Farming Democracy


FARMING DEMOCRACY opens the farm gates, it opens the books and ledgers, and aims to open our hearts and minds to the farming community. This book lets the world see the true work, rewards, and costs of farming!

Farming Democracy tells the story of family farms doing things differently. They are working for a ‘new normal’ in agriculture that is fair to soil, water, animals, and people. These farmers are building regenerative, agroecological systems that are viable in an epoch that has seen a sharp decline in the number of farms globally.



You’ll be moved by the stories from these eight wonderful farms –by their openness and honesty about every aspect of their systems and farming journeys. Each farm has opened their books to share their true revenue and costs to shine a light onto these realities as never before.

They’ve overcome adversity as diverse as loss of animals to natural disasters, loss of entire segments of their system to unfair regulations, and working out how to take control of the means of production. And their triumphs belong to all of us –every win for a small-scale farm is a benefit to their local community.

With a galvanising foreword by Joel Salatin and luscious illustrations by Brenna Quinlan, Farming Democracy is an inspiring and revelatory read.

This book was made possible by the support and commitment of the AFSA community, who came together to make this idea a reality – to our supporters, thank you!

“”Few vocations are as foundational to civilisation as farming.  Few vocations can destroy civilisation as fast as farming … We all need to immerse ourselves in the stories of those who dare to challenge the orthodoxy; who dare to follow a different trajectory that benefits the soil, the people, and the planet.

This collection of transparent, personal vignettes into the lives of real people caressing real land producing real food and fibre touches all of us profoundly with the peaks and valleys of farming.  Better than fiction, these stories articulate reality; the reality of how, why, and where food and fibre enter our plates and homes.  Knowing something about our intersection with food and fibre is a starting point for earth stewardship.  Let the lessons begin.”

Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm

“Regenerative agriculture is bottom-up. It comprises an underground revolution which disempowers the big end of town and restores both farming and social democracy, along with individual sovereignty. The eight courageous farmers in this book reveal, warts and all, how this revolution is being enacted in Australia and world-wide. These examples are inspiring, powerfully democratic, regenerative, and truly healing of society and ourselves.”

Charles Massy, author of Call of the Reed Warbler


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