Connected Communities: growing your own food

Rich Mitchell is Co-I on a project investigating the potential public health benefits of connecting communities through the social and bodily practices of allotment and community gardening and the resulting preparation and consumption of freshly grown food. the project is led by Professors Andrew Church and Neil Ravenscroft from the University of Brighton, and the other collaborators are Dr Niamh Moore at the University of Manchester and Dr Anne Ellaway at the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit.

The project is structured around three interlinking studies: a) to determine what existing data can tell us about who grows their own food and where; b) to determine what additional information can be gained from lay community knowledges; and c) to develop an appropriate theoretical frame through which to develop the work.

Rich’s part is to conduct study (a). This involves detailed searches of secondary data sets to establish what existing data can tell us about who grows their own food, what they grow and where, and then conducting analyses with these data.

Rich has identified suitable data to examine how rates of growing your own food have changed over time, across several European nations, including the UK. The project is now close to conclusion and papers are in preparation.

The study is funded under the AHRC’s Connected Communities programme.

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