chapter  5
15 Pages

Tree crops and the cultivated landscapes of the southwest


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The adaptability of farmers, using a diverse range of strategies, is a central issue. It is still greatly undervalued in a wide professional literature on agricultural development. Yet the circumstantial evidence of longer-term adaptability is overwhelming . . . the farm does not end where the field meets the wood. We need to look at the continuum between the two and examine the manner in which the managed and unmanaged wild elements relate to the cultivated land and plants . . . cultivated forests are created in some parts of the world. They range from forests in which only a few key species are actually planted, leaving everything else to natural process, to highly complex agroforests in which everything is created by the farmer. Often, it is not easy for an observer to know what is natural and what is planted, and errors are common. . . . Two common strands run through most of these themes. First is the importance of trying to establish the historical basis of dynamism in agrodiversity, its adaptation and innovations. Second is the use and management of the biophysical diversity in the land.