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Bien Peasant

Why the world needs a renaissance of small farming | Colin Tudge | Comment is free | The Guardian

The greed for profit is ruining agriculture – and the world – but the trend for local shops and farmers' markets offers real hope

...report after report – the kind governments and big organisations choose to override – tells us that the best way to ensure that everyone is well fed, sustainably and securely, is through farms that are mixed, complex and low-input (quasi-organic). These must be labour-intensive (or there can be no complexity), so there is no advantage in them being large scale.....

Oh just fuck off. Small scale farming is dirty dangerous work producing unsafe expensive food in environmentally damaging ways on more land per unit of production than "factory farming".

I'm a small farmer, I know.

Ever since neolithic man got himself organised enough to allow Ugg The Clever One to not have to chase deer all day so he could make pots and chart the sunrises the progress of civilisation has been a story of getting people off the farm to do something better.

Comments

Well, it is not actually a Guardian article but a sort of extended letter-to-the-editors. But no, that does not exonerate the Guardian.

The "Let us go forward to the Seventeenth Century" theme seems sheer idiocy to me. Sure, I do not like the fact that huge businesses are doing better than farm families, who eventually lose out: OTOH, I live in the "New England" area of the US, which by the Eighteenth Century was importing a lot of food-stuffs (heh, tea...) which CANNOT be grown here in quantity.

And those pig farms that are closing - Do pig farms usually sell crops like wheat or apples as well? I wonder, it is strictly economics or is it the neighbors? A couple of years back a company wanted to produce cheddar cheese in Cheddar, but was not allowed to because the residents remembered how bad it used to smell when cheese was produced there. Naught to do with economics.

Nor did the famines in India and much of Africa start in the mid-Twentieth Century, even those of Egypt (the Breadbasket of the Roman Empire!) go back millenia.

Much more, but why bother - he will not listen.

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