My name is Dr Mikey Tomkins. I work across academic research and art practices within the field of urban agriculture (UA) both as theory and practice.
The term UA describes the practice of growing food (vegetables, fruit, livestock and other products) within cities or dense human settlements, often produced intensively, to be consumed by within the same location.
Academically, I studied fine art, before completing a Masters in architecture at UEL. Following on from this I completed my PhD at the University of Brighton in the school of architecture and design, where I am currently an honorary research fellow.
I previously worked at Sustain as part of the Capital Growth project where I trained beekeepers in London, setting up over 50 apiaries in the city. From 2014 – 2018 I worked in Dallas and Iraq , developing UA as co-founder of the NGO The Lemon Tree Trust.
I have also been developing the Edible Maps, which I began in 2010. The project combines mapping, artist-led walks, with talking, costumes as well as initiating food production. These combined academic-artistic approaches can enrich and complement quantitative approaches to developing UA, where the questions of yields are brought to life through stories, enactments, and images.
Implementing UA is an important aspect of my work, meaning that something tangible should emerge from any research process. For example, in Newcastle (2018-2020), with the support of local gallery Shieldfield Art Works, wheat was planted in seven locations around the neighbourhood, which was harvest, milled and baked as bread.
Please contact me at [email protected] for any questions.