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Future Proof Kilkenny

Here is a great BBC documentary on how Peak Oil will effect farming in the UK. It follows Rebecca Hoskin’s journey as she realises how the decline of fossil fuels will impact her small family farm in Devon. She travels to Ireland to learn about peak oil first hand from Colin Campbell and then links up over the internet with Richard Heinberg to hear what it means for agriculture and for her livelihood.

Without graphs, pie-charts or dire predictions she tells the story of how our food system has become hopelessly dependant on dwindling supplies of fossil fuels and that we have very little time to engineer a transition to sustainable local food systems. I particularly like the piece where she is on the way back to Wales by ferry and, taking apart a ham sandwich from the Deli, goes through the ingredients and explains how each one is totally dependant on cheap energy. Very simply, yet terribly effective.

The documentary continues with explorations of alternatives to industrial agriculture including permaculture, no-till farming and forest gardens. What is great about her approach is that she keeps it mainstream with comments like “yes – but we cant eat wood” but then goes on to explore how we might incorporate what she has seen into more “traditional” farming methods. Above all, through her clear passion for the farming way of life, she presents a positive vision of how we might farm in the future without fossil fuels.

The documentary is being repeated on BBC2 this coming Saturday 4th April at 5.20pm. You can also watch it below.

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