Thesis: the vegetable network

100_5864By Esther Veen, PhD student of Rural Sociology

Urban Agriculture is a trendy concept for a lot of recently set up neighbourhood gardens in cities. The goal is to connect people and food again is often said. I researched four neighbourhood gardens, looking specifically at the social and dietary effects for the people involved. While the new gardens are part of a trend, some gardens have a long history of a traditional allotment complex. Especially THOSE gardeners who not necessariy identify themselves as part of an urban agriculture movement, generally harvest large amounts of produce, that they cannot all consume themselves. Many of them therefore share their harvests with friends, families and colleagues. Continue reading

Growing food in the neighbourhood

Tilburg’s City Garden- Lise Alix

This winter I did an internship in which I set up a city garden in Tilburg. I found ten enthusiastic, mostly female neighbours, ready to cooperate in creating their neighbourhood’s kitchen’s garden. We learned about designing and preparing a garden, working together, and about physical endurance while spreading manure, transporting unwanted sand, and carrying and breaking paving stones.

I was assigned to manage this project by the Brabantse Milieufederatie (BMF), an organization that tries to protect the  environment. One of their focus points is on food, because food is a daily need that links many environmental problems like food transport, food packaging and unsustainable agriculture with use of pesticides and fertilizers.
One way of solving these problems is by growing our local vegetables, for example in neighbourhoods kitchen’s gardens. The BMF has, in cooperation with other organizations, tried to raise consciousness and support by the municipality of Tilburg on city gardens. As an example of how well it functions, BMF wanted to have one tangible kitchen’s garden in Tilburg. That’s where I came in.

Continue reading