I am doing some initial research on the topic of barriers to participation
in community gardening.† Specifically, Iím
interested in examining existing community gardens and establishing a method of
evaluating them in terms of quality (i.e. lack of barriers).† I am looking at currently developed gardens
that are underused and facing a decline in participation.† My hunch is that the locations and quality
of the garden sites are prohibitive to success.† In the gardens that I am reviewing, there are fairly severe
problems with drainage, proximity to where gardeners live, and/or poor soil
quality.† As a result, there is a
serious lack of productivity leading to a high rate of gardener turn-over due
to crop failure.
My goal is to develop a method of evaluating the gardens and then use
this to document the conditions that gardeners must endure.† Hopefully, this information can be helpful
in moving community gardening up the food chain of urban land use planning.† My argument is this: In order for community
gardening to reach its full potential of providing locally grown vegetables to
low-income citizens, we need to assure that all of the basic infra-structure
needs are in place (removal of barriers).†
If anyone has information or comments on the following, please contact
1) Iíd like to establish a
baseline of what a community gardenís need.†
Are there specific resources that you use to evaluate a siteís potential
as a community garden?† This includes
the basic ingredients such as soil, location, proximity to gardener homes, slope,
water access, security, etc.
2) What other research in this
area currently exists?
3) Is this a prevalent problem
within other communities?
Department of Resource Development,
Michigan State University