This chapter explores the ways in which different forms of farming knowledges are produced, disseminated and influence farmers' willingness or ability to make changes to their farming systems. It proposes two concepts from Morgan and Murdoch: a simple classification of forms of knowledge, and the idea of networks to help understand relations among possessors of knowledge and the process of disseminating knowledge. Many farmers have exhibited a strong buy-in to the productivist discourse since the 1960s. It concurs with farmers' understandings of their role as producers of food commodities using conventional methods. The main external, expert sources of information used by farmers are Teagasc (a semi-state agency), and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF). Teagasc provides advisory, training and research services to farmers, the agriculture and food industry and the wider rural community.
Ireland is a turbulent place. This book engages readers with the contours of transformation of Irish society through a series of distinct episodes and sites where change can be confronted. The content of the book intersects with the boom and bust themes to explore the economic and social implications of the recession. The processes are as diverse as cross-border development, farming knowledges, food movements, and the evolution of traditional Irish music. The modernisation of Irish society during the Celtic Tiger and its subsequent demise was a 'spatial drama' involving transformation in the material landscape and the imaginative representation of the island. The first part of the book explores the revolving intersections of identity politics with place. It tracks the discovery of the ghost estate and the ways in which it has been implicated in debates about the Irish economic crash, complicating ideas of home and community. After a discussion on immigration, the book discusses the role of migrants in filling labour and skill shortages. The second part pays attention to questions of mobility and consumption in urban and rural contexts. The new Irish motorway network, free time, leisure and holidaying in the lives of lone parents during the Celtic Tiger, and the role of National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) are discussed. The third part explores diverse cultural practices and some longstanding representations of Ireland. An autobiographical tour of the pub session, National Geographic's representations of Irish landscape and the current Irish imagination are the key concepts of this part.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book shows well-established concepts such as belonging, mobility, space, consumption, culture and place. It focuses on immigration, a rather novel phenomenon for Irish society experienced during the second half of the boom, following the accession of new EU member states. The book presents the theme of Ireland's new migrants to query other manifestations of place, experience and identity in the context of horticultural production. It discusses the challenges of one marginal societal group and their space in contemporary Ireland. The book also shows how the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger has impacted on the everyday geographies of people living on both sides of the Irish border. It also presents a chronicle of feature articles on Ireland and its representation as an exotic other on the edge of Europe.