Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Rethinking Food and Farming: A 21st Century Renaissance

Rethinking Food and Farming: A 21st Century Renaissance

Course dates: 
Monday, 16 October, 2017 to Friday, 20 October, 2017

With Colin Tudge, Ruth West and guests

We could be looking forward with real optimism to the next million years. But to achieve a world that is truly good to live in, for us and our fellow creatures, we need to rethink everything - beginning with food and farming.

We need to go back to first principles - the economy, the politics and the underlying sceince and moral issues. Ultimately we need to realise that all of our big ideas are rooted in metaphysics - the pursuit that has gone missing and needs to be restored.

Nothing is more importantd than agriculture.

The good news is that we already know enough to feed ourselves well. The bad news is that the governments, corporates, and intellectuals to whom we have entrusted our affairs, seem to have misconstrued the nature of the task and are pursuing strategies that could be the precise opposite of what’s required.

What we need is an Agrarian Renaissance - a democratic renaissance in which all humanity plays a part. We need 'a people's takeover of the world's farming', based on agroecology, food sovereignty and economic demoncracy. This may sound too daunting for words, but enough is going on around the world over to suggest it is already happening. The task is now to identify the ideas and initiatives that are truly helpful and build upon them.

Come and discuss what’s needed, talk to people who are already on the case, let us know what you’re doing and learn how you can get involved.

Some of the areas we will be covering are:

1: THE IDEA OF RENAISSANCE
2: THE BIOSPHERE
3: ENLIGHTENED FARMING
4: A TRUE FOOD CULTURE
5: GREEN ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY
6: THE THINGS ABOUT SCIENCE
7: THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT THAT’S GONE MISSING; METAPHYSICS
8: WHAT CAN WE DO?

This course is for anyone who is concerned about the future and how we can make more change more rapidly, through the food we eat and the way we produce it, buy it, cook it and think about it. It will be a mix of talks, discussion and field trips. No experience necessary.

Teachers

Colin Tudge

Colin is a biologist by education and a writer. He was born in London in 1943; educated at Dulwich College, 1954-61; and read zoology at Peterhouse, Cambridge, 1962-65. Colin has written a great many articles for a great many publications and for a time was on the staff of Farmers’ Weekly, then New Scientist, then BBC Radio 3. But mainly he writes books – on natural history, evolution, food and farming, and, lately, on the philosophy of science and metaphysics. He also enjoys public speaking. In the early 2000s Colin coined the expression "Enlightened Agriculture"; in 2008 Colin and his second wife Ruth established the Campaign for Real Farming (link is external) and in 2010, together with Graham Harvey, they launched the Oxford Real Farming Conference (link is external) as the antidote to the established Oxford Farming Conference.

Ruth West

Ruth has followed a varied career from community worker in London’s east end in the early ’70s to coordinator of a farmers’ market in the last few years.  In between she has worked as a researcher and campaigner in the areas of health, the environment and human rights with spells as consultant for the WHO, UNEP and the Commonwealth Secretariat; run a research foundation exploring subjects that don’t fit the current scientific paradigm —  which at the time included climate change, as well as dowsing and healing; and got involved in setting up a social enterprise with a group of indigenous women in the Peruvian Andes.

Fee: 
£ 795.00
Course fees include basic accommodation, all meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions. The programme will run from Monday to Friday afternoon, and includes four nights private accommodation and all vegetarian meals from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure. We ask you to arrive between 11:30 - 1 on the first day of your course so that the group can begin the experience by dining together. We recommend attending this course as a fully residential participant however for you may choose to book as a non-residential participant. Please call 01803 847237 for more details.
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