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To feed, or not to feed, that is the question

Authors: Jana Siftova*, Charles University
Topics: Food Systems, Urban Geography, East Europe
Keywords: urban agriculture;home gardens; food; food production
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Urban agriculture is in the spotlight of many scholars across disciplines, sensible policymakers and active citizens worldwide. However, not all the forms of urban agriculture receive the same attention. Most research in social environmental science and human geography focuses on community gardens, whereas private (home/residential) gardens are still rather overlooked. In comparison to community gardens, home gardens represent an ever-present, more durable and better defensible form of urban agriculture. The limited (however still growing) social and biophysical research on home gardens available up to now shows that many urban households engage in food production and food self-provisioning is a practice widespread in both developing and developed economies. Still, the motivations are highly diverse and associated with an array of social, cultural, environmental, economic or even political aspirations.

This paper is based on a pilot survey of more than 400 home garden keepers in different settlement types of Czechia. It aims to answer these questions: What are the gardener motivations for food production in a private garden? What are the particular gardening practices, and do they relate to socio-demographic characteristics of the garden keepers and the location of the garden? What is produced and for what purpose? What are the shifts and trends in home production?

Similar studies should address the lack of knowledge about domestic food production, and to enrich academic and public discussion about viable urban agriculture.

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