It’s all but certain that the next 50 years will bring enormous, not to say cataclysmic, disruptions to our present way of life. World oil reserves will be exhausted within that time frame, as will the lithium that powers today’s most sophisticated batteries, suggesting that transportation is equally imperiled. And there’s another, even more dire limitation that is looming: at current rates of erosion, the world’s topsoil will be gone in 60 years. Fresh water sources are in jeopardy, too. In short, the large-scale agricultural and food delivery system as we know it has at most a few decades before it exhausts itself and the planet with it.
Farming for the Long Haul is about building a viable small-farm economy that can withstand the economic, political, and climatic shock waves that the 21st century portends. It draws on the innovative work of contemporary farmers, but more than that, it shares the experiences of farming societies around the world that have maintained resilient agricultural systems over centuries of often-turbulent change. Indigenous agriculturalists, peasants, and traditional farmers have all created broad strategies for survival through good times and bad, and many of them prospered. They also developed particular techniques for managing soil, water, and other resources sustainably. Some of these techniques have been taken up by organic agriculture and permaculture, but many more of them are virtually unknown, even among alternative farmers. This book lays out some of these strategies and presents techniques and tools that might prove most useful to farmers today and in the uncertain future.
What members say
Sobering assessment of farming
As wool farmer, I found this book very insightful , sighting world agriculture history as the basis for ideas on how to move forward. It accurately portrays how politics has played a part both domestically and globally. And it voices an approach of local cooperation and small scale economics in farming as a means of meeting the population's need for food and fiber. The dinosaur will soon be corporate farming, because their failure to renew resources such as soil and the practice of monoculture farming and debt carried is failing to produce good livings as commodity prices fall. Rising now is the small farmer who raises chickens, vegetables, meat all on small acreage. This method creates a greater yield per acre and renews a charished lifestyle of subsistence and the support of the local community. All these subjects are addressed in the book. I for one appreciate the clarity of perspective and effort in research. I am one of those farmers who is making it work, creating and encouraging the farm to clothing movement. And I do manage to make a bit of money. We are at the forefront of encouraging sustainable clothing and produce socks on the farm where the wool is grown, along with yarn and fiber for hand crafters. I thank this author for pulling together this information and hoping more folks are encouraged to get farming to improve quality of life, and excellent food and fiber. See our Facebook group Farm to Clothing.