No Country for Men: Meet the Feminist Farmers Championing Gender and Biodiversity

The ecofeminist community 'Land Dyke' gives hope to female farmers striving in a profession dominated by men.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/03/05
By: Jennifer Creery

I found myself lost in the hills of Taiwan’s eastern county of Yilan (宜蘭), with only the hum of distant motors to accompany me. It is a tranquility that for many makes the area an ideal escape from the hubbub of urban life. A few minutes pass before a figure appears over the horizon and races my way. Its rider smiles and gives me a nod of recognition. “This way”, Joelle (蔡雪青) says.

We enter their storage house packed with produce and packaging machines. “Farming is a job where you have to do more things than any other job, and you have to do it all at a professional level,” she says. Her task is made easier by working as a collective; except this isn’t any ordinary farming team.

Tucked away in Shengou Village (深溝村) in northeast Taiwan's Yilan County, a collective of six feminist farmers toil the land, cultivating fruits and vegetables under the name of “Land Dyke Feminist Family Farm.” Their experimental farming group is known in Chinese as Tulake (土拉客), which means “land to greet the people”. Established in 2012, “Land Dyke” has expanded its production to Dazhou Village (大洲村) and Toufen Village (頭分村), as well as a fruit orchard in Zhenshan Village (枕山村).

The name “Land Dyke” was coined from the ecofeminist back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s, where lesbian women sought to build their own farming communities. Why live in a patriarchal society, its followers believed, when you could create your own? However, unlike the separatist ideas touted by early lesbian farmers, “Land Dyke” takes inspiration from its principles of collective cooperation in order to create more community-based agriculture.    [FULL  STORY]

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