Farming impacts Sense of Place

January 29th, 2009 by Peter Schmelzer

Here’s an interesting research summary that bridges my interest in the aesthetics of place and food production.

It seems that in Canterbury, there is disagreement about how farms should appear.

Conventional farmers prefer a neat and tidy geometric look, which, in their eyes, reflects the strong work ethic of the farmer. Organic farmers prefer a more natural, overgrown landscape; this reflects their respect for nature and their use of native plants to manage pests and weeds.

Interesting: conventional farmers generally view organic farming as too labor-intensive.

This is a good chance to think about your position on the aesthetics and sense of place of your hometown. How much does the way we want things to look reflect our values and guide our decision making? Do our ordinances (Northfield Land Use Advisory Group) reflect the overall goals (Comprehensive Plan) of our community?

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