J ust as a c oncentric ring pattern o f different l

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: del, the same pattern appeared in early models o f u rban land use (Figure 2.3). Thus, T hilnen's m odel, while originally developed for examining agricultural land use i n early nineteenth century G ermany c ontained a n umber o f f oundational insights t hat have influenced n ot j ust o ur u nderstanding o f t he geographies o f agriculture b ut o f l and use m ore broadly. 19 I 11 I1· ' I II !Iil 18 TRADITIONAL LOCATION THEORY TRADITIONAL ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHIES I1'1'1 ;'1 'i , '111 1. 11 IIII III' 1111\1 11 11 CJ ~ CJ Free cash cropping Forestry Crop alternation system ." rn Il Improved system Three-field system D Stock farming 1 \1 II'II! Fig I I !I II ; 11'1 ,11 \ 1 I [I. I::1 ' I! Fig II :111:: ! II Miles 1,1 J Ilill l o 40 I Figure 2 .2 The isolated state Source: based o n Thiinen 1966: 216. I I \,1 1 1 :11 p attern because Thilnen assumes t hat t ransport costs by water are one tenth o f the cost o f land freight (1966: 215). T he d iagram indicates c oncentric rings o f v arying w idths a round t he t own, each c ontaining a d ifferent agricultural use. The rings, their definition a nd c ontent, were derived from applying calculative logic based o n t he concept o fland r ent b ut s upplemented by other considera­ tions such as soil fertility. T hilnen identified six rings: First ring: H ere 'free cash cropping' will occur. This is e ssentially w hat w e k now as m arket g ardening: t he c ultivation o f ' delicate' fruits a nd vegetables such as strawberries a nd lettuce. Thilnen also assigned dairying to this ring. Milk production, h e reasoned, is c omplementary to market gardening as c attle can be kept intensively ­ eating c ut clover a nd left over vegetables i n stalls rather t han n eeding extensive grazing pastures. The l and r ent in this ring is h igh and, w ith t he application o f a dditional manure, soil fertility can be raised, eliminating the need for fallow periods. Second ring: This is t he zone o f forestry in which w ood a nd charcoal for fuel a nd t imber for urban construction are sourced from managed forests. I n T hilnen's time, wood was the major fuel for townspeople as well as those i n t he c ountryside. T hird ring: This is a relatively narrow ring in w hich d ie 'crop alternation system' prevails. Grain crops (such as rye) a nd feed crops (such as clover) alternate a nd t here is n o fallow period. The soil is e nriched t hrough the applica­ tion o f m anure. Thilnen spent a considerable part o f his b ook discussing the various systems o f c rop alterna­ tion e merging i n n orthern E urope a nd p redicted t hat over time innovative crop rotation systems w ould be widespread. I n t he initial model, though, they occupy a small band. F ourth ring: The ' improved system' is p racticed i n this ring. Here, arable l and is used in t urn for grain a nd r oot crop cultivation a nd for pasture. Fields are periodically left fallow a nd fertilized w ith m anure. Fifth ring: Here the traditional three-field system is prevalent. Fields rotate from arable to pasture to fallow. Sixth ring: Stock farming. This ring is t oo far from the town for grain cultivation as t he t ransport costs w ould o utweigh revenue generated from its sale (see Figure 2.1). However, T hilnen p oints o ut t hat i f t he g rain were distilled a nd c onverted to a lcohol- a higher value product - it could be transported profitably to market. Further­ more, in this zone by-products o f the distilleries could be used for animal feed. Animals are grazed extensively i n this zone, w ith t heir wool a nd m eat sold i n t he t own . Thilnen predicted t hat as t he e conomy prospered, working m en a nd w omen w ould increase their c onsumption o f m eat i nstead o f relying o n p otatoes o r rye bread for their n utrition , a nd d eemed this to be a positive development since, he reasoned, it w ould lessen the likelihood o f a serious famine. Thilnen's isolated state was thus, in part, a n ideal world i n w hich the Malthusian specter o f famine c ould be left b ehind b y the a doption o f r ational agricultural practices. Beyond the sixth ring, Thilnen argued, cultivation ceases as t ransport costs (among others) exceed l and r ent. This is a z one in w hich ' a few hunters roam', 'living virtually like savages' (1966: 157). Beyond this ring is ' uninhabited wilderness.' The boundaries o f each ring a nd the extent o f the rings are d etermined b y the prevailing price o f the staple crop - assumed to be grain (in G ermany i t was rye) - and soil fertility levels. Thilnen also allowed for transition zones where the rings w ould s hade i nto o ne a nother a t their margins. T hilnen r ecognized t hat i n r eality farmers' decisions were influenced considerably by soil quality a nd b y the vagaries o f taxes, a nd h e spent m uch o f his b ook discussing such concerns. H e also understood t hat farmers were n ot privy to complete knowledge a nd observed t hat a ny c hange in farming practices usually followed some period o f inertia: i n t he w orld a round us the local farming system is never the fruit o f a n all-embracing recognition o f e verything o f relevance. I t is t he piecemeal w ork o f c enturies a nd generations; i t has become w hat i t is by slow, continuous improvements a n...
View Full Document

This document was uploaded on 01/24/2014.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online