Michael Foley

Green Uprising Farm

School of Adaptive Agriculture


Michael Foley is a farmer, local food activist, and writer. Formerly a political scientist, he now runs Green Uprising Farm in Willits, California, with his wife and oldest daughter. He is also a co-founder of the School of Adaptive Agriculture, a farmer training program in Willits. He is author of Farming for the Long Haul.

Michael will be speaking at the Oregon Fairs


Check It Out!

The New/Old Economics of Homesteading

Feeding one's family has always been central to the idea of homesteading. It was also the economic basis for settled life for most of human society for millennia. Today, it's more important than ever that as many of us as possible, whether we call ourselves farmers or homesteaders or gardeners, learn to provide for ourselves and our neighbors. This talk looks at the traditional ways societies around the world and throughout history have provided abundance for their members through gardening, farming, forestry, and foraging. Michael Foley focuses on strategies and methods, from seed saving and plant breeding to terracing and, above all, sharing.

Available In:

Oregon, Sunday 3:30-4:30 p.m., Homestead Hustle Stage

The Future of Farming Is Homesteading

The business press predicts that the future of farming lies in the magic of technology, from GPS-controlled tractors to electronically calibrated aquaponic systems to “vertical farms” in city skyscrapers. But expensive innovations won't fix a food system that cannot pay for itself now. The real future lies in small farms and homesteads that enjoy the advantages of small scale: high productivity, subsistence-first thinking, and low levels of debt. Small-scale farms have always outproduced the giant farms that challenged them, and proliferating numbers of “micro-farms” have proved that very small scale can be profitable. But climate change, the coming end of the Age of Oil, and financial instability promise that those of us who can provide for ourselves and our neighbors will be best positioned to survive and even thrive in the long haul. Many of us already benefit from communities in which we can exchange milk or produce for meat, meat for grain, and our own labor for the help of neighbors, whether we produce for market or not. Homesteading has never meant complete self-sufficiency, and in American history it mostly meant some sort of production for market, too often fueled by excessive debt. Today we can learn the lessons of the past to produce more with less labor, working smarter (not harder), knitting stronger ties with our surrounding communities, and avoiding the debt that ruined so many of the homesteaders of the past. We can also incorporate the innovations of small-scale farming from around the world into our own efforts to adapt to a changing climate and economic system. This workshop explores these themes and introduces lessons from the past that can inform our future.

Available In:

Oregon, Saturday 10:00-11:00 a.m., Homestead Hustle Stage
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