Into the forests (and fields and yards) : re-thinking rural development and local food systems with wild harvesters in the Ozark highlands
Metadata[+] Show full item record
Local food systems are regularly advocated as a strategy for community economic development focused on market-based practices. Two particular critiques of this strategy have emerged that underlie this study. The first is that research on local food systems for economic development has often focused on strategies for urban areas, but rural areas have unique needs not addressed by urban approaches. Secondly, local food systems research and practice has often overlooked the contributions that informal activity, self-procurement, and nontraditional market exchanges contribute to community food systems. This narrative inquiry project explored the local food system practice of wild harvesting in the Ozark Highlands. By listening to the stories of wild harvesters in the Ozark Highlands I sought to answer the question: What can be learned from the wild harvesting experience that might help strengthen local food systems as a rural development strategy? This study applied the comprehensive rural wealth framework and developed a set of comprehensive wealth impacts and indicators for a rural, non-market based food access practice that evaluated the opportunities, outcomes and challenges for using local food systems as a rural development strategy. By using narrative methods and valuing local knowledge, this research also addressed the lack of wild harvester participation and voice in research and policy that has been identified in the literature.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.