My name is Chris Smaje – I’m a social scientist by training and a small-scale farmer by occupation, helping run a smallholding in Somerset, southwest England where we grow fruit and vegetables for sale, usually keep a little livestock, and manage our woodlands and campsite.
Though smallholding, small-scale farming, peasant farming, agrarianism – call it what you will – has had many epitaphs written for it over the years, I think it’s the most likely way for humanity to see itself through the numerous crises we currently face both in the richer and poorer countries. This blog is my attempt to address why. The posts are sometimes practical but mostly political, as I try to wrestle with how to make the world a more welcoming place for the smallholder.
I’ve been lucky to have had lots of great commenters debating with me on here over the years. A word on commenting etiquette: Now that regrettably my hotheaded youth is behind me, I put a lot of store by courteous exchange of views rather than angry or goading language. I recognize that people’s interpretations can differ and that there’s considerable potential for online misunderstanding, so I welcome polite corrections or remonstrances directed at me or other commenters.
Definite no-nos are threatening or abusive language, racism, misogyny and similar, and negative generalizations about whole religions, ethnic groups or general categories of people (eg. immigrants). And a polite request based on previous experiences to go easy on the phrase ‘political correctness’. Otherwise, I’ll try to work with people as best I can to shape respectful disagreement – with the ultimate sanction if that proves too hard of deleting comments or blocking commenters, which happily I’ve very rarely had to do.
Please bear in mind also that if you include more than two hyperlinks in your comment it will automatically be held in the moderation queue.
Thanks for visiting,