Reassembling nature and culture: Resourceful farming in Araponga, Brazil

Berg, Leonardo van den; Roep, Dirk; Hebinck, Paul; Teixeira, Heitor Mancini


This article highlights the emergence of a regenerative, agroecological mode of agriculture following the ongoing process of experimentation and learning by a settlement of landless people and farm workers. It examines how they engaged anew with ‘nature’ and generated resourceful farming practices as a result of a threefold process of cultural re-appreciation, a re-grounding in local natural resources and a political-economic re-positioning towards prevailing regimes in policies, markets and technologies. We argue that the construction of resourceful farming culminates around: finding and forging productive alignments with non-human nature such as weeds, trees and mychorrizal fungi, viewing the contribution of non-human nature not only in terms of their value as a commodity, but as adding value in many different ways and building a socio-material resource base and an institutional setting that allows farmers to farm more autonomously.