Gardens in a postsuburban region
Community garden governance and ethos in Orange County
Keywords:Community Gardening, Postsuburban Regions, Qualitative Case Studies
Considerable research has examined the changing values and governing approaches of urban community gardens since the nineteenth century in the United States. However, few studies exist for community gardens located in postsuburban contexts. This study reports the findings from six case studies of community gardens in southern Orange County, California, that asked, how are the themes of garden governance and an overarching garden ethos elaborated at community gardens? Our findings suggest that gardens manifest one of three governance approaches which we labeled anarchic, democratic, and corporate. In addition, we found two values frameworks or garden ethoses among these gardens. One is a community ethos oriented toward realizing values promoting greater community engagement, and the other is an individualistic ethos oriented toward promoting the value of gardening as an independent activity for each gardener in their plot. We argue that just as gardens in the inner city have been sites to address urban problems, gardens in postsuburban environments might also address perceived shortcomings in postsuburban regions. Our findings also suggest that community gardens, particularly in newer suburban developments, reflect a shift in the utopian visions of postsuburban planning away from a consumerist lifestyle to a newer one that enables access to nature and sustained social connections among residents.
Read the press release for this article.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Eiji Toda, Edward Lowe
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The copyright to all content published in JAFSCD belongs to the author(s). It is licensed as CC BY 4.0. This license determines how you may reprint, copy, distribute, or otherwise share JAFSCD content.