Interpreting orchardists’ talk about their orchards: the good orchardists
In order to implement environmental policies for sustainable and resilient land use we need to better understand how people relate to their agricultural land and how this affects their practices. In this paper I use an inductive, qualitative analysis of data gathered from interviews with kiwifruit orchardists and observations of their orchards to demonstrate how their interpretation of their relationship with their orchards affects their management practices. I suggest that these orchardists experience their orchards as having agency in four different ways—as wild, challenging, needy, and passive—and that these different perspectives result in practices which produce orchards that impact differently on sensory faculties—sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell. This finding implies that land use policies that seek to change sensory aspects of the land which are in conflict with producers’, farmers’, or growers’ sense of relationship with the land—and how the land “should be”—are unlikely to succeed. That these orchardists produce fruit which is compliant with two comprehensive audit systems—one of which is organic—and also serve an international market, indicates that the constraints of such systems still allow orchardists to exercise autonomy, express their identity, and make sense of their orchard activities in different ways, indicating a potentially resilient and sustainable production system. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010
Volume (Year): 27 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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