Towards reflexive localism: exploring the diverse co-creators of alternative food across time in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Australia
Ferguson, H Kijas, J & Wessell, A 2017, 'Towards reflexive localism: exploring the diverse co-creators of alternative food across time in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Australia', Journal of Historical Geography, vol. 56, pp. 14-21.
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In the context of ongoing agricultural restructuring, moves away from ‘conventional’ to ‘alternative’ farming are providing opportunities for the continued viability of small-scale agriculture in some rural communities. This article examines the history of local food politics for one such community – the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Australia. Analysis of three food producing properties over time through oral histories and archival material points to the importance of interactions, overlaps and compromises between the alternative and conventional – importantly, we discuss the role of conventional farmers in the emergence of the Northern Rivers as a thriving local food region. We position these findings in relation to the literature on reflexive localism which problematises the local as an uncomplicated site of resistance to the global food provisioning system. This moves beyond histories of conflict between different approaches to farming which have characterised this and other communities undergoing such transitions.