What factors support and promote home-based food-growing in four neighbourhoods in SW Sheffield?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Land Use in the Neighbourhoods Charts #4 and #5

Chart #4 shows the breakdown of what is being grown amongst all households surveyed while Chart #5 shows how many grow how many food types amongst all households surveyed.
Of those who do not grow much if at all, regardless of educational level, most believe they do not have enough land available to them to make it worthwhile. Of the 10 with a first degree and midrange or higher concern for climate change who do not grow any food, 7 feel they need a bigger garden. 4 of the 5 who only grow 1 food type would grow more if they had a bigger garden. Of the 8 with A level or lower who do not grow, 7 would grow more with more land. 2 of the 3 who only grow 1 food item would grow more with more land.
A UK study done in 1942 investigated food-growing in home gardens and found that while only using 14% of the available garden for food, yields were as high as the best farmland. Yields averaged 7.1 tonnes per acre while agricultural land only averaged 6.3 tonnes per acre at that time. (Tomkins 2006 p.45) In my research I did not look at yields but I did measure the amount of land dedicated to food-growing. In N#1 the average percentage of land given over to growing at home is 10.5%, in N#2 - 22.2%, in N#3 - 26.5%, and in N#4 - 10.3%. This is misleading however, because as we shall see in the next section, N#1 and #4 have the biggest gardens, have more residents growing more food and in the case of N#1 have the most allotments.

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