Making a Living – Cultural Adaptations in Farming – Lecture


This page introduces making a living in several different countries.  Take note of the cultural adaptations devoted to each subsistence farming pattern.  Farming is one of the oldest ways of adaptation in making a living.  Here you see modern-day farming on small plots in England and in Africa, which is how farming, as a cultural adaptation, must have begun; most likely on very small plots near homes.

The modern-day farmers are also adapting in new ways, with new innovations, and new methods of doing “old” things in order to be more self sufficient and environmentally friendly.

The Aborigines of Australia made a living, as you will see, in a natural, sustainable, and in renewable ways that are not so practical today, due to huge urban populations, mechanized ways of growing food in order to feed billions, and the processes of globalization.  The burning of brush, as mentioned in the video, is more often known as Fire-stick Farming.

And, in the last video, you will see how farmers in Honduras are being taught new ways to be subsistence farmers.  Their old way is slash-and-burn agriculture, or sometimes called Swidden Farming, which destroys forests, as well as the habitats for many animal, insect, and plant species.  Swidden farming in this Latin American Global Village is an adaptive practice begun hundreds of years ago.

In the short-term it seemed beneficial, but this is an example of a cultural adaptation that turns out not to be beneficial in the long term for the people, fauna and flora, the environment, or the planet.  Slash and burn agriculture is still used in many areas of the world today; and in some places may still be beneficial.

Farming in England

Farming in Africa

Farming in America – with some innovative ideas

Farming in Australia

The Aborigines (indigenous people) made a living by partnering with nature.

The kind of farming mentioned is commonly known as Fire-stick farming

Farming in Honduras – Learning new ways to adapt for sustainability

The above farmers are all making a living in different cultural contexts, but they are all making a living as farmers.  But, as we see the various methods demonstrated, we also can see that there is more than one way to do the same thing in many different environments and with varying resources.








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