Making space for food: everyday community food gardening and its contribution to urban agriculture

  • Mikey Tomkins

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis presents research on community food gardens as an example of urban agriculture. It aims to provide evidence on the factors that influence their ability to produce food. Drawing on participant observation methods, and interviews with community food gardeners, on six London housing estates in 2010, this thesis explores the everyday community food garden practices of residents. It explores the factors that influence food growing, from discourse, everyday practice, and spatial interactions of those who garden. Key results show that the process of transforming, constructing, and inhabiting material space occupies residents’ time, leading to a reduced emphasis on food production. The research concludes that food harvests as an edible outcome are only sought in quantities relative to confirming the embodied situation of social practices, a key aspect of which is the need to gain spatial sovereignty over the estates’ landscape.
Date of Award1 Apr 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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