Alienscape: Towards a Theory of Inclusion and Emergence in Agriculture

Alex Nuffer

  • SP.19
  • Level: graduate
  • Discipline: Landscape Architecture
  • Instructor: Alison B. Hirsch

In Fresno County, part of California’s Central Valley, a significant acreage of land has been designated “idle,” meaning it has been exhausted of the nutrients necessary to support agriculture. However, within the soil lies an abundance of pioneer plant seeds, deposited by different dispersal agents, waiting for the right conditions to emerge. This depleted landscape ideally lends itself to an alternative form of agriculture designed to activate the pioneer seeds within the seed bank for cultivation through a managed disturbance process. Over time, this new agricultural model would replenish depleted soils, increase biodiversity, set up a more equitable socioeconomic system, provide more diverse sources of nutrition, and create a new landscape identity within the Central Valley.