to steer our societies towards a small farm civic republicanism of the front porch and not the front parlour variety. I don’t think that’s going to be easy.
My main purpose in the book was only to suggest that a small farm future is pretty much a given, and whether that future proves attractive or ugly is collectively down to us and our successors.
Supersedure situations in which the zombie state fails to deliver welfare locally and people have to start innovating their own local solutions can take many forms and by their nature are always going to be locally specific and deeply contextual.
I’ve always thought that a long-term positive of Brexit might be a dawning realization that if you want to eat food locally you probably need to produce it locally, for the most part.
Ducks and geese are really low maintenance in comparison to other animals I have cared for. I really just provide them with a home, make sure they have feed when they need it, and leave them alone.