A Small Farm Future – seasonal update

I wasn’t planning to write another pre-Christmas post, but a few items have come across the editorial desk which I want to share.

First, I’m excited to be doing a webinar on 27 January along with Vandana Shiva and Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm (and author of Farming While Black) – further details TBA. I’m also recording a podcast early in January with Ben Trollinger of Acres USA, running a panel at the Oxford Real Farming Conference on delivering a small farm future at 12 noon GMT on 11 January, doing a guest session on the Surviving the Future course on 13 January, speaking at the RIHN symposium on 15 January and at the NOFA-New Jersey conference on 31 January. Further details likewise TBA – do check the My Book page of the website. I’ve just updated it, but sheesh it’s a fast-moving field!

I have various other things going on in the background too in January, possibly even some farm work, so I may not get around to doing much blogging. But I’ll try to knock out the next post in my present series where I blog my way through my book sometime in early January. Then I hope to see you on the other side!

In other news, Jura has sent me this picture of his Christmas preparations, referencing a discussion we had on here some time ago. Or else search online for ‘Polish Christmas traditions’ or ‘carp in the bath’.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re eating, my best wishes for the holidays and a happy new year.

6 thoughts on “A Small Farm Future – seasonal update

  1. Dear Chris.. Sorry for writing it here but today it evidently my day of Chris S.

    I was just passed a link to Monbiot’s speech.
    It proves your blog is of highest educational value.
    It may even correct the uncorrectable.
    I can recall an entry in here titled “saving Monbiot’s” (or kinda that) in which you berated him for his primitive corucopianism.
    Having watched the very few seconds of his speech during which he is denying possibility of decoupling made my jaw move tha way my bath-tube carpe do.
    I could hardly believe what I was hearing.

  2. Leaving it a bit late … but wanted to add my very best wishes to you for the holidays.

    I don’t really do blog comment-writing these days (too much of a procrastination-lure), but I do read your blog and engage with it enough to feel compelled to say “thankyou”.

  3. I’m brand new to this site, and I just bought your book. I am loving it so far and you seem know just what the world needs. Thanks for for being an advocate for a small farm future. Merry Christmas!

  4. Thanks Jura, Martin & Cam – and I’m glad you’re enjoying the book, Cam!

    I’m signing off for a few days, so happy holidays everyone – even George!

  5. A comment I made on another blog:
    Small Farm Future and Happiness
    Mo Gowdat, a Google X executive, lost a son in a hospital mishap. He had already been rather depressed for several years. The combination led him into a deep study of happiness. I want to relate his results to the notion of craft, and particularly craft as it relates to the natural world.

    Gowdat’s equation is that “happiness is greater than or equal to your perception of the events in your life, minus your expectation of how life should behave.” (As a parenthetical note, Prosperity Christianity raises the expectations quite dramatically…the lame will not take up their pallet and walk, they will be given the large yacht they covet, etc.). Now biology, the living world and especially our brains, ‘are way more complicated than the universe’…according to a recent physicist reviewing 7 1/2 Lessons About the Brain.

    Now my suggestion is that if we are deeply involved in the biological world (e.g., gardening, worm farming, building soil carbon and fertility, healthy lifestyles, etc.), then we have a certain level of knowledge which can produce some expected results. But that biology is ‘way more complicated than the universe’ and so, if we study what is happening deeply, we are constantly amazed at the fecundity of nature. The lame not only get up, they dance.

    Consequently, those who practice the ‘finding happiness in the moment’ that Gowdat discovered need never revert to the mean…so long as they are engaged with ‘the most complicated things we know about’ and keep learning.

    Don Stewart

    • Interesting ideas, Don. You might also find interest in Sue Stuart-Smith’s book The Well-Gardened Mind, which… “investigates the many ways in which mind and garden can interact and explores how the process of tending a plot can be a way of sustaining an innermost self.” It also struck me that this brief clip of Adam Phillips discussing the place of happiness in our culture might feed in to your own thoughts on this matter.

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