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Home-grown: garden, practices and motivations in urban domestic vegetable production

Kirkpatrick, JB ORCID: 0000-0002-3152-3299 and Davison, A ORCID: 0000-0002-5618-7068 2018 , 'Home-grown: garden, practices and motivations in urban domestic vegetable production' , Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 170 , pp. 24-33 , doi:

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Food production is of symbolic and practical importance in sustainable cities. Vegetable gardening in publicspaces and community gardens is better understood than the same activity on private residential property. Insuburbanised western cities most vegetable production is likely to be on private blocks. To increase vegetableproduction in cities, we need to understand private vegetable growing. We used a questionnaire administered inperson with a diverse sample of 101 gardeners in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia to determine variation in gardens,gardening practices and gardener motivations, relationships between them, and potential for planning and otherinterventions to increase domestic vegetable production. Vegetable gardens varied from highly species-rich tospecies-poor and from staple production to expressions of culinary fashion. Gardening practices varied fromintegrated, organic and displayed, to strongly constructed and reliant on synthetic inputs. While all respondentswere motivated to grow vegetables for pleasure, many were activists who wished to promote social change,while others wished to ensure affordable access to vegetables or to improve health. Activist gardeners usedintegrated organic or permacultural practices and produced highly complex garden outcomes. With the exceptionsof the activists and food fashionistas, garden type, gardening practice and gardener motivation were notstrongly interlinked. A large majority of respondents identified family members as important sources of informationand inspiration. Gardeners without family role models were either influenced by new food cultures orwere on low-incomes and wanted affordable access to vegetables. This latter group could be expanded throughappropriate education and incentives.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kirkpatrick, JB and Davison, A
Keywords: urban agriculture, vegetable production, self-provisioning
Journal or Publication Title: Landscape and Urban Planning
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN: 0169-2046
DOI / ID Number:
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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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