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Weaving chains of grain: exploring the stories, links and boundaries of small scale grain initiatives in Southwestern British Columbia

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
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Grain related activities have recently appeared in southwestern British Columbia, exhibiting dynamic social histories as a result of links between landscapes, farmers, processors and consumers. Traceable social networks that assist grain’s journey from field to plate characterize these social histories, which are contingent upon information about the chain process being shared with consumers. The depth of a given social history hinges upon the “social length”, or the number of geographically proximate links that contribute to the process. Grain chains with deep social histories help strengthen existing network connections as well as assist in developing new ones. Long social networks contribute to the production of trust and reciprocity, commonly understood as social capital. Challenges facing grain chains in SW BC, including production methods, access to seeds and machinery, marketing strategies and power dynamics have engendered unique models of community-supported grain production.
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