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The Tip of the Iceberg Lettuce: What direct and indirect factors enable knowledge and skill sharing in community gardens?

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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 of community gardens, the aim of this thesis is to find out what direct and indirect factors enable knowledge and skill sharing in community gardens. Using action research methodology, four gardens in Calgary, Canada were used as case studies, in which a total of eight participants were interviewed. This was complemented by a city-wide questionnaire for community gardeners. Encouraging personal satisfaction and using appropriate practical approaches were direct factors, and creating a positive atmosphere in an appropriate space, developing networks, and securing resources were indirect factors contributing to knowledge and skill sharing in gardens. Outcomes included how the roles gardeners take could increase social capital, why inter-garden networking is not thought of as a priority, and that Reflexive Learning is a useful way to approach the subjective aspects of gardening. Possibly the biggest contribution is that knowledge and skill sharing is merely the tip of the iceberg lettuce, and has unique synergies where it is dependent on and contributes to these direct and indirect factors. Finally, proposed action and further research are suggested.
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