During the International event of Science Shops in Europe, The Inspiration days 2012, an award will be given to the author of the best Science Shop report. The Wageningen Science Shop nominated 3 projects from Wageningen University. Lise Alix, completed the Master International Development Studies at Wageningen University with a thesis research on an allotment park in Ede at Rural Sociology commissioned by the Science Shop of Wageningen University. Lise Alix is one of the nominees. Her thesis is in Dutch and called “Zo tuinieren zij dus“ (That is how they garden), but has an English Summary. The thesis was examined as excellent. The research by Lise was part of a larger project on ‘Tuinenpark Koekelt’ (allotmentpark De Koekelt), see the project site for more information. The final Science Shop report “Welkom op Tuinenpark De Koekelt” is largely based on the nominated thesis. Below a clip of the allotmentpark ‘De Koekelt’:
The research revealed that allotments parks are important to people, not just for producing food, but also as a way to relax. And to experience a sense of wonder, proudeness and satisfacton in working with nature.
Lise Alix showed, not only by talking to people but also by working with them, a diversity of ‘gardening styles’. Multicultural diversity of gardeners is shown in the way people work in their garden. Some appreciate social contaxts, others want to create a beautiful spot or experiment with different crops or techniques.
An allotment complex is a small society on its own and gives us insight how people live and work together. The report is relevant for a large variety of people, not only gardeners but also inhabitants, social workers and policy makers. The report describes how allotment complexes can contribute to social cohesion between people and neighbourhoods and the report delivers practical tools how to achieve this.