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Farming for the Long Haul

Resilience and the Lost Art of Agricultural Inventiveness
Narrated by: Madison Niederhauser
Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Environment
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2019 Michael Foley (P)2019 Chelsea Green Publishing

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Don’t waste your time

One big long tangent
Full of, this would ....
then that might .....
Too many assumptions on future implications of current trends

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  • Tom&Leslie
  • 24-04-2019

Not what I expected

This is really a social commentary that uses farming as the vehicle. It has very little to do with actual farming.

3 people found this helpful

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  • SpinningKat
  • 01-03-2019

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Russell Smith
  • 26-08-2019

drek

I had expected to find a book on regenerative agriculture and got a diatribe decrying the evils of private property and returning to a system of commons such as found in medieval Europe, he claims that arable land will be gone on 60 years and quotes Dr David R Montgomery who in fact says we're are losing topsoil at a rate of 0.3% per year, which is way too fast, but this nets a 30% loss in a century.
I purchased this on audible and made it about halfway through chapter 6 before being so disgusted I found something else to listen to.
if I wanted anti capitalist rhetoric I would turn on any number of socialist networks, not subsidize it with my hard earned money.

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  • Sharon S
  • 29-03-2020

Excellent Socio-Political Farmers Manifesto

First off - This is not a “how to farm book”, nor does it claim to be. Please ignore the reviews by people saying that the title of this is misleading, and they were disappointed...

This is in fact an excellent book. An important book everyone should read/listen to.

It covers the history of agriculture, how different people farmed, the successes, the downfalls, the modern day political issues farmers face, as well as some hopeful suggestions of what can be done before we deplete our Top Soil (which we have less than 60 years left with current agricultural practices)

This should be a mandatory reading for high school students. Educate them on the history of agriculture and they will be our hope for the future.

If you do no know where your food comes from, it is as if you do not know your self.