In this session hosts Jason Snyder and Ashley Colby welcome Chris Smaje. Chris is well known for his book A Small Farm Future. In it, he argues that our best hope for an optimistic future will be centered around local economies, self-provisioning, and agricultural diversity. In this session, we hope to interrogate Chris on the explicit pathways he might see for us to achieve a small farm future. Drawing on Chris' encyclopedic historical knowledge of past agricultural societies, we'd like to ask him to talk through some historical precedents for our time period.
One example might be the Middle Ages, which often gets a bad rap, but recently Chris tweeted "I'd suggest almost the opposite - dark ages are often when ruling elites stop ruling & forget how to keep writing about their own brilliance for posterity. Then ordinary people can come out a play for a bit. Dark age for some, but not for others..." We hope to debate the question of a sustainable diet and best strategies for achieving agricultural diversity in a world where environmental policy makers increasingly call for a global diet. Finally, in advance of our next session with Dr. Vandana Shiva, we will ask Chris to envision what international cooperation around a small farm future might look like, and how we can help.
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