Growing together: the intersections of food, identity, community and gardening in St. John's, Newfoundland

Nelson-Hamilton, Laura (2011) Growing together: the intersections of food, identity, community and gardening in St. John's, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

All across the country, people are participating in community gardening activities as a way to learn and share gardening knowledge, gain access to fresh produce, develop social bonds and improve the physical features of neighbourhood and public space. In the eastern Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, community gardening is becoming a popular way to access fresh produce and learn or practice gardening skills. While gardening has traditionally been practiced by families residing on the island of Newfoundland (Omohundro 1995), community gardens are a more recent facet of food production there. Little academic attention has been given to gardening in Newfoundland and Labrador since the mid-1990s. Fostered by what may be conceived of as a burgeoning food security movement, there is much hope amongst community garden organizers that these spaces will address food insecurity and personal health needs amongst the provincial population. -- This thesis examines the Rabbittown Community Garden, which is located in a social housing neighbourhood in St. John’s, Newfoundland. By considering the history of the garden’s development, as well as the interests, needs and perspectives of persons who helped to organize and maintain it, I seek to question the significance of identity to participation in community gardening. My research indicates that the benefits of community gardening are diverse, that identity and sense of place contribute to women’s and men’s tastes for particular vegetables, and that there are both opportunities and challenges presented to those who participate in community gardening at Rabbittown. This thesis provides a nuanced approach to understanding the range of activities that are involved in community gardening, and updates previous considerations of gardening in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11132
Item ID: 11132
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 263-275).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Gender Studies
Date: 2011
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Community gardens--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; Gardening--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's--Citizen participation; Gardening--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's.

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