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Organic FuturesStruggling for Sustainability on the Small Farm$
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Connor J Fitzmaurice and Brian J. Gareau

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300199451

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300199451.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 17 April 2021

No-Nonsense Organic: Negotiating Everyday Concerns about the Environment, Health, and the Aesthetics of Farming

No-Nonsense Organic: Negotiating Everyday Concerns about the Environment, Health, and the Aesthetics of Farming

Chapter:
(p.200) Seven No-Nonsense Organic: Negotiating Everyday Concerns about the Environment, Health, and the Aesthetics of Farming
Source:
Organic Futures
Author(s):

Connor J. Fitzmaurice

Brian J. Gareau

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300199451.003.0009

This chapter addresses some of the big issues consumers and scholars assume, even implicitly, matter to committed organic movement farmers: the environment and health. Certainly, these concerns play a role in organic practices. However, this chapter shows that they are rarely explicitly addressed. Instead, such issues take on an instrumentalism and practicality in everyday experiences. Concerns about health and the environment were directly related to visceral experiences of farming, like experiencing the simple pleasure of eating a sun-warmed tomato off the vine. The big issues of sustainability acquire a taken-for-granted character, propagated in farmers’ networks of relationships. This chapter shows, once again, the centrality of lifestyle considerations in the making of organic practices. However, lifestyle concerns can also thwart more sustainable practices. For some farmers, the pursuit of a comfortable lifestyle required abandoning hallmarks of organic practice, like fallow periods for their fields in order to increase the amount of land under cultivation. As farmers struggle for livelihoods, they can become caught in a cycle of intensification that gradually erodes alternative practices. The chapter also discusses how the ability to remain alternative in light of such pressures is necessarily tied to forms of privilege—especially access to land and consumers.

Keywords:   Health, Environmentalism, Instrumentalism, Networks, Relationships, Lifestyle

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