Farms of Tomorrow, the book about community supported agriculture that the late Trauger Groh and I co-authored 27 years ago, has now been translated into Mandarin, the dialect used by 70% of the 1.2 billion human beings who speak Chinese.
When Trauger and I collaborated on the original English-language edition of Farms of Tomorrow in 1989-90 there were perhaps 60 community supported farms (CSAs) in the USA. Now according to the USDA’s 2015 Local Food Census, the number of CSAs is nearly 7,500. There are many thousands more sustainable, organic and biodynamic CSA farms around the world involving hundreds of thousands of households in direct healthy agroecology and food sovereignty. Many of these far-flung community farms are networked through URGENCI, an international NGO based in France.
In the face of the world’s general agricultural, environmental, political and climate turbulence, the steady international, grass-roots development of a sustainable, holistic farm and community model is positive and heartening. These are points I emphasize in a narrated slide show (Awakening Community Intelligence) freely available on Youtube. In it I also sound a call, and offer an urgent argument for why, communities engage now actively to begin establishing hundreds of thousands of new CSA farms.
Eight years after the initial US publication of our book, Trauger and I again examined the ideas, the farms, and the communities at the heart of the growing CSA movement, and we co-authored a revised and greatly expanded edition: Farms of Tomorrow Revisited. This is the volume now translated into Mandarin
Our book acknowledges that farming is not just a business like any other profit-making business, but a precondition of all human life on earth, and a precondition of all economic activity. As such, farming can be understood as everyone’s responsibility.
The book contains basic essays on principles, structures and ideals for community supported farms. We wrote on pertinent themes: the economic, environmental, spiritual and legal questions faced by CSAs; the development of community; relationship with the land; the role of animals; and the experiences and observations of farm-member families.
As we note in the book, Community Supported Agriculture is not just another new and clever approach to marketing. Rather, CSA is about the necessary renewal of agriculture through its healthy linkage with the human communities that depend on farming for survival. CSA is also about the necessary stewardship of soil, plants, and animals: the essential capital of all human cultures. Our relationship with nature and the ways that we use the land will determine the future of the earth.
By now, more than 30 years after beginning in Japan, Europe, the USA and elsewhere, CSA farms are in every part of the world. Farms of Tomorrow Revisited has been translated into German, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and now the new Mandarin edition. The new translation of our book will join Elizabeth Henderson’s influential CSA book, Sharing the Harvest, which has already been published in Chinese.
The Chinese edition of Farms of Tomorrow Revisited was translated and is published by the Anthroposophy Education Foundation in Taiwan in agreement with the original and current US publisher, the Biodynamic Association. The Chinese edition is being promoted through Facebook.