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

Regular price $ 22.50

by Chris Smaje

Chelsea Green Publishing Company

10/21/2020, paperback

SKU: 9781603589024


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 organising 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.


'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

'Time to tune in - these are powerful arguments for collective action in agriculture. We know that small farms offer solutions to the crises of our time. Stewardship, guardianship and rebuilding biodiversity is real, meaningful work. If each human engaged meaningfully, every day, in their own subsistence, imagine how much more accountable our society would become. This restoration of our food and ecosystems will take many hands, many years, and much patience and goodwill. This means that those of us already farming will need to become well versed in transmitting the why and the how to those who will join us. The coming radical shifts in ownership, tenure, settlement and structure present an incredible opportunity for sanity, subsistence and self-determination. Onward!'--Severine von Tscharner Fleming, director, Greenhorns; chair, Agrarian Trust

About the Author:

Chris Smaje has coworked a small farm in Somerset, southwest England, for the last 17 years. Previously, he was a university-based social scientist, working in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey and the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths College on aspects of social policy, social identities and the environment. Since switching focus to the practice and politics of agroecology, he's written for various publications, such as The Land, Dark Mountain, Permaculture magazine and Statistics Views, as well as academic journals such as Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and the Journal of Consumer Culture. Smaje writes the blog Small Farm Future, is a featured author at www.resilience.org and a current director of the Ecological Land Co-op.