Click here for a video and news item of Omroep Flevoland (in Dutch only).
Our pilot project ‘Healing Gardens’ has finally started! From this week onwards (former) cancer patients will garden on a weekly basis at Parkhuys, a social support center for cancer patients in Almere. The participants will garden in containers (square foot gardening) from April until October, under supervision of two experienced gardeners.
As gardening is an outdoor activity that requires bending and stretching and gardeners work with fruits and vegetables, it seems a good way to get physical exercise, eat healthily, and take up vitamin D – all important aspects for people who have or are recovering from cancer. Moreover, the hypothesis is that when people like what they do – for most people gardening is more enjoyable than visiting a gym – it will be easier to maintain such healthy behavior. Finally, people may experience social support from the peers with whom they are working, without having to join specific social support groups.
Two years ago the first seeds for this project were planted – last week Ellen Kampman, professor of Human Nutrition, elderman Rene Peeters, Henk Wolfert from AMS institue and Astrid Heijnen from Donkergroen officially opened the project during a festive event. This pilot project is the start of what will hopefully become a bigger project – if we manage to get finance, we aim to start a larger garden (or several gardens) with a larger number of participants.
Although the project in its current form is too small to measure whether gardening really makes people more fit, it will help us gain insights into what would make such a project successful (individual gardens or a communal garden, for example, or the addition of cooking workshops). We also hope to get a better understanding of the extent to which this group activity leads to social support. Moreover, we may find indications for health effects.
Healing Gardens is supported by Flevo Campus and Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS ) institute. Donkergroen sponsored the square foot gardening containers.
In July 2017 (24-27) the XXVII European Society for Rural Sociology Congress will be organised in Krakow, Poland. The topic of this year’s congress is ‘Uneven processes of rural change: on diversity, knowledge and justice’. The conference hosts several working groups, organised along three thematic lines: ‘Space, place and (in)equalities’, ‘Knowledges in processes of rural change’, and ‘agri-food systems and the rural’. For more information, click here. One of the working groups, part of thematic line one (Space, place and (in)equalities), concerns ‘Contested approaches to land-use: sustainability adjustments in social practices in global space’. See the call for abstracts below: Continue reading
Eva de Groot wrote an essay about food forests and how this phenomenon is gaining momentum in the Dutch agriculture. In this blog she shares some of her findings. Continue reading
Note: as I am looking for a Dutch-speaking student for this thesis, the text of this post is in Dutch.
Het stedelijk voedsellandschap verandert. Bestaande kanalen bieden andere soorten voedsel aan (supermarkten verkopen steeds meer biologische en/of lokale producten) en er ontstaan nieuwe kanalen die het mogelijk maken op andere manieren aan voedsel te komen (kopen bij de boer, zelf verbouwen). Consumenten hebben hiervoor zowel ethische overwegingen (diervriendelijker, milieubewuster consumeren) als sociale overwegingen (elkaar ontmoeten rondom eten). Ondanks het bestaan van al die verschillende kanalen kopen de meeste mensen het grootste deel van hun voedsel in de supermarkt. Blijkbaar is het in de praktijk nog best lastig om de supermarkt te omzeilen. Continue reading
This is a first announcement for the June 2017 international conference organised by the Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) at Wageningen University in The Netherlands. The full call for papers and organised sessions will be available in September 2016.
The Value of Life: Measurement, Stakes, Implications
Wageningen, The Netherlands
28-30 June 2017
In the last period of this academic year I gave the course Eating, Customs and Health, mandatory for first-year students Health and Society. As part of this course students were to execute a small research, in order to practice their interviewing skills. I asked the students to study the importance of a particular part of a diet (such as meat, dessert, or breakfast) for two groups of people (such as students following different study programs, or students with different nationalities) and to study the health effects of that part of the diet in the eyes of the respondents. They were also asked to compare the two groups.