The infrequent and imperfect yet impassioned musings of a farmer, meatsmith, activist, mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and cultural commentator with a penchant for food and community…
I am an agroecologist in principle and in practice; an ethicurean farmer, mindful meatsmith, agrarian activist, and academic with a focus on ethical, ecologically sound, and socially just food systems. I’ve been widely published on a diverse spectrum from food ethics and politics, agroecology, multicultural foodways, feminism and food, and food tourism to culinary cosmopolitanism.
I am a co-editor and co-author of Farming Democracy: Radically transforming the food system from the ground up (2019), and co-author of a chapter in the 2019 volume One Planet One Health, detailing a collaborative regional approach to building greater resilience into agricultural landscapes and regional and rural communities.
I am undertaking a PhD at the University of Western Australia on the biodiverse and decolonising practices of agroecological farmers, and the ecological, social, and political enabling conditions for an agroecological transition in Australia, with a particular focus on farmers with rare and heritage breed livestock.
I’m also president of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA), promoting everyone’s right to access nutritious and culturally-appropriate food grown in ethical and ecologically-sound ways, and our right to democratically determine our own food systems. This role takes me around the world to work with peasant farmers and indigenous peoples in the global fight for food sovereignty, working closely with many other members of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC), and regularly attending meetings of the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), and many other UN governing bodies.
This blog focuses on hopeful futures for food sovereignty, agroecology, locavorism, and ethical omnivorism, while indulging in occasional tales of my quotidian existence as a cook.
I also write a farm blog ‘The Farmer & the Butcher’, with details of life at Jonai Farms & Meatsmiths – our pastured rare breed pig and cattle farm in central Victoria where I live and work with my hypercompetent husband, the youngest of our three children (the #orsmkids), and a beautiful community of workers and volunteer residents.
Jonai Farms is a paddock to paddock CSA (community-supported agriculture), with surplus from the boning room processed into bonechar and returned to the soil to produce a small commercial crop of garlic. 95% of our produce is sold to 80 household members in Melbourne and the region. Our livestock are fed so-called ‘waste’ – surplus, damaged, or unwanted produce from other food and agriculture systems in Victoria (e.g. brewers’ grain, eggs, milk), creating a net ecological benefit by diverting many tonnes of organic waste from landfill, and exiting the fossil-fuel-intensive model of segregating feed production from livestock farming.
The farm embraces degrowth as a philosophy to ensure sufficiency for all, and we Jonai are embedded in many solidarity economies in our open, connected and deeply localised community. We value conviviality and mindful appreciation of the fruits of our labour, stopping to enjoy three meals together each day.
You can email me, Tammi Jonas, on tammois (at) gmail.com
I’m over on instagram as @tammois
Agroecology: A Life in Common with Nature, Resilient Agriculture for Global Health, AgrarInfo, 5 June 2021.
‘Farmers’ Place-Based Custodial Ethics’, Reimagining Climate Adaptation Summit, 19 April 2021.
‘Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Transition: Linkages to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework‘, Stakeholder Open Webinar, 23 March 2021.
‘Can Agriculture Stop COVID-21, 22, and 23?‘, Oxford Real Farming Conference, 7 January 2021.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION (READ: REALLY QUITE BUSY) – QUITE A LOT MISSING FROM 2018-2020
Keynote: The Australian Food System: Power, pathogens & hopeful alternatives, WA Food & Drink Symposium, 28 May 2017.
Lightning talk, Ballarat Local Food Forum, 13 February, 2017.
The Australian Food System: Power, pathogens & hopeful alternatives, Slow Food National Conference, Mildura, 19 November 2016.
Green Cleaver, Wheeler Centre, Melbourne, 25 October 2016.
Slow meat: eating less, but better quality meat, Terra Madre, Slow Food, Turin, Italy, 24 September, 2016.
Fair Food Women of Hepburn, Hepburn Re-localisation Network, Daylesford, 25 August 2016.
Ethicurean Consumerism, Hospitality Teachers Conference, Melbourne, 19 August.
Food for Thought, Convent Conversations, Abbotsford Convent, 11 August 2016.
Meat Out, Meat Your Maker, Melbourne, 7 August 2016.
Ethical Elitism, Words in Winter, Daylesford, 6 August 2016.
Women’s Panel: Can we eat local?, Words in Winter, Daylesford, 6 August 2016.
Strong Words on Food with Richard Cornish, Words in Winter, Daylesford, 5 August 2016.
Agritourism: the way of the future for many farmers, Victorian Agribusiness Summit 2016: Agritourism, Healesville, 24 June 2016.
Fair Food Focus, Canberra, 9 May 2016.
Share Your Ethics: Agritourism, Agritourism – Food & Wine Innovation Mini Conference, Tourism North East, Victoria, 3 May 2016.
Beyond the Supermarket: Fair food in a disconnected system, Sustainable Living Festival, Melbourne, 13 February 2016.
Eat, Buy, Grow Local: A Fair Food Future, Mary Valley Country Harvest Co-op, Harvest Summer School, 9-10 February 2016.
“Regenerators Café” (farmer round table discussions): A finance- and marketing focused panel discussion with experienced farmers, 6th International CSA Conference, Urgenci: The international network for Community-supported agriculture, Beijing, 19 November 2015.
Lightning Talk: Scale-Appropriate Regulation, at Democratising the Food System, hosted by the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, Sustain: The Australian Food Network, and William Angliss Institute, Melbourne, 19 October 2015.
Food Ethics, Real Food Festival, Maleny, QLD, 12-13 September, 2015.
Grow Your Protein, Real Food Festival, Maleny, QLD, 12-13 September 2015.
Joel Salatin Was Right: Everything I Want to do is Illegal, Future of Local Food conference, Municipal Association of Victoria, 10 September 2015.
Small Blocks, Big Ideas, sponsored by Whittlesea Shire, 3 May 2015.
Eat My Friend, Mona Market, Hobart, 22 March 2015.
The Whole Pig, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, 8 March 2015.
Sacred Ingredients: Pork, Melbourne Tomato Festival, 1 March 2015.
Beyond the Supermarket, hosted by the Open Food Foundation, Sustainable Living Festival, 15 February 2014.
Sustainable Food Production: understanding the market to achieve a financially & environmentally successful farm, Farm & Food Entrepreneurs Forum, hosted by Innate Ecology at Sustainable Living Festival, Geelong, 14 February 2014.
Lightning Talk, Eco-City Food Forum, hosted by Doing Something Good, 22 March 2013.
The Great Organic Debate, hosted by William Angliss Institute, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, 6 March 2013.
Uncovering the Food Chain, Earthly Activation at Section 8, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, 9 March 2013.
The Food Revolution is a Big Fat Lie, at The Lake House, Daylesford, 5 April 2012.
Food Blogging, National Young Writers’ Festival, 2010.
Wallace, R., Liebman, A., Weisberger, D., Gilbert, M., Jonas, T., Hogerwerf, L., Bergmann, L., Kock, R., & Wallace, R. 2021. ‘Industrial agricultural environments’, in The Routledge Handbook of Biosecurity and Invasive Species, Routledge.
Robert G. Wallace, Robyn Alders, Richard Kock, Tammi Jonas, Rodrick Wallace, and Lenny Hogerwerf (2019) “Health Before Medicine: Community Resilience in Food Landscapes”, One Planet One Health, USA.
Paula Fernandez Arias, Tammi Jonas, and Katarina Munksgaard (eds) (2019), Farming Democracy: Radically Transforming the Food System from the Ground Up, Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance.
Jonas, Tammi (2015) “From vegetarian academic to pig farming butcher” in Fair Food: Stories from a movement changing the world, UQ Publishing, Brisbane, Australia.
Jonas, Tammi (2011) “Culinary Cosmopolitanism in Melbourne” in Food: Representation, Ideology and Politics, Orient Blackswan, Delhi, India.
Sweeney, D., Jonas, T., & Boin, K. (2008) “Connecting Students to Changing Institutional Imaginaries: Online Innovations in Academic Support” in Changing University Learning & Teaching: Engaging and Mobilising Leadership, Quality and Technology, pp. 321-338, Post Pressed, Australia.
Chaves, L.F, Gottdenker, N., Runk, J.V., Liebman, A. Williams-Guilén, K., Kelley, L., Perfecto, I., Seufert, P., Jonas, T., Bergmann, L., Kruger, S., Anderson, K., Wallace, R. 2021. Scientists say land use drives new pandemics. But what if “land” isn’t what they think it is? Pandemic Research for the People: Agroecologies, 28 March 2021.
Liebman, A., Jonas, T., Perfecto, I., Kelley, L., Peller, H.A., Engel-Dimauro, S., Rhiney, K., Seufert, P., Fernando Chaves, L., Bergmann, L., Williams-Guillén, K., Ajl, M., Dupain, E., Gulick, J., Wallace, R. 2020. Can agriculture stop COVID-21, -22, and -23? Yes, but not by greenwashing agribusiness, Pandemic Research for the People: Agroecologies, 20 Dec 2020.
Jonas, Tammi & Wessell, Adele (2020) “Responsibility to Country: Decolonizing Agriculture with Agroecology in Australia” in Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability, Vol. 8, Issue 2, pp.254-260, Indian Journals, Oct 2020.
Jonas, Tammi (2016) “Food that connects us” in Pip Magazine, Issue 5, 2016.
Jonas, Tammi (2014) “A Meatsmith’s Revolucion” in ScragEnd, amuse one, 2014, Australia.
Jonas, Tammi (2013) “Eating the Vernacular, Being Cosmopolitan” in Cultural Studies Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, UTS Publishing, Australia.
Jonas, Tammi (2008) “Essentially Cosmopolitan or Cosmopolitan Essentialism?” in antiTHESIS, 18, pp.67-75, antiTHESIS/School of Culture and Communication, Australia.
Jonas, Tammi & Temby, Kate (1998) “Post-structuralist Reading of Hamlet” in Teachers Rethinking English: Critical Theory and Reflective Practice, pp. 19-23, VATE, Australia.
Jonas, Tammi (1997) “Presentation of an Issue in the Media: Victorian Private and Public Secondary Education” in Idiom, 33:2, pp. 54-59, VATE, Australia.
Kamler, Cousins, Jonas, Lawson & Linden (1997) “Developing a Critical Writing Pedagogy: A Discontinuous Narrative” in English in Australia, 118, pp. 24-42, AATE, Australia.
Jonas, Tammi. “Cosmopolitanising the Cohort: the social affordances of international education” International Education: the next 25 years, Australian International Education Conference, Adelaide, 12-15 October 2011.
Jonas, Tammi. “When Eating Your (Exotic) Greens Can Green the World” Food and Agriculture Under the Big Sky, annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society, Missoula, MT, USA, 9-12 June 2011.
Jonas, Tammi. “From Meat Pie to Phở in Just Four Decades: If you are what you eat, are Australians cosmopolitan?” The Federation of Taste, 18th Symposium of Australian Gastronomy, Canberra, 13-15 May 2011.
Jonas, Tammi. “When Eating Your Greens Can Green the World: the Social and Environmental Sustainability of Cosmopolitan Foodways” A Scholarly Affair, Cultural Studies Association of Australia (CSAA) annual conference, Southern Cross University, December 2010.
Jonas, Tammi. “Eating the Vernacular, Being Cosmopolitan” 18th International Ethnological Food Research Conference, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland, 18-21 August 2010.
Harvey, L., Jonas, T., Powe, M. “The Creativity and Innovation Challenge” Australian Quality Forum 2010: Quality in Uncertain Times, Gold Coast, Queensland, 30 July – 2 August 2010.
Jonas, Tammi. “The great re-skilling: towards a food literate future” Growers and Eaters Forum, Slow Food Melbourne, Korumburra, Victoria, 19 April 2010.
Jonas, Tammi. “From Roasting Dish to Stock Pot: Practices of Frugality between Generations of Migrant Australians” Economy, 17th Symposium of Australian Gastronomy, Adelaide, 13-16 November 2009.
Jonas, Tammi. “Sustaining Culture: Demanding Authenticity from Migrant Foodways” Sustaining Culture, Cultural Studies Association of Australia (CSAA) annual conference, University of South Australia, December 2007.
Jonas, Tammi. “Cosmopolitanism or Cultural Piracy?” antiTHESIS annual symposium, University of Melbourne, July 2007.
Jonas, Tammi. “Tasting Terroir: Food, class and national identity in Melbourne” Food: Representation, Ideology & Politics Colloquium, Jadavpur University, India, November 2006.
‘Culinary Cosmopolitanism‘ in Springer Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics, 2012.
‘Food Sovereignty with Farmer and Author Tammi Jonas‘, Low Tox Life with Alexx Stuart, 19 April 2021.
Tammi Jonas, Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, OneBite podcast, 18 November 2020.
Tammi Jonas – The Recovering Vegan [sic] Butcher, MEAT: The Ultimate Podcast, 8 December 2019.
Vegan [sic] Turned Butcher, Hack, 4 November 2019.
Why a regional butcher wants us to watch an animal rights documentary, Life Matters with Hilary Harper, ABC, 29 October 2019.
The mindful meatsmith of ethicurean farming: Tammi Jonas of Jonai Farms, Uncommon Podcast with Jordan Michaelides, 28 August 2018.
Farming, No Growth, Activism, and Food Sovereignty, #RegrariansTALK 12, Regrarians, 2018.
Tammi Jonas: Ethicurean Farmer, A Great Recipe for Life, 22 August 2016.
Greening the Apocalypse, RRR, 29 June 2016.
Tammi Jonas: Fair food advocate and meatsmith, Studio Rustica with Justin Russell, 19 March 2016.
Tammi Jonas: Whole Carcass Butchery and Community-Supported Agriculture, The Future of Local Food, 21 February 2016.
Mary Valley Summer School – Small-scale farming, ABC Sunshine Coast, 9 February 2016.
Wilbur 101 series, RN Bush Telegraph, May-Dec 2013.
Free-range pig producers, Food Maestros on ABC Statewide Drive, Ballarat, 30 July 2013.
Violence Against International Students, interview by Race Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes, 16 August 2010.
Has the Australian media exploited sufferers surviving in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake?, interview by Mig Caldwell for The Fourth Estate on Radio 2ser.
From Vegetarian to Pig Farmer, The Project, Channel 10, 1 December 2019.
Alternative Abattoirs: On-farm abattoirs provide alternative to industrial abattoirs, on Landline, ABC, 29 June 2019.
Play the crowd, on Landline, ABC, (17:15) 5 September 2015.
Tammi teaches Miguel how to make distinctively Daylesford bullboar sausages, on The Living Room, Channel 10, (23:30) 16 August 2013
Meet the Vegetarian Who Became a Butcher, 10Daily, 29 October 2019.
Agribusiness leaders: Australian farmers leading the way in their industry, by Sarah Hudson, in The Weekly Times Farm Magazine, 10 April 2017.
Tammi Jonas, Social Food Project, 12 February 2017.
Deeper into Food, by Imogen Eveson, in Broadsheet, November 2015.
This Little Piggy, by Linsey Rendell, in Peppermint Magazine, Winter 2015.
The Butcher & Her Brood, by Lauren Mitchell, in Slow Magazine, Winter 2015.
Restoring the Balance, by Amanda Burdon, in Outback Magazine, June-July 2015.
Producer Yarn: Jonai Farms & Meatsmiths, in Pigs n’ Mud, Australia Pork Ltd, Winter 2015.
Former vegetarian cuts to the bone of ethical farming with nose-to-tail pig-farming project, in The Leader, 24 February 2015.
Stuart & Tammi: Jonai Farms, in The Countryphiles, 13 September 2013
Regional Perspectives: Tammi Jonas, by Alexis Drevikovsky, in The Locavore Edition, 8 August 2013.
From Food Blogging to Food Butchering – the Journey of Tammi Jonas & the Jonai, by Amanda McInerney, in Lambs’ Ears & Honey, 5 July 2013.
Jonas family has snouts in trough, by Sarah Hudson, in The Weekly Times, 19 June 2013.
Tammi Jonas, by Sharon Lee, in Flavour Crusader, 3 November 2011.
Food and the Art of Representation, by Julie Hare, in Campus Review, 15 February 2010.
How to Respond to Vegan Abolitionists, in ABC The Drum Opinion, 8 May 2015.
Pigs in Mud in The Australian, 9 July 2013.
Free Range, Are We Confused Yet?, in The Hoopla, 16 April 2012.
Intellectual honesty and an open mind, in ABC The Drum Opinion, 6 January 2012.
Happy Free-Range Christmas!, in The Hoopla, 15 December 2011.
Cosmopolitanising the Cohort, aka Internationalising the Curriculum in The Advocate, 20 November 2011.
Reflections on a Convoluted Pathway, in The Advocate, 21 June 2011.
Some problems can be solved simply by throwing money at them, in The Advocate, 15 March 2011.
On Quality: You get what you pay for, in The Advocate, 5 November 2010.
Is This Where We’re Heading? in New Matilda, 10 November 2010.
A Foreign Despair in ABC The Drum Unleashed, 3 March 2010.
Guest Post: The media and disasters on Pure Poison, Crikey, 25 February 2010.
Is There Life Beyond the Barbie? in New Matilda, 9 February 2010.
The Crisis in Education Isn’t Looming, It’s Here in New Matilda, 16 December 2009.
Breathless in Oregon Rivers, Back in a Bit, Crikey, 2 September 2011.
Be-Utah-ful, Back in a Bit, Crikey, 23 August 2011.
High Adventure from Taos to Mesa Verde, Back in a Bit, Crikey, 12 August 2011.
Swimming Across Texas, Back in a Bit, Crikey, 28 July 2011.
Road Trip USA from New Orleans to the Bayou, Back in a Bit, Crikey, 12 July 2011.
The Appalachians: highs, lows and barbecue, Back in a Bit, Crikey, 4 July 2011.
Processed pig bits, Civil War sadness, and meeting the Amish, Back in a Bit, Crikey, 21 June 2011.
Road Trip USA: royal repairs on the RockVan, Back in a Bit, Crikey, 9 June 2011.
What’s green, high tech, and full of taquerias? San Francisco!, Back in a Bit, Crikey, 25 May 2011.
Hop on Board for Road Trip USA, Back in a Bit, Crikey, 28 April 2011.
Jonas, T. & Croker, C.A. (2012) “The Research Education Experience”, Commonwealth of Australia.
De Wit, Sarah, Jonas, T., et al (2017), “Response to Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries Draft Planning Provisions”, Eganstown, Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance.
Jonas, T. (2016) “Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into the Regulatory Burden on Agriculture”, Eganstown, Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance.
Jonas, T. (2016) “Response to the Animal Industries Advisory Committee Discussion Paper”, Eganstown, Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance.
Nowakowski, J. & Jonas, T. (2011) “Defining Quality for Research Training in Australia: Consultation Response”, South Melbourne, Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations.
Jonas, T. (2011) “The Higher Education Base Funding Review: Consultation Response”, Carlton, Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations.
Jonas, T. (2010) “Submission to Inquiry into the Social Security Amendment (Income Support for Regional Students) Bill 2010”, Carlton, Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations.
Jonas, T. (2010) “Submission to Select Senate Committee on the Scrutiny of New Taxes”, Carlton, Council of Australian Postgraduate Students.
Littler, Jo.(2009) Radical Consumption: Shopping for change in contemporary culture, Open University Press, UK. Reviewed in the International Journal of Cultural Studies, May 2010; vol. 13, 3: pp. 308-310.