The Making of a Climate Activist
Published by: Scribe Publications Pty Ltd
Imprint: Scribe US
256 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: October 2023
Is it possible to survive as a new farmer and change the future of farming at the same time?
For years we’ve been told that the food system is destroying the planet. That there are too many cows and tractors, too much fertilizer, too much waste, and that farmers and food manufacturers are polluting our atmosphere. But we’ve also been told that food can help save us from the worst of global warming. How can it be both destroyer and savior?
In 2018, Nicola Harvey and her husband, Pat, left their careers and inner-city Sydney life to farm cattle in rural New Zealand. They thought it would be exciting, even relaxing, but soon found themselves in the middle of heated arguments and deep divisions about food, farming, and climate change.
In this profoundly personal story, Harvey takes readers into the heart of the industrialized global food system to share what life on the land is like when you’re a new farmer just trying to survive — and change the status quo.
At odds with her family and struggling to find a place within her new community, Nicola is at first outraged at the lack of action to curb global warming. When she realizes, though, that we're all being sold a false fix, she begins to transform the farm into a site of activism. In the kitchen and on the land, Nicola finds hope and a path towards a cooler future.
“An enlightening read for everyone who is interested in food production. It is both intensely personal and vitally important, ranging far and wide across the agricultural spectrum, teasing out issues and raising questions, but also offering sustenance and hope.”
—Julia Taylor, Books+Publishing
“Through her storytelling and reporting, Nicola Harvey renders in full color arguments about food and climate change that too often are portrayed as black and white. Humanity, compassion, and rigorous research make this an essential book for both those working on food system issues and those who simply care about food.”
“More than a memoir, Farm is a call to arms for farmers to do better, for people to understand food systems better, and for all of us to join together and help heal the planet.”
“By taking a look at the extensive bibliography you’ll quickly see how intensely researched the book is which adds weight to the arguments and questions it presents … The book also poses questions about food production, food consumption, the food industry and the impact of big supermarket chains on consumer choices and farming profitability … I certainly recommend this book to anyone stepping into the realm of regenerative agriculture and to anyone interested in the challenge of meeting global food demands while still caring for the planet. It is by no means a light read but it is, without doubt, a worthy and enlightening one.”
—Australian Rural and Regional News
“This is a timely and important book … As problems mount Farm may begin to worry, even depress, some readers … At this point, as a gifted writer, Harvey turns the tables. Allowing the reader the relief of problem-solving, harmony and some success … Ultimately this is an optimistic, even joyous, book.”
—Michael McKernan, The Canberra Times
“Part memoir, part environmental clarion call, [Farm] is conversational in tone and often vivid.”
—Steven Carroll and Cameron Woodhead, The Sydney Morning Herald
“Farm offers a fascinating insight into an upstart farming couple's quest to balance the need for profit and productivity with the desire to look after the environment … The book embellishes a subject matter which is often framed in black and white with much needed shades of grey. It is bound to offer plenty of food for thought for both farmers, and city slickers alike.”