Mushroom-foraging in Finland is often done in forests that live according to a cycle of clearing, planting and thinning. In this article, forest management that prioritizes short-rotation timber production is termed ’plantationocentric’, following critiques of capitalocentrism in feminist economic geography. In plantationocentric discourses and practices, plantations, characterized by simplification, forced multispecies labour and temporal disturbances, are taken as the model for all primary production. This in turn subordinates various actual and potential livelihood practices, including foraging. The problem of plantationocentrism is approached through a postcapitalist methodology by examining mushroom-foraging as an intentional form of livelihood production, and by analysing its situated entanglement with plantation-like production. In addition to material subsistence, mushroom-foraging produces well-being and meaningful relationships between people but also species. Therefore, foraging opens up possibilities to see forest economies as more diverse than timber production, and calls into question those economies’ anthropocentrism. Plantations are indeed an inseparable part of contemporary mushroom-foraging as well as the conceptualization of diverse forest economies. Nevertheless, adjusting to or acknowledging the presence of plantations does not necessarily mean complying with plantationocentrism. Possibilities for livelihoods amid but also beyond the ruins of plantation economies are sustained in the diversity of forest-based production, and through their critical and affirmative examination.
Hyvärinen, Pieta .2020. Sienestystä pohjoisilla puupelloilla: metsien moninaiset taloudet ja
plantaasiosentrismin ongelma (”Mushroom-foraging on northern tree plantations: diverse forest
economies and the problem of plantationocentrism”). Alue ja ympäristö 49(2): 22–43.