Title of chapter: Architecture et al: food gardening as spatial co-authorship on London Housing estates
Published in: Sustainable food Planning: evolving theory and practice. Ed Andre Viljoen and Johannes S.C. Wiskerke
Wageningen Academic 2012
Abstract: This paper explores community food gardening as it is presently emerging within six inner London housing estates.
The estate residents explicitly expressed frustration at the ‘blank’, ‘bleak’, ‘disused’, ‘neglected’, ‘barren’, ‘grey’ and ‘derelict’ ‘blankscapes’ surrounding their homes, voicing a desire to re-use them ‘productively’ through food gardening. However, this paper argues that while food is enunciated as the principle agenda, it is a set of related practices, such as the construction of the self-built landscape, the creation of shared social narratives, and the interaction with natural resources that dominate.
The research highlights the significance of food gardening within the built environment as a primeval and emotional scream muffled by our current relentless food supply systems. Similarly, yet not fully understood is how post war Town and Country Planning Acts have muted the multiple narratives of play, knowledge, and self-building that are finally escaping, fuelled via this tiny, self-made harvest.
Key words: urban agriculture, participant observation, ethnography, the everyday,