For several years now, approaches to rural development have distanced themselves from the more traditional approach, which tended to identify the countryside with agriculture, and have focused more on an analysis of the prevailing sector – specific (economic, social, and cultural) relations (Marsden, 1995). Today the use of the term countryside reflects this dual historical shift. The first shift is due to the decreasing importance of agriculture – both in terms of employment and production – in European economies (Gardner, 1996). With this development and the relative stabilization of the rural population, an increasing part of rural inhabitants is being drawn into the non-agricultural sectors such as tourism, construction, manufacturing, and the conventional and innovative services, thereby granting a more diversified and contemporary role to the countryside (Boyle and Halfacree, 1998). The second shift is toward the environment. The environmental shift has questioned many of the very fundamental premises governing the relation between social practices and nature. It has challenged the conventional attitudes that focus on the economic performance of the agricultural sector and perceive farming as a typical industrial activity (Drummond and Marsden, 1999).