For my part of the research project, I will be investigating the issue of inclusivity in relation to community gardens and will find case studies where local government initiatives helped to implement or support gardening.
T.D. Glover et al. “Association, Sociability, and Civic Culture: The Democratic Effect of Community Gardening”. Leisure Sciences, 2005. Accessed February 20, 2020.
In this article, the authors discuss how community gardening contributes to democratic values. The authors quote De Tocqueville, a political philosopher who believed that voluntary associations foster contributions to civic engagement. Additional benefits from this type of contribution can lead to increased political participation, displaying empathy for others, and whether a leader or not within the garden, the individuals volunteering exhibit leadership skills and responsibilities. Furthermore, voluntary associations produce developmental effects because they cultivate individual autonomy. In a community garden, individuals are working together towards a common goal of improving their community. In the process, they are sharing resources, seeds, materials, etc. For many, the experience of gardening serves as a powerful example of how to become an active member within your own community.
White, Monica. “Sisters of the Soil: Urban Gardening as Resistance in Detroit”. Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts, vol. 5, no.1., Indiana University Press, 2011. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/racethmulglocon.5.1.13
This article analyzes a group of black women activists who participate in urban gardening and agriculture as a way to reclaim personal power and a sense of agency over their food choices. The setting is Detroit which as a whole is struggling with poverty related challenges due to the decline of industry and a shrinking middle class. Nationally, African American majority communities live on average 1.1 miles further from a supermarket. Community gardens have been an initiative to develop community food security which is defined as “all community residents [ability to] obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice” (15). In Detroit, there is a specific group of women in the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network that use gardening as a form of political agency. Through this opportunity, the women are not only able to help feed their families, but are also able to serve as change agents within their communities.