The Perennial Wisdom in Everyday Life

Wednesday, 20th September, 2017 19:00
Sunday, 24th September, 2017 14:00

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Course fees are kept to an absolute minimum – please, if you would like, add a donation towards our scholarship fund, which supports students and visitors on low income.

Charting a 21st Century Renaissance

In collaboration with The College for Real Farming and Food Culture, Colin Tudge will deliver a stimulating programme combining the theory and practice of food production for now and the future.


Colin Tudge
Colin is a biologist by education and a writer by trade.
In the early 2000s he coined the expression "Enlightened Agriculture". In the early 2000s he coined the expression "Enlightened Agriculture". In 2008 he and his wife, Ruth, established the Campaign for Real Farming and in 2010, together with Graham Harvey, they launched the Oxford Real Farming Conference as the antidote to the established Oxford Farming Conference.
More recently they initiated The College For Real Farming and Food Culture
Colin's latest book, Six Steps Back to the Land, is published by Green Books, January 2016. His earlier books include: Why Genes are Not Selfish and People are Nice, Good Food for Everyone Forever, The Secret Life of Trees and The Secret Life of Birds

Who is it for?
The week should be of interest to anyone concerned about the way agriculture and food consumption is organised today. This can include those actively working in these areas, such as farmers, butchers or chefs, as well as those who engage in campaigning for changes.

Fundamental questioning
Colin has argued that any society’s approach to food and farming ultimately rests on its 'weltanschaung', the way that society sees the world. The core beliefs and values that underpin how a society understands and deals with nature explain how land will be farmed and food prepared by that society, he says. If there are fundamental problems with food and farming they cannot be solved by simply addressing immediate concerns (eg reduce water use by designing more efficient irrigation; less reliance on chemical fertilisers) or only questioning current economic systems. Rather it will be necessary to address the metaphysical beliefs which underly how agriculture is practised and how food is processed, distributed and prepared. Colin argues that there is a ‘perennial wisdom’ which should be the foundation for how we think about food and farming .

A Grand Renaissance
In essence, Colin is calling for a renaissance, 'a Grand Renaissance’, one broader and deeper than the renaissance which began in Italy six centuries ago. You can read more of what Colin means by this on the website of the College here: College For Real Food and Farming, CFRFF

Structure and programme
As expected for a college the programme will include lectures, seminars and opportunities for conversation. Additionally there will be opportunities to experience both ‘farming’ and food. Participants will be offered the chance to help in Chisholme’s garden and to assist in the preparation of the meals they will enjoy. More details of the programme including a list of speakers and their topics will be announced shortly.