Primarily, we are interested in looking at the difference between
city-supported vs. spontaneous community gardens.
This interest has led us to focus on looking at the “roots” :-) of the garden – what were the founders’ original intentions for the garden? How does the original vision compare to what has taken place over the years and what will happen in the future?
It was brought up that it would be interesting to look at the (implied) mission of the gardens (that are intended for public use) regarding access. Which gardens (city-supported or spontaneous) appear to be more successful at being accessible to the community?
What elements define “success” of a community garden - from both the perspectives of the gardeners themselves and the surrounding community?
- Interviews and/or survey
o community gardeners
o non-gardeners in the local neighborhood
o home-gardeners in the local neighborhood
Through our work, our goal would be to find a common ground :-) between community gardeners (both in public-supported and spontaneous gardens) and city planners. We discussed a few potential “end-products” which, once determined, will help us narrow down the focus of our work.
Potential end products:
- to invite gardeners and city planners to a presentation of our findings
- to present our findings AND facilitate a community meeting between gardeners and planners - to write a paper on our findings (and try to publish?)
Some questions that came up:
- Should the community “control group” we use for comparison be home-gardeners or non-gardeners in the surrounding community?
- How are we defining “access”? Do we take a quantitative approach and examine (map) proximity to gardens from different income areas? Do we take a qualitative approach and interview local residents and ask them about their interest in their local community garden, and if they even know about it? Both?
- How is a community garden defined? If a community garden has exclusive membership, (whether it’s overt or implied) is it still considered a “community” garden?