The Farm as Natural Habitat: Reconnecting Food Systems with Ecosystems

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Overview

<p>The Farm as Natural Habitat is a vital new contribution to the debate about agriculture and its impacts on the land. Arising from the conviction that the agricultural landscape as a whole could be restored to a healthy diversity, the book challenges the notion that the dominant agricultural landscape - bereft of its original vegetation and wildlife and despoiled by chemical runoff - is inevitable if we are to feed ourselves. Contributors bring together insights and practices from the fields of conservation biology, sustainable agriculture, and environmental restoration to link agriculture and biodiversity, farming and nature, in celebrating a unique alternative to conventional agriculture.<p>Rejecting the idea that "ecological sacrifice zones" are a necessary part of feeding a hungry world, the book offers compelling examples of an alternative agriculture that can produce not only healthful food, but fully functioning ecosystems and abundant populations of native species. Contributors include Collin Bode, George Boody, Brian DeVore, Arthur (Tex) Hawkins, Buddy Huffaker, Rhonda Janke, Richard Jefferson, Nick Jordan, Cheryl Miller, Heather Robertson, Carol Shennan, Judith Soule, Beth Waterhouse, and others.<p>The Farm as Natural Habitat is both hopeful and visionary, grounded in real examples, and guided by a commitment to healthy land and thriving communities. It is the first book to offer a viable approach to addressing the challenges of protecting and restoring biodiversity on private agricultural land and is essential reading for anyone concerned with issues of land or biodiversity conservation, farming and agriculture, ecological restoration, or the health of rural communities and landscapes.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Contributors bring together insights and practices from conservation biology, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity, and farming, in support of the idea that the agricultural landscape can be restored to a healthy diversity. They offer examples of an alternative agriculture that can produce healthy food, functioning ecosystems, and populations of native species. Material originated at a June 1998 seminar on agroecological restoration. Dana Jackson is associate director of the Land Stewardship Project in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Laura Jackson teaches biology at the University of Northern Iowa. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559638463
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction 1
Pt. I Agriculture as Ecological Sacrifice 11
Ch. 1 The Farm as Natural Habitat 13
Ch. 2 Nature's Backlash 27
Ch. 3 The Farm, the Nature Preserve, and the Conservation Biologist 39
Pt. II Restoring Nature on Farms 53
Ch. 4 Return to Coon Valley 57
Ch. 5 Reading the Land Together 71
Ch. 6 When Farmers Shut Off the Machinery 83
Ch. 7 Stewards of the Wild 97
Ch. 8 Why Do They Do It? 107
Pt. III Ecosystem Management and Farmlands 119
Ch. 9 Nature and Farming in Britain 123
Ch. 10 Restoring Prairie Processes to Farmlands 137
Ch. 11 Sustaining Production with Biodiversity 155
Ch. 12 Conservation and Agriculture as Neighbors 169
Ch. 13 Integrating Wetland Habitat with Agriculture 189
Pt. IV Steps Toward Agroecological Restoration 205
Ch. 14 Composing a Landscape 209
Ch. 15 After the Deluge: Integrated Watershed Management in the Red River Valley 221
Ch. 16 A Refined Taste in Natural Objects 235
Ch. 17 Food and Biodiversity 247
Ch. 18 Agriculture as a Public Good 261
About the Contributors 277
Index 279
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