Read Professor Michael Classen's exploration of the importance of the Holland Marsh

October 26, 2021 by Kiran Champatsingh

From Dismal Swamp to Smiling Farms recounts the transformation, use, and protection of the Holland Marsh, exploring how human ideas about nature shape agriculture, while agriculture in turn shapes ideas about nature. Drawing on interviews, media accounts, and archival data, Michael Classens concludes that celebrations of the Marsh as the quintessential example of peri-urban food sustainability and farmland protection have been too hasty. Instead, he demonstrates how capitalism and liberalism have fashioned, and ultimately imperilled, agriculture in the area.