the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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learn about the history and anthropology of mead with this awesome mead-zine

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Check out this awesome zine about making mead sent to us by our friend Jonathan Tanis. It starts with an introduction contextualising fermentation as a political act which is both democratizing and embraces the commons, bubbling away with “unrealized possibility” for forming human connections and alliances. It then moves on to explain the historical and anthropological contexts of mead making. Humans have been consuming honey for nearly 9,000 years and mead has featured heavily throughout our civilizations. Naturally there are also instructions and a recipe for brewing your own mead at home!

This is a fascinating and inspiring read full of history, art, poetry and politics, and as the authors say, in this time of global strife and agitation, make mead, not war.

If you or somebody you know is an artist, poet, academic or farmer, and would like to  get involved with future Culture & Agriculture or Agropunk zines, please contact Jonathan at justjontanis@gmail.com.


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on this day in 1845, a fateful step was taken towards enclosure of the commons

Enclosure_on_Coombe_Green_Common_-_geograph.org.uk_-_481337

credit: Bob Embleton/Wikimedia Commons

On this day in 1845, Westminster, the UK Parliament passed the 1845 enclosure act. Although not the first step in the enclosure of the commons, this act created enclosure commissioners who were given the authority to enclose land without prior parliamentary approval. In total, over the course of 300 years, the British government enclosed nearly 7 million acres of the commons in Britain alone. In doing so they created the ‘working class’ and systematic private property in one fell swoop.  This model became a worldwide blueprint that has led us to the situation in which we find ourselves today. Enclosure of the commons, coupled with imperialism has ensured that hundreds of millions of people are unable to access agricultural land and billions more live in abject poverty, despite living in regions of abundance. Continue reading


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thinking like a commoner

think like a commoner, greenhorns

If you’ve not heard of David Bollier, now is as good a time as ever.

Bollier is an author, activist and blogger that spends a lot of time researching and thinking about the commons. He has written a number of excellent books looking at ways in which economies and communities can transition to commons based systems.

From his latest book Think Like a Commoner:

 In our age of predatory markets and make-believe democracy, our troubled political institutions have lost sight of real people and practical realities. But if you look to the edges, ordinary people are reinventing governance and provisioning on their own terms. The commons is arising as a serious, practical alternative to the corrupt Market/State.

The beauty of commons is that we can build them ourselves, right now. But the bigger challenge is, Can we learn to see the commons and, more importantly, to think like a commoner?

Recently Bollier gave a lecture in Athens about the emerging commons economy in Greece post collapse.

Here is a link to the English lecture.

And here is link to Bollier’s blog.

farm hack, atelier


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commons based technology: a glimpse inside l`atelier paysan

farm hack, atelier

Farmer, tool hacker, organizer, and self styled agricultural anthropologist (and, we’re proud to say, a GH blog editor) Samuel Oslund takes us on a journey into les Rencontres de l’Atelier Paysan. Les Rencontres is a yearly gathering of farmers from across France, hosted by our French farm hacking heroes  l’Atelier Paysan (roughly The Peasant’s/agrarian Workshop).  The event is a hands on skill sharing celebration, filled with food, good wine, and some fairly strange music. Continue reading


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call to the commons

capture

Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

George Monbiot has something of reputation for discussing the more dire circumstances we face today, but in his latest article for The Guardian he presents some reasons not to despair. In particular, Monbiot hones in on the commons, which (as you may know) is the theme of this years New Farmers Almanac.

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