Food systems in the Marys River region and reinhabitation Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2z10ws39j

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  • Reinhabitation is an approach to building local cultures and economies within industrial society. The food system is a vital starting point. What are the principles of reinhabitory food systems? What are the possibilities for a locally adapted food system in the Marys River region of western Oregon? I describe past and present food systems in the region and give recommendations for building a reinhabitory food system. Native people established locally adapted food systems in the Marys River region and maintained them for thousands of years, culminating in the Kalapuyan food system that existed at Euroamerican contact. Euroamericans began to settle in the region in 1845, and immediately began to domesticate the landscape, replacing native ecosystems with cropland and pasture. By 1900, a diversified food system had emerged with several locally adapted characteristics. The industrial food system replaced the diversified food system during World War II, and has dominated since then. Locally adapted elements of food systems were rapidly abandoned. Industrialism emphasized mass production of export crops using fossil fuels, heavy machinery, and agrichemicals. A large variety of cultural, economic, and ecological problems emerged, and the health of natural and human communities was diminished. Reinhabitation is a positive response to the problems of industrial food systems. A locally adapted food system in the Marys River region is possible. There is enough agricultural land to feed the population. A small but growing segment of the local population has established alternative food systems, and initiated the process of building a regional food system. Reviewing the history of the Marys River region helps clarify how to apply principles of reinhabitation in the region.
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