A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity and a Shared Earth

Category: Book
By (author): Smaje, Chris
Subject:  BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Agriculture & Food (see also POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Poli
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Future Studies
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Rural
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Published: October 2020
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 9.01in x 6.02in x 1.02in
Our Price:
$ 32.95
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

A modern classic of the new agrarianism

"Chris Smaje...shows that the choice is clear. Either we have a small farm future, or we face collapse and extinction."-Vandana Shiva

"Every young person should read this book."-Richard Heinberg

In a groundbreaking debut, farmer and social scientist Chris Smaje argues that organizing society around small-scale farming offers the soundest, sanest and most reasonable response to climate change and other crises of civilisation-and will yield humanity's best chance at survival.

Drawing on a vast range of sources from across a multitude of disciplines, A Small Farm Future analyses the complex forces that make societal change inevitable; explains how low-carbon, locally self-reliant agrarian communities can empower us to successfully confront these changes head on; and explores the pathways for delivering this vision politically.

Challenging both conventional wisdom and utopian blueprints, A Small Farm Future offers rigorous original analysis of wicked problems and hidden opportunities in a way that illuminates the path toward functional local economies, effective self-provisioning, agricultural diversity and a shared earth.

Perfect for readers of both Wendell Berry and Thomas Piketty, A Small Farm Future is a refreshing, new outlook on a way forward for society-and a vital resource for activists, students, policy makers, and anyone looking to enact change.

Review Quote*

‘Food is the core of culture, and modern industrial culture is rotting from the inside out due to its reliance on fossil-fueled agriculture. The only viable future is one based on small, ecologically regenerative, labor-intensive farming. Chris Smaje's brilliant book presents the rationale, surveys methods and issues, and supplies an abundance of insight derived from the author's twenty years of experience. Every young person should read this book.'-Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute 

Review Quote*

‘We are facing an existential crisis- with species extinction, climate catastrophes, desertification of soil, disappearance of water, pandemics of infectious and chronic diseases, hunger and malnutrition. Industrialized, globalized agriculture based on the myth that it feeds the world is driving the multiple, interconnected crisis. Eighty percent of the food we eat comes from small farms. Chris Smaje's A Small Farm Future shows that the choice is clear. Either we have a small farm future, or we face collapse and extinction.'-Vandana Shiva, author of Oneness vs. the 1% and Who Really Feeds the World?

Review Quote*

‘A Small Farm Future is a solid and truly inspiring book. I have dedicated the last 17 years of my life to creating a micro farm, and what I have learned fully confirms what Chris Smaje says: a small, ecologically inspired farm can produce high-quality, local food while also improving soil fertility, storing carbon, conserving water resources and improving biodiversity. Not to mention creating jobs and improving quality of life. A return to Mother Earth is the foundation on which we can build a new paradigm of sustainable and equitable abundance based on biological resources, renewable energies, eco-construction and solidarity- among individuals and cultures, and across generations. Getting out of a virtual and globalized economy to cultivate the land with love and respect is our only hope to pass on a viable planet to our children. This is also the secret to happiness!'-Charles Hervé-Gruyer, author of Miraculous Abundance; co-founder, Bec Hellouin Farm, France

Review Quote*

‘On one side we have science-based high tech with neoliberal economics, driven by the perceived need to control nature and to maximize material wealth; and on the other are traditional human skills and values. Whether it's dressed in the trappings of communism or capitalism or autocracy or democracy, the former is undoubtedly winning. Governments and their chosen advisers the world over equate high tech and measurable economic "growth" with progress.  

‘But the dominance of what now passes as modernity is killing us all. The methods it gives rise to and the mindset behind it are at the root of all the world's crises. What we need now above all else is food production based on small farming- albeit assisted by excellent science and sometimes by high tech; feeding into localised economies; and deployed with true concern for the welfare of humanity and our fellow creatures. Chris Smaje, a sociologist-cum-anthropologist turned smallholder, is showing us exactly what is needed and why. A timely and valuable book- and a very readable read.'-Colin Tudge, co-founder, Oxford Real Farming Conference and the College for Real Farming and Food Culture; author of The Great Re-Think

Review Quote*

‘A Small Farm Future makes plain that the next 30 years will look very different to the last 30. Yet Smaje's unique integration of big-picture insight and hard-won experience clears the fog, brilliantly revealing reliable and meaningful paths forward, even as the ground shifts beneath our feet.'-Shaun Chamberlin, author of The Transition Timeline; editor of Lean Logic and Surviving the Future

Review Quote*

‘This book is such a treat. In an era of generalized crisis, Chris Smaje articulates an appealing, beautiful vision of the future. Chris has walked the talk, which makes his plea all the more powerful and convincing.'-Dr. Giorgos Kallis, ICREA research professor, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

Review Quote*

‘Anyone involved in political thought, agriculture, justice, or futurism who is not familiar with Chris Smaje's writing from his blog should do themselves the favor of picking up this book as soon as possible. Smaje's writing is pretty much always worth engaging with- whether for the wry humor, the ways he challenges us to think harder and more boldly, his relentless humanism or his ability to marry nuance with accessibility. He is a visionary in the most interesting and exciting meaning of the word. His writing consistently shows him to be an intellectual tour guide par excellence: he may or may not see further than others, but he certainly never fails to help us see what is in front of us better.'-M. Jahi Chappell, executive director, Southeastern African-American Farmers' Organic Network (SAAFON); author of Beginning to End Hunger

Review Quote*

‘Chris Smaje brings intellectual rigour to the centuries-old demand for "three acres and a cow".'-Simon Fairlie, author of Meat: A Benign Extravagance; editor, The Land magazine

Review Quote*

‘Superb! This book shows with great clarity why we are heading for planetary disaster and suggests ways in which new kinds of more stable social and economic practices might evolve around support for sustainable agriculture. A timely and compelling vision of a New Agrarianism. Highly recommended.'-Paul Richards, author of Indigenous Agricultural Revolution and Ebola; emeritus professor of technology and agrarian development, Wageningen University