A micro-scale geographical analysis of one community garden in St. Louis was carried out in order to discover what gardeners grew, why they grew those plants, and why they organized their garden plots the way they did. A plant survey was used to discover what the gardeners were growing. Semi-structured field interviews were conducted with ten gardeners to explore why they grew the plants they did. A combination of interviews and garden plot maps were used to explore why the gardeners organized their gardens the way they did.
The community gardeners were found to make decisions about their gardens by first considering their past gardening experiences and personal preferences. They then made plant choice and garden layout decisions based on aesthetics, the influence of other people, and to try and maximize their garden. These factors led the gardeners to select certain plants at different frequencies than home gardeners. In particular they grew greens at a much higher rate and crops that required a lot of space and time to reach maturity at a lower rate than home gardeners. The results also revealed that the garden had a definite sense of place for the members. It was not just a production landscape, it was an extension of the gardeners' living space where they learned, taught, and shared with each other.
|Commitee:||Hanlon, James, Hume, Susan|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 53/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Community garden, Geography, Plant choice, Plant diversity|
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