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Driving through the Holland Marsh one is struck immediately by the black richness of its soil. This is some of the most profitable farmland in Canada. But the small agricultural preserve just north of Toronto is a canary in a coal mine.

From Dismal Swamp to Smiling Farms recounts the transformation, use, and protection of the Holland Marsh, exploring how human ideas about nature shape agriculture, while agriculture in turn shapes ideas about nature. Drawing on interviews, media accounts, and archival data, Michael Classens concludes that celebrations of the Marsh as the quintessential example of peri-urban food sustainability and farmland protection have been too hasty. Instead, he demonstrates how capitalism and liberalism have fashioned and ultimately imperilled agriculture in the area.

This fascinating case study reveals the contradictions and deficiencies of contemporary farmland preservation paradigms, highlighting the challenges of forging a more socially just and ecologically rational food system.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half-Title Page
  2. pp. i-ii
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Copyright Page
  2. pp. iv-vi
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  1. Dedication
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xiii-xvi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xvii-xx
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  1. Second Half Title
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  1. Introduction: Culture's Marsh
  2. pp. 1-32
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  1. Chapter 1: The Production of Land, 14,000 BC-1925
  2. pp. 33-52
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  1. Chapter 2: The Production of Fields, 1925-35
  2. pp. 53-76
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  1. Chapter 3: Crops, Markets, and the Production of Stability, 1935-54
  2. pp. 77-97
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  1. Chapter 4: Agricultural Modernization, Ecological Contradiction, and the Production of Instability, 1954–80
  2. pp. 98-126
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  1. Chapter 5: A Legacy of Contradictions: Crisis and the (Re)production of the Holland Marsh, 1980–Present
  2. pp. 127-154
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  1. Conclusion: W(h)ither the Marsh?
  2. pp. 155-164
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 165-196
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 197-204
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780774865487
Related ISBN(s)
9780774865463, 9780774865470
MARC Record
OCLC
1260688845
Pages
233
Launched on MUSE
2021-12-09
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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