Although I was raised in a city, I became fascinated with agriculture as a youth and decided to “drop out” and become a smallholder farmer in Saskatchewan, Canada where I grew up. I helped form the first community land trust in Canada and lived on a self-sufficient, off grid farm for 10 years. During this time I became engaged in the Earthcare Group, a movement to promote organic gardening and farming and started to teach organic gardening classes for the University of Regina in 1975. I participated in the committee that organized a series of six groundbreaking conferences on organic farming involving producers and government and university experts. I edited and co-wrote Earthcare–Ecological Agriculture in Saskatchewan, published in 1980, a guide to organic farming in the prairie region. These activities contributed to the formation of a substantial organic farming industry in Saskatchewan and Canada in the 1980s and onward.
Ongoing personal research on agriculture and environmental issues, and the Bahá’í teachings on these topics, led to publishing a number of books. The Spirit of Agriculture (George Ronald, 2005, editor and co-author) is a collaborative effort by 13 writers, including myself, to review and explicate a Bahá’í perspective on agriculture. Eleven (Friesen Press, 2014, author) considered the implications of future growth of population and the economy and examined processes of culture transformation needed to ensure an ever-advancing civilization.) Man of the Trees (University of Regina Press, 2018, author) is a biography of the pioneer conservationist Richard St. Barbe Baker. I am currently writing two books for future publication.
Paul Hanley’s website: www.elevenbillionpeople.com