This is the way we learn who we are, what it is we want, who we can be and what we can do or not do. Canberra, University of Canberra. This thesis may be copied and distributed freely for non-commercial purposes, provided this notice remains intact. Due acknowledgement shall be given in any scholarly or non-commercial use that may be made of any material in this thesis. This coincides with increasing concern about food security, urban sustainability, social isolation and the preservation of community space.
Community gardening has been adopted by divergent actors, from health agencies looking to increase fruit and vegetable consumption to radical social movements seeking symbols of non-capitalist social and spatial relations. This thesis contributes to a systematic research account of the Australian community gardening movement by considering community gardening as a site of collective social action. Drawing on a tradition of activist research, the analysis focuses on ethnographic case studies of three key organisations within the Australian community gardening movement.
These case studies portray community gardening activity at three scales: a garden, an organisation supporting and promoting community gardening at a city-wide level, and the national community gardening organisation. Drawing on social movement theory, the thesis investigates the ways community gardeners in these organisations approach environmental and social justice issues and considers the relationships between community gardening and wider movements.
It then considers whether community gardening can be seen as a form of political praxis. The thesis shows that community gardening is used strategically and intentionally as a performance to make collective claims. In some contexts and to the extent to which it is so used, it argues that community gardening can be understood as a social movement practice. In doing so it makes a unique contribution to the existing literature on both community gardening and environmental social movements.
I am especially grateful to those who allowed me to interview them. Without the generosity, insights and friendship of people in the Australian community gardening movement, and their deep personal commitments to community gardening, I could not have written this thesis. My research involved a significant amount of time away from home. On a limited budget, travel was only possible because of the couches and spare rooms of kind friends. This thesis has benefited, during its many revisions, from the careful reading and constructive criticism of generous friends and colleagues.
Deb King in particular offered substantial guidance on structure and argument, which enabled me to produce a significantly stronger thesis.
My supervisors Chris Beasley and Timothy Doyle have remained committed and encouraging throughout the long process of developing this thesis. Chris has read through numerous drafts with considerable care and attention.
Her advice and suggestions have led to a more coherent and refined thesis than would have otherwise been possible. I am also grateful to Carol Johnson for her support and encouragement in the role of Post-graduate Co-ordinator. I want to acknowledge the School of Social Ecology at the University of Western Sydney, whose spirited Masters program inspired me to undertake further research. X I am deeply indebted to Mary Heath, who has been unreasonably supportive of my family and me. In addition to offering detailed critical and encouraging comments on several iterations of the thesis draft, Mary has helped me navigate the mysteries of academia, provided counsel and solidarity at some of the more difficult points along the way, and created things of beauty to keep my feet and wrists warm during the long hours at my desk.
Jeremy Nettle has supported me in more ways than I can say. From the outset he has been steadfastly committed to seeing this thesis completed, and his belief in the possibility and value of that happening has remained unwavering, even when I was not so convinced.
Without his emotional, intellectual and practical support, this thesis would never have been completed. I am deeply grateful. Innis delivered me plates of toast and sustaining cups of tea while I was cloistered in my study, and occasionally took me by the hand and demanded that I stop writing and step outside. Donati, Cleary and Pike p. They are spaces where a broad spectrum of activities take place: gardening for pleasure and for food production; formal and informal learning; collective management processes; community building events; research and development of environmental strategies; festivals and rituals; arts and cultural production, just to name a few.
While some community gardens involve just a handful of dedicated gardeners, others host thousands of visitors each year. Community gardening in Australia is both a practice—the creation and development of community gardens—and a movement—a network of people, groups and organisations with shared aims and analyses seeking to create social change.
Through community gardens, people address multiple issues and enact multiple visions. Community gardeners seek to contribute to food security, question the erosion of public space, conserve and improve urban spaces, develop technologies of sustainable food production and urban living, foster community engagement and mutual support, and create neighbourhood commons. Community gardening is enjoying significant growth in Australia, with several hundred garden sites established around the country and more emerging.
There has, however, to date been almost no systematic research on the Australian community gardening movement, and very little research internationally that considers community gardening as a form of social action.
I do not seek to argue that community gardening is only a form of social action, nor even that it is best understood this way. Instead, I contend that collective social action is a central aspect of community gardening praxis and one that has thus far received an inadequate amount of attention.
Viewing community gardens as sites of collective social action enables a richer and more complete understanding of community gardening and of its potential contributions to understandings of activism, community, democracy, gardening and culture.
In this thesis I address the lack of empirical and theoretical attention given to community gardening in general, and argue for the significance of community gardening as a socio-political practice. My particular focus is on understanding the repertoire of collective action used by community gardeners to enact social change.
In this chapter, I introduce the community gardening movement in Australia and present an overview of my research. My intention in this chapter is to widen the lens of how we view community gardens, from one that focuses on community gardening as a form of leisure activity with health and social benefits to one that also encompasses its role as a form of collective social action.
Working towards this end, the chapter begins by describing the three waves of community gardening activity that have occurred in Australia since the s and offering a brief review of the literature on community gardening in Australia, the United Kingdom and North America1. From here, I turn my attention to the possibilities and implications of viewing community gardening through the lens of collective social action. I examine the various ways the practice of community gardening has been framed in terms palatable to governments and policy makers, and the simultaneous adoption of community gardening as a political performance by radical social movements.
This incongruity raises a number of questions about community gardening as a practice concerned with both social service and collective social action. The remainder of the chapter is dedicated to discussing the particular questions that are the focus of this thesis and the theoretical and methodological frameworks that informed the research. This includes my use of social movement theory and of ethnography as activist research. I introduce each of my three research sites, including their areas of work and organisational structures.
I conclude by offering a synopsis of my argument about the ways in which community gardening can be seen as a form of social and social movement action, and how I develop this over the thesis as a whole. In this thesis my discussion of comparative community gardening movements is generally limited to the United Kingdom and North America, with occasional references to European experiences.
This is primarily because community gardening movements in these regions share significantly overlapping histories and literatures, and because they differ substantively from collective gardening and urban agriculture in majority world countries. It also reflects the practical limitations of my ability to access sources in languages other than English and the need to constrain the scope of my research.
Community gardens began growing around Australia in the late s and early 80s. This first groundswell was followed by a second crop in the mids, and community gardening has enjoyed another flush of growth since Many of the first community gardens in Australia were established in Melbourne between and However there may have been community gardens established in Canberra and Adelaide before Nunawading was created see Appendix 1.
Community gardens were also established in Perth in and Sydney in Despite emerging around the country at a similar time, there were few connections among these early community gardens, and many were unaware the other gardens existed Phillips Most of these first community gardens continue to flourish. In the mids a number of new community gardens began to grow alongside them.
Between and there was a new surge of interest in community gardens, with many new gardens established, increased public interest, and community gardeners becoming increasingly organised. Attendance at Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network national conferences mushroomed from 70 in to over in Coverage of community gardens in the media also proliferated, with numerous stories in newspapers and magazines, on radio and television a detailed history of community gardening in Australia is presented in Appendix 3.
Associated perspectives such as slow food Petrini , community food security Winne , food justice Levkoe , civic agriculture Lyson , and food sovereignty 4 Desmarais have provided new frames for promoting community gardening. Community gardeners have become increasingly allied with broader food movements, and have successfully positioned themselves as a form of practical action on issues of food security, sustainable food production, fossil fuel dependence, climate change and water conservation.
While it is clear that there has been significant growth in community gardening in recent years, the full extent of community gardening activity in Australia remains unmapped. Even the number of community gardens operating in Australia is not known with any precision. While this is the most comprehensive available listing of community gardens in Australia, it has significant gaps and is likely to be a gross underestimate of the number of existing community gardens4.
The Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network has not carried out an audit of community gardens since published as Phillips Gardens that are not in contact with local and national community gardening organisations are not listed, nor are gardens in regions without an active ACFCGN presence, such as in central Australia, and areas of Queensland beyond the capital5. Significantly, it also omits gardens in Victoria where there is an active ACFCGN presence and a flourishing community garden movement6.
Having attempted to maintain a listing of all the community gardens in South Australia for the past seven years, I have become aware of the difficulty in identifying and maintaining contact with geographically dispersed community gardens, and have been regularly surprised to discover gardens which have been operating successfully within their local communities without contact with wider community garden networks7.
There has been little research, and even less analysis, on community gardens in their uniquely Australian manifestation. Commissioned in Sydney, it surveyed the 13 community gardens and two city farms Eliott identified in Melbourne at the time. From the mids to the present, most of the research on community gardens in Australia has been conducted by honours and masters students Wright ; Barnett ; Sullivan ; Stocker and Barnett ; Crabtree ; Gelsi ; Joss ; Harris ; Hujber ; Green These studies have produced important descriptive data, often about individual gardens, and some useful analysis.
Second grade continue their efforts to master uppercased capital letters cursive writing and SMUG skills; capitalization, commas in a series, and ending punctuation. Third grade will focus on showing possession apostrophe placement , contractions apostrophe placement , and using commas in a series. Students will research daily requirements and add to our bulletin board in the hallway outside of our classroom.
Music:We will finish work on the first scene of the musical and start staging the next three scenes. Art: We finished stringing our medallions and began painting foil for our next art project. Please help your child out by making sure they get enough sleep and have plenty of healthy snacks and meals.
The weather is going to be lovely, but it is still muddy outside. Changes of shoes and clothing would be appreciated to help us keep the mud outside of our classroom and under control. Come to our Poetry Celebration on Friday.
See details in the earlier announcements to learn about the schedule for the day. Reading: We will continue to work on the illustrations for our reading postcards this week. Students are practicing their visualization skills, as well as conveying important elements of their books through drawing.
Genius Hour: Due to our crazy schedule this week, we may not have time for Genius Hour. Presentations will be happening sometime after vacation, but hopefully before the spring field trip. Outdoor Learning: Spring has finally sprung! Last week we had a great time celebrating a successful week of testing for 5th graders and a busy week of classes for 4th graders by practicing frisbee skills and playing a game of Ultimate Frisbee.
We were so impressed by the good sportsmanship and supportive nature of all players involved! We look forward to celebrating more hard work, the arrival of spring, and the nearness of our upcoming Spring Break by playing more outside this week.
Spanish: We have begun a new unit about favored foods. Art: We painted strips of cardboard in a variety of widths. We will measure and cut them into squares to make a mosaic. PE: We are learning how to apply our throwing and catching skills from the last two weeks. We are playing Disc Golf and Whiffle Ball. We hope to take these games outside when the weather cooperates.
Special Note: 4th graders will be engaged in SBAC testing for a significant portion of their time in school this week. Please help students get plenty of rest, and have lots of snacks to keep their energy up during the day. Our beloved Squirmsy is also in need of a home during vacation next week. Math: In groups students will be working on measurement, and reviewing and adding to our understanding of decimals, working toward dividing decimals by the end of the week.
We did, however, have some great team-building on the somewhat muddy soccer field with a game of ultimate frisbee. Spanish: We will be finalizing our letters to the 6th graders. Music: We will finish work on the first scene of the musical and start staging the next three scenes. Art: We continue to work on our lighthouse collages. Today we drew a lighthouse in perspective.
Math: We continue to refine our understanding of equations in two variables: identifying independent variables and dependent variables, and evaluating possible solutions.
Physical Science: They will begin to explore nuclear energy in class this week. This will be a short introductory unit. Music: As we continue the theme of Art Music we will delve into the modern style of minimalism listening to some examples by Philip Glass and Steve Reich.
Robynne also credits other authors with helping her create the garden of her dreams. As we talk, she piles books on the table, all much loved and re-read.
The Australian garden GARDENS CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT Reflections on the lake-like dam to the north of the cottage change with the seasons; John and Robynne Huckerby relaxing with their dogs in a favourite spot beside the Huon River; repeated spheres of teucrium and westringia, bordered by box, link several areas of the garden; tall foxglove spires make a pretty display in spring; the long central axis leads from the back door along a leafy pear walk; fruit trees thrive in a sunny northern position next to the large organic vegetable garden; a bronze pig takes pride of place, surrounded by acanthus.
Previous page: A modern, light-filled extension sits adjacent to the original small, quaint cottage. Paths bisecting the axis lead to separate garden spaces and lush areas of green lawn and clipped hedging.
This is a garden of grand gestures and clever design, with a large, lake-like dam and a sculptural installation set in a ring of slender blackwoods Acacia melanoxylon. There is an olive grove and apple orchard, each with more than trees, and a large organic vegetable garden, which includes sculptural bay trees, large artichokes and clumps of red-stemmed rhubarb.
Beyond the vegie garden sits the large glasshouse, where work can be done and plants grown when the Tassie climate is too cold. For my visit, there were iris and early spring perennials in bloom. He was brought to Australia by the Gertrude Gallery in Melbourne and then continued his travels to Tasmania. Take the azolla that has to be regularly hauled out of the dam. Robynne had banned the colour orange from the garden, but it won through, thanks to persistent rogue California poppies.
The poplars thrived and turned into trees — not the plan at all — and, of course, no sweet peas! This region, in the Northern Rivers area, is where the hippies of the early '70s established an alternative, back-to-basics way of life.
Sue teaches part-time now so she has more time to be creative. Sue's backyard picking bed is about 25m2, which she says is a good, workable size. In the following pages, Sue shares her methods for making two simple projects. Lay the plastic sheet on a table to protect the surface.Educational activities at community gardens range from informal knowledge sharing between gardeners to organised skill-shares to accredited education programs in horticulture, permaculture and other areas. With community gardening being espoused by anti-globalisation activists and alternative agrifood movements, and also being adopted by local governments and social service agencies, the absence of voices of grassroots community gardeners and the distinctive ways of working they have developed detracts from the possibility of using community gardens to achieve sustainable food systems, connected communities, liveable urban environments, and social justice goals. To what extent has diffusion taken place through relationships between radical social movements and established community gardening networks? Second grade continue their efforts to master uppercased capital letters cursive writing and SMUG skills; capitalization, commas in a series, and ending punctuation.
They are frequently interpreted as grassroots responses to the processes of poverty and urban decay Fox, Koeppel and Kellam ; Warner ; Schmelzkopf ; Carlsson and Manning United States community gardens are most commonly associated with urban blight sites, and the process of abandonment of inner-city properties Warner p. Monty the dog greeted me. The Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network has not carried out an audit of community gardens since published as Phillips Likewise, State government grants have been received for short-term projects to support community gardens, for example the Community Gardening in SA Project received funding from SA Health and Growing Communities WA received lotteries funding.
She loves kids, and would love to babysit kids ages 4 and up. In Chapters 3 and 4 I develop the theoretical context for the research problem at the centre of this thesis, set out the specific research questions that have framed the analysis of my empirical data, and describe the research methodology I have used in order to understand and analyse the repertoires of collective action used by Australian community gardeners.
Coverage of community gardens in the media also proliferated, with numerous stories in newspapers and magazines, on radio and television a detailed history of community gardening in Australia is presented in Appendix 3.
In addition to offering detailed critical and encouraging comments on several iterations of the thesis draft, Mary has helped me navigate the mysteries of academia, provided counsel and solidarity at some of the more difficult points along the way, and created things of beauty to keep my feet and wrists warm during the long hours at my desk. Other gated gardens are open during daylight hours and locked only at night. Math: We continue the exploration of fair games, presented by classmates, looking for possible outcomes and favorable outcomes for the events. While academic analysis of community gardening in terms of social change is limited, the use of community gardening for social change has been receiving attention within social movements and in movement-produced literature. Only water when the soil feels dry. Students are moving ahead steadily in their reading groups.
Many community gardens contain artworks that have been produced by gardeners, often in collaboration with community arts workers. British allotments are clusters of individual food-producing garden plots generally managed by municipal authorities and leased on an annual basis. This includes my use of social movement theory and of ethnography as activist research. Robynne had banned the colour orange from the garden, but it won through, thanks to persistent rogue California poppies. Wind damages the foliage and causes the mix to dry out too quickly.
Many community gardens contain artworks that have been produced by gardeners, often in collaboration with community arts workers. Finally, I get my hands in the soil, offering stories of the results and sharing the harvest. I argue for the relevance of social movement theory to understanding community gardening as collective social action and explain my particular focus on repertoires of collective action. Through community gardens, people address multiple issues and enact multiple visions.
Some community gardens are cultivated and harvested communally, others are comprised partly or mostly of plots leased to individuals and groups. They can be purchased directly through Kingdom Trails. The complex relationship between community garden development and gentrification has been important in accounts of US community gardening history. My use of this concept is inflected with insights from anarchist and feminist writers on the nature of protest and social action see Chapter 3.
We're looking for another parent to head up a true beginner group, maybe even for just some time on the pumptrack. Students are moving ahead steadily in their reading groups.
I expect a class guest teacher this week on Wednesday who will bring yet another opportunity to explore poetry in another way. Thank you! See details in the earlier announcements to learn about the schedule for the day. For many, fundraising activities, annual plot rental fees, small grants, and in-kind support cover costs.
Full descriptions and registration forms can be found on our website www. So for me, community gardening is that.