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Concurrent Cycles of Action Research (Goghlan & Brannick, 2005, p.24). 

Concurrent Cycles of Action Research (Goghlan & Brannick, 2005, p.24). 

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Concerns about the decline in knowledge concerning food growing stemming stem from the Green Revolution, as well as the rapid urbanization since the beginning of the 20th Century. There is a gap in the literature about community gardening in industrialized English-speaking countries, and since sharing of knowledge is a well-documented achievement o...

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... […] I think that that's super vital and that's really powerful…" (Student gardener) This is in line with previous research that found that psychological ownership in community gardens is closely entwined with a sense of responsibility and concern for the space [50], and that gardeners' sense of ownership is an important contributor to knowledge-and skill-sharing in community gardens [51] (these will be picked up on below). Some of the main issues related to ownership over the gardens were a tension between the need for individual or collective ownership over tasks, people claiming ownership without contributing to the garden, and long-term and/or highly involved participants having too much control compared to short-term or less involved participants. ...
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In an increasingly mobile world, transience is becoming the norm. Sustainable community food initiatives, therefore, must organise to withstand high turnover of volunteers. Using a case study of the United Kingdom’s National Union of Students’ food growing scheme in universities, this paper aims to map the causes and effects of short-term, irregular, and low participation using a causal loop diagram to understand how to mitigate their negative impacts and improve participation. Data was gathered through interviews, workshops, photovoice, a fishbowl discussion, and a reflective diary. We found three amplifying feedback loops increasing short-term, irregular and low participation, their causes, and their impacts. These feedback loops were precariously buffered by a continuous in-flow of new potential participants each academic year. We also found that the stakeholders of these gardens conceptualised time akin to both temporary and permanent organisations, and these differing conceptualisations were a source of tension. Furthermore, although ‘organisational amnesia’ was a problem, the gardens were still learningful spaces. We recommend both upstream and downstream solutions are implemented to buffer the impacts of transience and suggest that university and students’ union staff could play a crucial and subtle supporting role.
... Following calls for policy development (e.g. van Veenhuizen and Danso, 2007), the need to manage the explosion of interest of CFG and to genuinely address issues of food insecurity through landscape scale delivery (Smith et al., 2013), governments at all levels are developing policies to support its development (Jermé & Wakefield, 2013;Laycock, 2013) (see also the Department for Communities and Local Government, 2012). These policies -or "new political spaces" (Hajer, 2013) -are not particularly well-researched, likely due to their informal nature (as in Laycock, 2013), or operation outside conventional policy frameworks (Cohen and Reynolds, 2014;Hardman and Larkham, 2014). ...
... van Veenhuizen and Danso, 2007), the need to manage the explosion of interest of CFG and to genuinely address issues of food insecurity through landscape scale delivery (Smith et al., 2013), governments at all levels are developing policies to support its development (Jermé & Wakefield, 2013;Laycock, 2013) (see also the Department for Communities and Local Government, 2012). These policies -or "new political spaces" (Hajer, 2013) -are not particularly well-researched, likely due to their informal nature (as in Laycock, 2013), or operation outside conventional policy frameworks (Cohen and Reynolds, 2014;Hardman and Larkham, 2014). One of the challenges with public policies on urban food growing is that they are seen as 'alternative', which prevents such initiatives moving from the marginal to the mainstream (Witheridge and Morris, 2016). ...
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Alongside associated forms of socially and politically conscious food production, community food growing is routinely connected to a wide range of social and environmental benefits. However, robust evidence in support of these associations remains scant, and while the conversation has shifted in recent years to take account of the sometimes unintended or negative aspects of these activities, no consensus has been reached about how such forms of food growing should adapt to new conditions, or be scaled up to maximize their positive impacts. A July 2016 conference was organized to address this strategic shortfall. This themed issue presents the papers resulting from the conference.