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

Thesis: Studying the social effects of community gardens on the wider neighbourhood

3973780265_157e56b55fThis thesis concerns community gardens and their influence on the wider neighbourhood, especially people not involved in the gardens. The starting assumption is that people maintaining and working in community gardens meet others by doing so. That way these gardens create or strengthen their social relations. However, not all residents of the local community are involved in the community gardens and the gardens may be maintained by people from outside of the direct neighbourhood. To what extent does the social cohesion that exists and is grown at the community garden ‘spread’ beyond that garden, into the neighbourhood? Do local residents that are not involved benefit from the social cohesion created by the gardeners? (I.e. because they see the neighbourhood being beautified, because they stop and talk to those working in the garden, because they feel that something is brooding…). Continue reading