Permaculture and Community Garden-Farming for Urban Food Production
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This research project explored whether permaculture can be applied to community garden-farming for food production in urban environments. The research included a review of the local and international literature and interviews with community garden leaders and permaculture teachers. The results of this research project are intended to inform and guide the development of food systems, address food insecurity and increase access to fruit and vegetables. This research project used qualitative descriptive methodology. Eight participants, four community garden leaders and four permaculture teachers were recruited for this project. In-depth, unstructured interviews with open-ended questions were used to gather data. Four themes and associated sub-themes were identified using thematic analysis: • Theme 1 - It will take a village: community, involvement, and connections • Theme 2 - What is valuable differs from what is valued: moving beyond direct economic benefit • Theme 3 - Self-determination is governed by who has title and control • Theme 4 - ‘Crisis’: A vehicle for change Based on a qualitative analysis, this thesis shows some potential ways that permaculture ethics, principles and design techniques can be applied to community garden-farming for urban food production. Permaculture and community garden-farming were found to provide food systems with ethical underpinnings to the three pillars of sustainability. More research is needed to investigate further ways permaculture can be applied to community garden-farming for urban food production and how policy can be implemented to achieve the ‘safe operating space’ and ‘protected space’ of community garden-farming.