Simon Fairlie speaks about his new book Going to Seed, a counterculture memoir about his life in environmental activism and radical food production, as well as his journey to becoming a farmer, land reformer and a founding editor of The Land magazine.
Simon’s path had been laid out for him by his father: boarding school, Oxbridge, and a career in journalism. But everything changed when Simon’s life ran headfirst into London’s counterculture in the 1960s. Instead of becoming a celebrated Fleet Street journalist like his father, Simon became a laborer, a stonemason, a farmer, a scythesman, and then a magazine editor and a writer of a very different sort. In his conversation with Rosie Boycott, Simon reflects on the current and past trajectory of Western “progress”—and the explosive consumerism, growing inequality, and environmental devastation laid bare in our daily newsfeeds—and what the world might look like if we began to chart a radically different course.