Melanie Matteliano, Masters student in Cultural Anthropology
Date: Friday, October 30
“Pruning Lets the Light In”: Seeking Beneficial Land-based Livelihoods in Colorado’s North Fork Valley
Abstract: The North Fork Valley is home to an agricultural community that contains the highest concentration of small organic farms in Colorado. Drawing from my ethnographic field work with farmers, ranchers, gardeners, and homesteaders in this community, this chapter focuses on how people are conceptualizing the meaning and significance of their land-based livelihoods. I explore how people draw from concepts such as connection, reciprocity, independence/interdependence, respect, sustainability, experiential learning, and improvement when navigating their day to day relationships with land, plants, animals, and people. In seeking an understanding of how people’s values shape their relationships and motivate their participation in a local food system, we can learn about what it means to try to act beneficially on agricultural ground.