Organic mixed farms in the landscape of a brook valley. How can a co-operative of organic farms contribute to ecological and aesthetic qualities of a landscape?

J. Kuiper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Under which conditions would an organic mixed farm co-operative contribute to the aesthetic and ecological quality of the landscape? The orientation of people in space and time is considered an important aspect of aesthetic quality. To facilitate orientation in space and time a landscape should supply information about the natural features, the history of the occupation and about the present meaning. Biodiversity, continuity and connectivity are important aspects of ecological quality. One organic mixed farm contributes to the local diversity. The diversity of land use types, including woodlots and linear planting and crops is larger than on a traditional farm, as is the diversity of landscape elements, ecosystems and species. What would be a good location of several organic mixed farms (25 ha) if an important criterion is that a landscape should reflect its abiotic features? A fine grained landscape, which can be the effect of organic agriculture, fits best into a natural environment with great abiotic diversity per hectare. The landscape of the brook Baaksche Beek is such an area with large abiotic diversity per hectare. Would an organic mixed farm co-operative in this brook valley automatically contribute to ecological and aesthetic qualities of this landscape? There are landscape ecological and aesthetic objectives, which cannot be realised by the sum of planning at farm level. Three interrelated criteria, diversity, continuity and coherence, are used as a basis for planning at different planning levels. They are specified in planning objectives and design principles for the planning of planting elements and natural development in this brook valley landscape. Whether such planning would interfere excessively with the organisation of each individual farmer is open to discussion. The proposal is to use these three criteria also as a basis for the evaluation of the contribution of organic mixed farms to the ecological and aesthetic quality of a particular European landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-132
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Volume63
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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