Colin Tudge coined the expression “Enlightened Agriculture” to describe agriculture that is “expressly designed to provide everyone, everywhere, with food of the highest standard, nutritionally and gastronomically, without wrecking the rest of the world”. In Six Steps Back to the Land, he explains how we can achieve that, and have truly sustainable, resilient and productive farms:
- Why we need to rethink our approach to farming
- How we can move to low-input mixed farms
- Tightly-integrated farms employ many skilled people
- Dealing with the practicalities of this form of farming in today's world
- How we can get involved
Six Steps will inspire anyone to take an interest in our food chain and make a difference.
"This book is an eye opener as to the realities lying behind high-level exhortations about 'feeding the world' and reveals how the path we are on is more about the interests of powerful elites, rather than the people eating the food."
"Colin Tudge offers a welcome perspective at a time when so much of the dialogue about food and farming is framed against a backdrop of fear; a fear that there won’t be enough to feed an ever-increasing world population and a fear of the apocalyptic consequences of agriculture’s contribution towards climate change. The reality is that we already have the knowledge and resources needed, but they are being deployed within a system that is inherently wasteful, exploitative and characterised by inequality. Six Steps Back to the Land sets out a renaissance, a future shaped not by fear but by understanding."
"As the world population edges up to the ten billion mark (which the UN predicts we will reach in thirty years’ time), the question of how people are going to be fed grows ever more urgent. Bigger units! More machinery! More biotechnology! the politicians and the corporations say. But the peasant organisation, Via Campesina, and a number of voices in the West, say something very different. Colin Tudge is one of the most persuasive, sweetly reasonable, but also hard hitting voices calling for an alternative practice, and for some years he has been taking steps to see that this vision comes about. This book spells out the steps by which we might be able to get out from under the dominance of the Corporations and the ‘big is best’ mentality, and restore a farming which will feed 10 billion without poisoning the landscape, killing the bees, or turning farmers into serfs. If we want a peaceful and prosperous future, nothing could be more important. Read it, and then get involved!"
"In his wonderfully accessible style, Colin Tudge gathers together his increasingly well-honed arguments about society's miss-directed development of agriculture (encouragingly, parallel arguments are gaining greater recognition across a wide area of social development as global education and communication open up the political debate). This provides the background for illuminating six solid, safe steps in a direction that could diminish simultaneously the major problems of the past while sustaining a happier, healthier and more equitable future for agriculture and thus for society as a whole. Such a direction is essential if we are to mitigate and avoid the worst consequences of global climate change."
“Colin Tudge is one of those remarkable people who challenges orthodoxies by thinking outside of the box. He’s earned his place in the history of the food culture of this country as a real change maker.”
Colin Tudge is a biologist, science writer and author. He has been on the staff of Farmers’ Weekly, New Scientist, and BBC Radio 3. He has a passion for food and agriculture. He is closely involved in The Campaign for Real Farming and the Funding Enlightened Agriculture network which support SMEs in the sustainable food and farming sector.