Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Why Do They Grow? chart #15
“Increased awareness of the environment and a growing consciousness of rising food prices provides this investigation on urban agriculture activities in Dublin with indicators of the reasons of why there seems to be an increase in growing one’s own food.” (Cullen 2008 p.38)
Intuitively, these would seem to be the reasons people grow their own food these days. My findings in Sheffield are somewhat different.
Question 26 responses 1 through 6 are started with the phrase “I grow food because …”. The relevant responses are “I need to save money on my food bills, I want the freshest produce, it is therapeutic, I have a friend to help me, I like gardening”. There are many instances of combinations with the most common ones being a combination of “I like gardening” with “for the freshest produce” or “because it is therapeutic”.
Of 36 who list “I like gardening” as a reason to grow, 29 are growing 2 to 4 food types, only 2 grow no food but do practice amenity gardening. 17 would grow more with a bigger garden, 17 with more time, only 7 if food prices keep rising, 29 have a first degree or higher. 27 expressed midrange or higher concern for climate change, 29 express midrange or higher concern for peak oil, 32 express midrange or higher concern for energy prices. 28 have done 2 or more energy efficiency measures. 18 cook from fresh 75 to 90%. All have done 3 or more of the gardening techniques indicated in question #19. 22 indicate therapy as well as a reason to grow, 26 indicate a desire for fresh produce as well, 17 indicate a desire for fresh produce and therapy along with “I like gardening” as reasons for growing.
Of the 27 who list wanting the freshest produce as a reason to grow, 20 cook from fresh 60% or more, 25 grow 2 or more food types, 13 would grow more with a bigger garden or allotment, 8 if they had more time, 5 with free advice, 4 if food prices keep rising, 24 have first degree or higher, 17 also grow for therapy, 25 also grow because they like it.
Overall, growing for the simple pleasure of it appears to be the primary motivator closely followed by a desire for the freshest produce and for therapeutic reasons.