Publication details

Beyond hardship and joy: Framing home gardening on insights from the European semi-periphery

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Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Geoforum
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Food self-provisioning; Semi-periphery; Eastern Europe; Politics of knowledge production; Sustainability
Description European accounts of home gardening or food self-provisioning (FSP) typically frame these practices as primarily economically motivated and need related, and community gardening or urban agriculture as ethical sustain-ability strategies. Drawing on primary research on FSP in two East European countries, this paper combines analysis of socio-demographic and socio-economic characteristics of food self-provisioners with analysis of their motivations. There is strong evidence that while economic reasons are present FSP is primarily motivated, even in comparatively less affluent East European societies, by the desire to obtain fresh and healthy food and engage in a pleasurable activity. Based on our findings, we thus propose that a more appropriate framing for FSP in the European East and West alike is characterised by autonomy and community care. This would provide for a reengagement with the epistemology of sustainability-compliant behaviours and attitudes beyond the joy vs. limitations dichotomy. Given the performativity of social scientific research, rooting the framing on knowledge from East European societies, where FSP is widespread in all social groups, including the affluent middle class, is important for lending credence to alternative visions and practices that can enhance the sustainability of overdeveloped societies.
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