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Edible backyards: a qualitative study of household food growing and its contributions to food security

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  • Robin Kortright

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  • Sarah Wakefield
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    Abstract

    Food security is a fundamental element of community health. Informal house-lot food growing, by providing convenient access to diverse varieties of affordable and nutritious produce, can provide an important support for community food security. In this exploratory assessment of the contribution home food gardening makes to community food security, in-depth interviews were conducted with gardeners in two contrasting neighborhoods in Toronto, Canada. A typology of food gardeners was developed, and this qualitative understanding of residential food production was then assessed from a community food security perspective. It was found that growing food contributes to food security at all income levels by encouraging a more nutritious diet. The sustainability of household food sourcing and gardeners’ overall health and well-being also increased with food production. Secure access to suitable land to grow food and gardening skills were the most significant barriers found to residential food production. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10460-009-9254-1
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 39-53

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:28:y:2011:i:1:p:39-53

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460

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    Related research

    Keywords: Home gardening; Household food production; Urban agriculture; Community food security;

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    1. Kameshwari Pothukuchi & Jerome Kaufman, 1999. "Placing the food system on the urban agenda: The role of municipal institutions in food systems planning," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 213-224, June.
    2. Schellenberg, Grant, 2004. "Immigrants in Canada's Census Metropolitan Areas," Trends and Conditions in Census Metropolitan Areas 2004003e, Statistics Canada, Social Analysis and Modelling.
    3. Laura DeLind & Philip Howard, 2008. "Safe at any scale? Food scares, food regulation, and scaled alternatives," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 301-317, September.
    4. Milligan, Christine & Gatrell, Anthony & Bingley, Amanda, 2004. "'Cultivating health': therapeutic landscapes and older people in northern England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(9), pages 1781-1793, May.
    5. Lois Morton & Ella Bitto & Mary Oakland & Mary Sand, 2008. "Accessing food resources: Rural and urban patterns of giving and getting food," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 107-119, January.
    6. Charles Levkoe, 2006. "Learning Democracy Through Food Justice Movements," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 89-98, 03.
    7. Jennifer Dawson & Judy Sheeshka & Donald Cole & David Kraft & Amy Waugh, 2008. "Fishers weigh in: benefits and risks of eating Great Lakes fish from the consumer’s perspective," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 349-364, September.
    8. Molly Anderson & John Cook, 1999. "Community food security: Practice in need of theory?," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 141-150, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. John Taylor & Sarah Lovell, 2014. "Urban home food gardens in the Global North: research traditions and future directions," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 285-305, June.

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