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Community gardening practices, motivations, experiences, perceived health effects and policy Bwika, Rehema Ahmed 2011

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Community Gardening Practices, Motivations, Experiences, Perceived Health Effects and Policy  by  Rehema Ahmed Bwika  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Occupational and Environmental Hygiene)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  October 2011  © Rehema Ahmed Bwika, 2011  Abstract For the purposes of this study, a community garden was defined as an urban space that is divided into plots and assigned to individuals or households, who share in communal responsibilities and decision-making.  A literature review found that little research exists regarding community gardening, particularly in relation to policy but also to some aspects of health. There were also similarities in the research between community gardening, gardening in general, and social and therapeutic horticulture (STH).  The aims of this study were to explore the motivations, experiences and practices of community gardeners and garden coordinators within the City of Vancouver, and become familiar with key characteristics of community gardens; to investigate any health effects perceived in relation to community gardening; and to examine the role of policy in shaping community gardening in Metro Vancouver and other municipalities.  Using a listing of community gardens provided by the City of Vancouver, garden coordinators were contacted and requested to participate in the study by completing a brief survey on phone or electronically, and by forwarding a request for participation to their gardeners. Besides email, gardeners were also recruited at garden events, and were thereafter interviewed on phone for approximately an hour.  For emotional and social well-being, as well as nutrition, community gardening was perceived to be highly beneficial. For mental abilities, physical fitness and financial status it was found to have little to no substantial benefit or harm, given that, for the latter two, most community gardeners were regularly involved in more rigorous physical activity, and were also socioeconomically secure. Most gardeners were also less than 50 years of age, female, Caucasian, highly educated and high income earners, and most gardens were located in middle income neighborhoods, with an average of 64 plots, a mean area of half a city block, and a mean ii  age of 10 years. Most Metro Vancouver municipalities had at least one community garden, but no policies in place that were exclusive to community gardening.  iii  Preface One certificate of approval was issued for this study by the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board, and the number is H10-02514. The study was classified as minimal risk because it involved the administration of phone and electronic surveys, and the questions posed were not deemed to be highly sensitive.  iv  Table of Contents Abstract………………………………………………………………………………………………………………ii Preface…………………………………………………………………………………………………..…………...iv Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………………………….………….v List of Tables…………………………………………………………………………………………………….....ix List of Figures…………………………………………………………………………………………………….xiv 1 Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 1 1.1 Definitions ............................................................................................................................ 1 1.2 History of Community Gardening in North America ..................................................... 1 1.3 Study Rationale ................................................................................................................... 3 1.3.1 Study Objectives ............................................................................................................ 4 1.4 Literature Review ............................................................................................................... 5 1.4.1 General Characteristics of Community Gardens & Gardeners ...................................... 5 1.4.2 Community Gardening Health Effects ........................................................................... 6 1.4.2.1 Environmental Health Effects of Community Gardening (Benefits & Risks)........ 6 1.4.2.2 Community Gardening Health Effects from Nature Contact (Benefits & Risks) .. 8 1.4.2.2.1 Psychological (Emotional & Mental) Health Effects of Nature Contact ......... 8 1.4.2.2.2 Physiological Health Effects of Nature Contact ............................................ 10 1.4.2.3 Community Gardening Health Effects from Physical Activity (Benefits & Risks) ............................................................................................................................................11 1.4.2.3.1 Fitness & Physiological Health Effects ..........................................................11 1.4.2.3.2 Physical Strain & Injury................................................................................. 12 1.4.2.4 Community Gardening Health Effects from Crop/Food Consumption (Benefits & Risks) ................................................................................................................................ 12 1.4.2.4.1 Food Security ................................................................................................. 13 1.4.2.4.2 Food Choices, Nutrition & Food Safety ........................................................ 13 1.4.2.4.3 Medicinal Plants............................................................................................. 14 1.4.2.5 Community Gardening Effects on Social & Economic Determinants of Health (Benefits & Risks)............................................................................................................. 14 1.4.2.5.1 Social Factors ................................................................................................. 15 1.4.2.5.2 Financial/Economic Factors........................................................................... 16 1.4.3 Community Gardening Policy ..................................................................................... 17 1.5 Review Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 19 2 Methods ..................................................................................................................................... 20 2.1 Study Design ...................................................................................................................... 20 2.2 Sampling Strategy for Recruitment of Community Gardeners and Coordinators .... 21 2.2.1 Study Inclusion Criteria for Community Gardens ....................................................... 21 2.2.2 Community Garden Selection & Categorization ......................................................... 21 2.3 Sampling Strategy for Community Gardening Policy Review in Metro Vancouver Municipalities .......................................................................................................................... 25 2.4 Study Subject Recruitment for Gardener & Coordinator Interviews ......................... 25 2.4.1 Study Inclusion Criteria for Gardeners and Coordinators ........................................... 25 2.4.2 Sampling, Garden Eligibility and Participation Rates ................................................. 25 2.4.3 Contacting Potential Subjects and Obtaining Consent ................................................ 26 v  2.5 Survey Design & Administration ..................................................................................... 27 2.5.1 Gardeners' Survey ........................................................................................................ 27 2.5.2 Coordinators' Survey.................................................................................................... 30 2.5.3 Informal Phone Interviews with Municipal Officials .................................................. 31 2.5.4 Data Collection & Resource Limitations ..................................................................... 31 2.6 Data Storage and Verification .......................................................................................... 32 2.7 Data Organization & Analysis ......................................................................................... 32 2.7.1 Quantitative Data ......................................................................................................... 32 2.7.2 Qualitative Data ........................................................................................................... 32 3 Results ....................................................................................................................................... 34 3.1 Sampling Results ............................................................................................................... 35 3.1.1 Study Participation ....................................................................................................... 37 3.1.1.1 Clusters ................................................................................................................. 37 3.1.1.2 Gardens ................................................................................................................. 39 3.1.1.3 Subjects ................................................................................................................. 41 3.1.1.4 Municipalities ....................................................................................................... 41 3.2 Community Garden Characteristics ............................................................................... 41 3.2.1 Physical & Related Characteristics .............................................................................. 42 3.2.1.1 Soil-testing ............................................................................................................ 44 3.2.2 Managerial Oversight Characteristics .......................................................................... 50 3.2.2.1 Obtaining a Community Garden Plot ................................................................... 50 3.2.2.2 Garden Rules ......................................................................................................... 51 3.2.2.3 Garden Resources, Activities and Services ........................................................... 52 3.3 Demographics .................................................................................................................... 53 3.3.1 Community Gardeners' Demographics ........................................................................ 53 3.3.2 Coordinators' Demographics........................................................................................ 57 3.4 Community Gardeners' & Coordinators' Practices, Motivations and Experiences .. 58 3.4.1 Past & Current (Community) Gardening/Farming Experience ................................... 58 3.4.1.1 Past (Community) Gardening/Farming Experience.............................................. 58 3.4.1.2 Current (Community) Gardening/Farming Experience ........................................ 59 3.4.2 Community Gardeners' Initial and Current Motivations ............................................. 60 3.4.2.1 Initial Community Gardening Motivations ........................................................... 61 3.4.2.2 Current Community Gardening Motivations ........................................................ 62 3.4.3 Plot Characteristics ...................................................................................................... 64 3.4.3.1 Plot Size ................................................................................................................ 64 3.4.3.2 Plot Elevation ........................................................................................................ 64 3.4.4 Commuting to Community Gardens & Patterns of Garden Plot Visitation ................. 65 3.4.4.1 Commute to Garden Plot and Related Satisfaction............................................... 65 3.4.4.2 Patterns of Garden Plot Visitation......................................................................... 67 3.4.5 Crops Grown, Motivations for Crop Selection & Harvest Use ................................... 68 3.4.5.1 Crops Grown ......................................................................................................... 69 3.4.5.2 Motivations for Crop Selection ............................................................................. 70 3.4.5.3 Harvest Use ........................................................................................................... 71 3.4.6 Gardening Philosophies & Practices ............................................................................ 71 3.4.6.1 Guiding Philosophies ............................................................................................ 71 3.4.6.2 Gardening Techniques/Practices – Soil Enrichment, Weed, Pest & Disease Control & Waste Disposal .............................................................................................................. 72 vi  3.4.6.2.1 Soil Enrichment Methods .............................................................................. 73 3.4.6.2.2 Weed Control Methods .................................................................................. 73 3.4.6.2.3 Pest Control Methods ..................................................................................... 74 3.4.6.2.4 Disease Control Methods ............................................................................... 76 3.4.6.2.5 Waste Disposal Methods ................................................................................ 77 3.4.7 Gardening Supply Sources ........................................................................................... 78 3.4.7.1 Seed(ling) Sources, Related Motivations & Use of Organic Varieties ................. 78 3.4.7.2 Tool/Equipment & Water Sources ........................................................................ 79 3.4.8 Social Interaction/Participation Among Gardeners ..................................................... 80 3.4.9 Neighbourhood Contexts ............................................................................................. 82 3.4.10 Theft ........................................................................................................................... 87 3.4.11 Improvements Desired & Future Plans ...................................................................... 88 3.5 Community Gardeners’ Health-related Status and Perceived Health-related Effects of Community Gardening ........................................................................................................... 90 3.5.1 Health Status ................................................................................................................ 90 3.5.1.1 Chronic Medical Conditions ................................................................................. 90 3.5.1.2 Physical Activity ................................................................................................... 91 3.5.1.3 Duration Outdoors During Warmer and Cooler Months ...................................... 92 3.5.1.4 Gardeners' Occupational and Non-occupational Stress ........................................ 93 3.5.1.5 Coordinators' Stress and Satisfaction Levels ........................................................ 94 3.5.2 Perceived Health Effects of Community Gardening.................................................... 95 3.5.2.1 Psychological Health Effects of Community Gardening ...................................... 95 3.5.2.1.1 Mental Abilities .............................................................................................. 95 3.5.2.1.2 Emotional State/Well-being ........................................................................... 97 3.5.2.2 Physical & Physiological Health Effects of Community Gardening .................... 98 3.5.2.2.1 Physical Fitness .............................................................................................. 98 3.5.2.2.2 Physical Strain or Injury ................................................................................ 99 3.5.2.2.3 Physiological Health/Conditions ................................................................. 100 3.5.2.3 Nutritional Effects of Community Gardening .................................................... 101 3.5.2.3.1 Dietary Choices/Habits ................................................................................ 101 3.5.2.3.2 Dietary Changes & Health Effects ............................................................... 102 3.5.2.3.3 Medicinal Plant Use ..................................................................................... 103 3.5.2.4 Financial Effects of Community Gardening ....................................................... 104 3.5.2.5 Social Effects of Community Gardening ............................................................ 105 3.6 Community Gardening Policy ....................................................................................... 107 4 Conclusion ...............................................................................................................................110 4.1 Fulfilment of Study Objectives .......................................................................................110 4.2 Results in Relation to Previous Research Findings....................................................... 111 4.2.1 Sampling Results ........................................................................................................111 4.2.2 Community Garden (Physical & Non-physical) Characteristics ................................112 4.2.3 Gardener and Coordinator Demographics ..................................................................115 4.2.4 Community Gardening Practices, Motivations and Experiences ...............................116 4.2.4.1 Past & Current (Community) Gardening/Farming Experience ...........................116 4.2.4.2 Community Gardeners' Initial and Current Motivations .....................................117 4.2.4.3 Community Gardeners' Plot Characteristics ........................................................118 4.2.4.4 Commuting to Community Gardens & Patterns of Garden Plot Visitation .........118 4.2.4.5 Crops Grown, Motivations for Crop Selection & Harvest Use ...........................119 vii  4.2.4.6 Gardening Philosophies & Practices ................................................................... 120 4.2.4.7 Gardening Supply Sources .................................................................................. 121 4.2.4.8 Social Interaction/Participation ........................................................................... 121 4.2.4.9 Neighbourhood Contexts .................................................................................... 122 4.2.4.10 Theft .................................................................................................................. 123 4.2.4.11 Improvements Desired & Future Plans ............................................................. 124 4.2.5 Health-related Status and Perceived Health-related Effects of Community Gardening ............................................................................................................................................. 124 4.2.5.1 Health-related Status ........................................................................................... 124 4.2.5.2 Psychological Health Effects of Community Gardening .................................... 124 4.2.5.3 Physical & Physiological Health Effects of Community Gardening .................. 125 4.2.5.4 Nutritional Effects of Community Gardening .................................................... 127 4.2.5.5 Financial Effects of Community Gardening ....................................................... 128 4.2.5.6 Social Effects of Community Gardening ............................................................ 128 4.2.6 Community Gardening Policy ................................................................................... 129 4.3 Study Limitations ............................................................................................................ 131 4.3.1 Scope of the Study ..................................................................................................... 131 4.3.2 Cross-sectional Design & Self-reporting ................................................................... 131 4.3.3 Lack of a Comparison Group ..................................................................................... 131 4.3.4 Study Participation ..................................................................................................... 132 4.3.4.1 Selection Bias...................................................................................................... 132 4.3.4.2 Insufficient Diversity Among Study Subjects ..................................................... 133 4.3.4.3 Lack of Compensation for Subjects .................................................................... 133 4.3.3 Survey Design & Administration ............................................................................... 134 4.3.3.1 Validity & Pilot-testing ....................................................................................... 134 4.3.3.2 Survey Length, Breadth & Focus........................................................................ 134 4.3.3.3 Question Type/Structure...................................................................................... 134 4.3.3.4 Recall Bias .......................................................................................................... 135 4.4 Study Strengths................................................................................................................ 135 4.4.1 Data Collection .......................................................................................................... 135 4.4.2 Research Needs .......................................................................................................... 136 4.5 Conclusion & Applicability of Study Results ............................................................... 137 4.6 Recommendations for Future Research........................................................................ 139 References .................................................................................................................................. 140 Appendices ................................................................................................................................. 153 Appendix A: Literature Review Strategy ................................................................................ 153 Appendix B: Community Gardeners' Survey ......................................................................... 154 Appendix C: Coordinators' Survey ......................................................................................... 168 Appendix D: Sampling Results............................................................................................... 172 D.1: The Exclusion of Cluster 5 from the Study................................................................. 172 Appendix E: Results for Community Garden Characteristics ................................................ 175 Appendix F: Results for Community Gardeners' and Coordinators' Demographics .............. 180 Appendix G: Results for Community Gardeners' and Coordinators' Practices, Motivations and Experiences ............................................................................................................................. 186 Appendix H: Results for Community Gardeners' Health-related Status and Perceived Healthrelated Effects from Community Gardening ........................................................................... 206 Appendix I: Results for Community Gardening Policy.......................................................... 215 viii  List of Tables  Table 1: City of Vancouver community garden neighbourhoods grouped in clusters based on 2006 median after-tax household income census data .................................................................. 36 Table 2: Relative frequencies for gardens and plots per neighbourhood cluster .......................... 37 Table 3: Relative frequencies for participating gardens and study subjects per cluster ............... 38 Table 4: Relative frequencies for study subjects per garden and plots per garden ....................... 40 Table 5: Age, size, number of plots, and prior land uses for participating community gardens ... 42 Table 6: Coordinators responses for whether soil had been tested, when it was tested if at all, and what the test results were .............................................................................................................. 44 Table 7: Relative frequencies for coordinators' types of responses regarding soil-testing results 45 Table 8: Relative frequencies for gardeners' responses regarding soil-testing based on garden representation ................................................................................................................................ 46 Table 9: Proportions per garden for gardeners reporting soil having been tested on their own or others' plots ................................................................................................................................... 46 Table 10: Relative frequencies for similarities and differences between coordinators and gardeners regarding soil-testing .................................................................................................... 48 Table 11: Relative frequencies and totals for gardeners from each participating garden reporting soil having been tested .................................................................................................................. 49 Table 12: Coordinators' responses regarding key processes involved in obtaining community garden plots and wait-list counts for prospective gardeners ......................................................... 50 Table 13: Relative frequencies for key community garden rules reported by coordinators ......... 51 Table 14: Relative frequencies for community garden resources, activities and services reported by coordinators.............................................................................................................................. 52 Table 15: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported sex, age, ethnicity, duration in North America and educational level ............................................................................................ 54 Table 16: Relative frequencies for gardeners‟ postal codes and corresponding 2007 postal code median incomes ............................................................................................................................ 56 Table 17: Relative frequencies for gardeners‟ household incomes in comparison with postal code median income data ...................................................................................................................... 57 Table 18: Relative frequencies for coordinators' sex and duration as coordinator ....................... 57 Table 19: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported prior gardening or farming experiences .................................................................................................................................... 59 Table 20: Relative frequencies for study subjects' community gardening durations and other gardening locations ....................................................................................................................... 60 Table 21: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported initial motivations for joining community gardens ....................................................................................................................... 61 Table 22: Relative frequencies for differences/similarities between gardeners' reported initial and current community gardening motivations ................................................................................... 62 Table 23: Total relative frequencies for reported current community gardening motivations based on any changes to initial motivations............................................................................................ 63 Table 24: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' approximations of their plot sizes/areas ....................................................................................................................................................... 64 Table 25: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported plot elevation status and reasons given for plot elevation .................................................................................................... 65 Table 26: Relative frequencies for community gardeners‟ reported means of commute to their ix  plots ............................................................................................................................................... 66 Table 27: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' levels of satisfaction with the convenience of the commute to their plots ................................................................................... 66 Table 28: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported typical growing season durations and frequency of plot visitation during growing season ............................................... 67 Table 29: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported typical plot visitation durations and times of day for visitation....................................................................................... 68 Table 30: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported reasons for growing the crops they do (in)frequently on their plots ............................................................................................. 70 Table 31: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported guiding philosophies with respect to community gardening practices .................................................................................................... 72 Table 32: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported soil enrichment methods ..... 73 Table 33: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported weed prevention and control methods ......................................................................................................................................... 74 Table 34: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported pest prevention and control methods ......................................................................................................................................... 75 Table 35: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported disease prevention ............... 76 Table 36: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported waste disposal methods....... 77 Table 37: Relative frequencies for community gardeners‟ reported seed sources ........................ 78 Table 38: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported tool, equipment and water sources........................................................................................................................................... 79 Table 39: Relative frequencies for the extents to which community gardeners' report working on their plots alone ............................................................................................................................. 80 Table 40: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported levels of attendance at scheduled garden work parties and meetings................................................................................ 81 Table 41: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported planned socializing at the garden and away from the garden with fellow gardeners ............................................................. 81 Table 42: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' and coordinators' perceptions of the physical aspects of their respective community gardens in relation to surrounding neighbourhoods ............................................................................................................................. 82 Table 43: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' and coordinators' perceptions of the social aspects of their respective community gardens in relation to the surrounding neighbourhoods ............................................................................................................................. 84 Table 44: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' and coordinators' perceived rates of theft occurrence at the garden and on community gardeners‟ individual plots ............................ 87 Table 45: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reports of the types of theft and vandalism occurring at their respective gardens and on their plots .............................................. 88 Table 46: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported chronic medical conditions . 90 Table 47: Relative frequencies for community gardeners‟ reported durations of physical activity per week ........................................................................................................................................ 91 Table 48: Relative frequencies for weekly durations outdoors during warmer and cooler months as reported by community gardeners ............................................................................................ 92 Table 49: Relative frequencies for occupational stress levels reported by community gardeners 93 Table 50: Relative frequencies for non-occupational stress levels reported by community gardeners ....................................................................................................................................... 93 Table 51: Relative frequencies for stress & satisfaction levels reported by coordinators with regard to their roles ....................................................................................................................... 94 x  Table 52: Relative frequencies for the reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' mental abilities .............................................................................................................................. 96 Table 53: Relative frequencies for the reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' emotional state .............................................................................................................................. 97 Table 54: Relative frequencies for the reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' physical fitness .............................................................................................................................. 98 Table 55: Relative frequencies for reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' severity & frequency of strain or injury ........................................................................................ 99 Table 56: Relative frequencies for reported physiological effects of community gardening on gardeners ..................................................................................................................................... 100 Table 57: Relative frequencies for the levels and types of physiological effects of community gardening reported by gardeners ................................................................................................. 100 Table 58: Relative frequencies for the reported effects of community gardening on the dietary choices of gardeners .................................................................................................................... 101 Table 59: Relative frequencies for the reported effects on gardeners' health of dietary improvements attributed to community gardening ..................................................................... 102 Table 60: Relative frequencies for reported effects on gardeners' health of using any medicinal plants grown on their plots .......................................................................................................... 103 Table 61: Relative frequencies for reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' financial state .............................................................................................................................. 104 Table 62: Relative frequencies for the levels and types of financial change reported by gardeners as a result of community gardening ............................................................................................ 105 Table 63: Relative frequencies for reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' relationships with people at the garden and others ..................................................................... 106 Table 64: Number of community gardens and plots, locations and degree of city oversight in Metro Vancouver municipalities and the City of Montreal ........................................................ 107 Table 65: Cluster 5 neighbourhoods and community gardens and results of recruitment contact attempts ....................................................................................................................................... 173 Table 66: Proportion of participating gardens in each cluster .................................................... 174 Table 67: Participating community garden locations and neighbourhoods ................................ 175 Table 68: Descriptive statistics and frequency distribution for ages of community gardens in this study as reported by coordinators ............................................................................................... 176 Table 69: Descriptive statistics and frequency distribution for sizes/areas of community gardens in this study as reported by coordinators .................................................................................... 176 Table 70: Raw data for approximate community garden sizes obtained from coordinators....... 177 Table 71: Gardeners' and coordinators' responses and proportions from each participating garden regarding soil-testing .................................................................................................................. 178 Table 72: Raw data for annual community garden fee requirements reported by respective coordinators................................................................................................................................. 179 Table 73: Raw data for reported numbers of raised beds at respective gardens and reasons for raised beds as reported by coordinators ...................................................................................... 179 Table 74: Community gardeners' regionally categorized responses for where they have lived outside North America for longer than three months.................................................................. 180 Table 75: Relative frequencies by sex for community gardeners' reported proficiencies in speaking other languages besides English .................................................................................. 180 Table 76: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported intermediate to fluent proficiencies in other specified languages besides English ........................................................ 181 xi  Table 77: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported fields of education ............. 181 Table 78: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported occupations ....................... 182 Table 79: Descriptive statistics for community gardeners' reported occupational durations...... 182 Table 80: Relative frequencies of community gardeners' reported household sizes and types .. 183 Table 81: Descriptive statistics and relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported durations living alone .................................................................................................................. 183 Table 82: Community gardeners' reports for how long ago they ever lived alone ..................... 184 Table 83: Community gardeners' reported durations for ever living alone in the past ............... 184 Table 84: Relative frequencies for coordinators' reported occupations ...................................... 185 Table 85: Relative frequencies and gardeners' priority rankings for reported initial community gardening motivations ................................................................................................................. 186 Table 86: Relative frequencies and priority rankings for current in relation to initial community gardening motivations reported by gardeners ............................................................................. 187 Table 87: Number of participating community gardeners per garden and ranges for reported plot size estimates .............................................................................................................................. 187 Table 88: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' stated reasons for raising their plots/beds .................................................................................................................................... 188 Table 89: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported alternative means of commute to their plots ............................................................................................................................................. 188 Table 90: Relative frequencies for reported types of crops typically grown by community gardeners ..................................................................................................................................... 189 Table 91: Relative frequencies for reported types of crops grown occasionally by community gardeners ..................................................................................................................................... 190 Table 92: Relative frequencies for matches between specific crop types reported by community gardeners as typical of what they grow currently and what they grew in prior gardening or farming experiences .................................................................................................................... 190 Table 93: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported uses for harvested crops .... 190 Table 94: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding the philosophies that guide their community gardening practices ............. 191 Table 95: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reports on pests found and crops targeted on their plots.................................................................................................................. 193 Table 96: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reports on diseases found and crops affected on their plots .................................................................................................................. 194 Table 97: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported motivations for obtaining seeds or seedlings from their stated sources ............................................................................... 194 Table 98: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported knowledge of the extent to which their seeds were organic ................................................................................................... 195 Table 99: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported satisfaction with personal and garden tools ................................................................................................................................. 195 Table 100: Relative frequencies for gardens' presence online as reported by community gardeners ..................................................................................................................................................... 195 Table 101: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported involvement with other gardening-related organizations .................................................................................................. 195 Table 102: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding the physical aspects of their gardens in relation to surrounding neighbourhoods ........................................................................................................................... 196 Table 103: Relative frequencies for themes developed from coordinators' qualitative responses xii  regarding the physical aspects of their gardens in relation to surrounding neighbourhoods ...... 197 Table 104: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding the social aspects of their gardens in relation to surrounding neighbourhoods ..................................................................................................................................................... 198 Table 105: Relative frequencies for themes developed from coordinators' qualitative responses regarding the social aspects of their gardens in relation to surrounding neighbourhoods .......... 200 Table 106: Raw data for gardeners' views on those responsible for theft besides non-gardeners ..................................................................................................................................................... 201 Table 107: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding improvements desired in their community gardening experiences ............ 202 Table 108: Relative frequencies for themes developed from coordinators' qualitative responses regarding improvements desired in their community gardening experiences ............................ 204 Table 109: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding their future plans for community gardening .............................................. 205 Table 110: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported chronic condition ............ 206 Table 111: Descriptive statistics and relative frequencies for reported durations of community gardeners' chronic conditions...................................................................................................... 206 Table 112: Relative frequencies for the types of regular physical activity community gardeners reported engaging in ................................................................................................................... 207 Table 113: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported durations, types and causes of improvements in mental abilities experienced as a result of community gardening .................. 207 Table 114: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported durations, types and causes of improvements in emotional states experienced as a result of community gardening ................. 208 Table 115: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported types and causes of improvements in physical fitness experienced as a result of community gardening .............................................. 209 Table 116: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported major and minor strain or injury experienced as a result of community gardening ........................................................................ 209 Table 117: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported causes of increases and decreases in the severity or frequency of strain or injury as a result of community gardening ............................ 210 Table 118: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported durations, types and causes of physiological change experienced as a result of being outdoors on their community garden plot ..................................................................................................................................................... 210 Table 119: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported types and causes of dietary improvement experienced as a result of community gardening .........................................................................211 Table 120: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported types of health improvement experienced as a result of an improved diet .....................................................................................................211 Table 121: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported levels of beneficial or detrimental effects experienced as a result of the medicinal use of plants on their plots .......................................... 212 Table 122: Beneficial and detrimental effects reported by gardeners to be known or experienced as a result of medicinal use of plants on their plots .................................................................... 213 Table 123: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported types of improvement in relationships as a result of community gardening ................................................................................................ 214 Table 124: Municipalities in the City of Vancouver and that of the City of Montreal which are involved in policy or support with respect to community gardens in their jurisdictions ............ 215  xiii  List of Figures  Figure 1: Map of 2006 median after-tax household incomes by census tracts ............................. 23 Figure 2: City of Vancouver Neighbourhood Map ....................................................................... 24 Figure 3: Relative frequency distribution for community gardeners' reported annual household/individual income brackets .......................................................................................... 56 Figure 4: Mean percentages for each crop category as derived from reported relative crop percentages on each community gardener's plot ........................................................................... 69 Figure 5: Portion of real estate ad showing an area (near Downtown Vancouver) covering 36,196 square feet to be equivalent to half a city block.......................................................................... 177  xiv  1 Introduction This section opens with background information about community gardening, then discusses the study's rationale and outlines its objectives. It then transitions to findings in the academic literature regarding community gardening in general; in relation to various aspects of health and determinants of health; and lastly in relation to policy. 1.1 Definitions Community gardening is a form of urban agriculture and urban greening, and involves active human interaction with key environmental elements, i.e. soil, water, air, sunlight, plants and even animals. Such interaction can result in both beneficial and risky exposures to human health through dermal, oral, and respiratory routes (Frumkin, 2001).  A community garden is defined by the American Community Gardening Association (http://www.communitygarden.org/learn/) broadly as “urban, suburban, or rural. It can grow flowers, vegetables or community. It can be one community plot, or can be many individual plots. It can be at a school, hospital, or in a neighbourhood. It can also be a series of plots dedicated to "urban agriculture" where the produce is grown for a market.” Focusing on urban community gardens, Kurtz (2001, p. 656) defines community gardens as “tangible arenas in which urban residents can establish and sustain relationships with one another, with elements of nature, and with their neighbourhood.” In this study, community gardens are defined as urban gardens comprising individual plots for adults, who share in garden responsibilities and decisionmaking. 1.2 History of Community Gardening in North America Community gardens are the most prevalent form of urban agriculture in the US and Canada (Hamilton, 1997). In Canada and the US (as well as the UK), community gardening initiatives have paralleled each other historically, with their establishment – through grass roots efforts and support by governmental agencies – occurring mostly during the anticipation or onset of economic downturns, food insecurity and related civil unrest. 1  In Canada, employers like the railway and mining companies developed community gardens in the late 19th century, mainly to generate public support for their industries by providing a means of augmenting low wages, and in continuation of European railway traditions (Dow, 2006; Roy, 2001; Hall, 1996). School gardens became prominent in the early 1900s as a means of educating children in urban areas about agriculture (Dow, 2006). Gardening was also promoted to the general public during this time as an aspect of good citizenship (Dow, 2006). Some time before the first World War, vacant lot gardens began to take root as part of a city beautification movement, geared towards alleviating urban poverty and restoring lower income neighbourhoods (Dow, 2006). Moreover, during both World Wars, Victory gardens were promoted and developed as patriotic ventures, aimed at creating alternative food systems, to allow for industrial food production to substantially increase support for war efforts abroad (Dow 2006, Hall, 1996). During the 1960's and 1970's, counter-culture gardens were initiated to reinvigorate urban communities and create options to market-driven food production systems (Dow, 2006; Hall, 1996). This trend emerged again in the 1990's, and remains today as part of an environmental and social justice movement to green urban areas, localize food production, and increase food security (Dow, 2006; Hall, 1996).  In the US, relief gardens were established during the economic crises of the 1890s and 1930s, to alleviate urban poverty. During World Wars I and II, Liberty and Victory gardens were established, respectively (Jackson, 2008; Kurtz, 2001; Irvine, 1999). As was the case in Canada, this allowed for industrial food production systems to be dedicated to feeding troops abroad. During the 1950s, a lull in community gardening occurred as the perceived need to avert food insecurity was reduced (Heiger-Bernays et al., 2009; Saldivar-Tanaka & Krasny, 2004). However, in the 1960s and 1970s, a resurgence occurred in response to suburban growth and related inner-city disinvestment, which resulted in the proliferation of vacant lots and increasingly derelict inner-city neighbourhoods (Heiger-Bernays et al., 2009; Hynes & Howe, 2004; Kurtz, 2001). In the 1990s and more recently, the creation of and demand for community gardens has been premised on the same concerns as in Canada, i.e. environmental, economic and social justice with a view to achieving sustainability, particularly in poorer inner-city neighbourhoods (Heiger-Bernays et al., 2009; Kurtz, 2001).  2  1.3 Study Rationale Within the academic literature, research on community gardening is sparse and appears mostly in relation to urban community development, urban greening, sustainability, food security or nature contact. In addition, little research has considered the views of both community gardeners and coordinators.  Though there has been progress in research specifically on community gardening and health between the late 1990s and 2009 (ACGA, 2009), much of it has been about improvements in the social determinants of health for individuals and communities, and on the health benefits associated with physical activity, the latter which apply to gardening in general (Armstrong, 2000a; Frumkin, 2001; ACGA, 2009; Van den Berg & Custers, 2010). Some of the available health-related research has also been similar to horticulture therapy research, in focusing on the emotional and mental health benefits of communal or group gardening with regard to nature contact (Armstrong, 2000a; ACGA, 2009). A few studies on community gardening have also considered the nutritional health benefits of enhancing food security for lower income households, and improving dietary habits through the consumption of fresh, often organic garden produce (Alaimo et al., 2008; Lombard et al., 2006; Armstrong, 2000b). Most of the research has been anecdotal (Wakefield et al., 2007; Frumkin, 2004), and the only experimental research found was on emotional and mental health benefits (Van den Berg & Custers, 2010). In addition, few studies have investigated the views of community gardeners with regard to health, or comprised community gardeners with diverse cultural backgrounds (Wakefield et al., 2007).  Regarding community gardening and policy, the AGCA (2009) cites an even greater need for research, in comparison with community gardening and health. Much of the existing research on policy is descriptive and prescriptive regarding the establishment and continuity of community gardens as sustainability and food security initiatives. Little focus has been directed towards health benefits and risks in policy development and implementation.  Moreover, the focus of environmental health research has been to consider contamination and hazardous exposures, rather than beneficial ones. Therefore, community gardening and other 3  forms of agriculture have not typically been viewed as avenues for improved health through contact with nature in particular (Frumkin, 2001).  This study examined community gardeners' perceptions of the risks as well as benefits of community gardening (as an environmental exposure), for various aspects of human health such as the psychological, physical and physiological, and considered some determinants of health, specifically the social and economic/financial. This study also investigated the motivations, experiences and practices of community gardeners, mainly in relation to health. This novel and comprehensive focus had not been undertaken by any other environmental health studies found in the literature. This study therefore also assumed the broad definition of health promulgated by the World Health Organization (WHO) which is that health is a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (Kingsley, 2009; Stigsdotter & Grahn, 2004; Frumkin, 2001). In addition to community gardeners' views, this study examined community garden coordinators' perspectives on some aspects of community gardening and health, their management practices, and community garden characteristics, in order to establish a context for community gardeners' views and provide some comparison to them. This study also investigated community gardening policy in relation to environmental health benefits and risks. 1.3.1 Study Objectives This study aimed to: a) Characterize community garden coordinators and gardeners in the City of Vancouver, British, Columbia, Canada, based on self-reported demographics, health status, and gardening practices, motivations and experiences; and community gardens based on reported physical attributes and management practices b) Investigate the perceptions of community gardeners regarding any mental, emotional, physical, and physiological health effects they have experienced as a result of community gardening, as well as any changes in their social and financial circumstances c) Review community gardening policy in Metro Vancouver municipalities and potentially other major cities in Canada  4  1.4 Literature Review This review covers research on community gardening in general, and community gardening in relation to health and policy. Where relevant it also includes research on gardening in general in relation to health, as well as nature contact and health. A description of the review contents and process can be found in Appendix A. 1.4.1 General Characteristics of Community Gardens & Gardeners In the literature, most of the community gardens or garden programs that have been studied are in the US (Saldivar-Tanaka & Krasny, 2004; Kurtz ,2001; Armstrong, 2000a, Hanna & Oh, 2000; Waliczek et al., 1996; Teig et al., 2009) and Canada (Irvine et al., 1999; Duchemin et al., 2009; Roy, 2001; Wakefield et al., 2007; Glover, 2004), though two were found that were based in Australia (Kingsley et al., 2009; Thompson et al., 2007) and one in England (Holland, 2004). Most community gardens were located in urban areas, and comprised individual plots where vegetable-growing predominated. Many were also in low income neighbourhoods (or comprised members reported to be earning low to moderate incomes), though some were situated in or around middle-class neighbourhoods (Kurtz, 2001; Roy, 2001; Saldivar-Tanaka & Krasny, 2004). Though it was not usually clear whether community gardens were entrepreneurial or not, those studies that did specify, reported that community gardens were typically not entrepreneurial. In addition, many community gardens required or emphasized organic practices but some did not (Roy, 2001; Armstrong, 2000a; Duchemin et al., 2009).  Community gardeners were mostly women, Caucasian and adults over 50 years of age (Armstrong, 2000a; Kurtz, 2001; Hanna & Oh, 2000; Wakefield et al., 2007; Waliczek et al., 1996; Saldivar-Tanaka & Krasny, 2004; McCullum, 2004). Many were motivated to garden by a desire to grow their own fresh food (Kingsley et al., 2009; Roy, 2001; Armstrong, 2000a), and they also frequently mentioned the psychological, physical, social and educational benefits of community gardening (Wakefield et al., 2007; Kingsley et al., 2009; Waliczek et al., 1996; Saldivar-Tanaka & Krasny, 2004).  5  1.4.2 Community Gardening Health Effects Community gardening, like other forms of agriculture, involves contact with soil, plants, water and air, and likely also with compost and manure, and to a lesser extent, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and other additives. Physical contact may involve the skin (touching soil, plants, etc.), respiratory system (inhaling aerosols) or gastro-intestinal tract (consuming produce). In addition, visual and auditory experiences complement physical contact. Moreover, social contact is also a part of the community gardening experience, and by extension socio-economic considerations. These various forms of contact may pose direct and indirect health benefits and risks to community gardeners and others. 1.4.2.1 Environmental Health Effects of Community Gardening (Benefits & Risks) Community gardens and other urban green spaces improve air quality by consuming carbon dioxide, and increasing oxygen (Kuppuswamy, 2009; Brown & Grant, 2005; Deelstra & Girardet, 2000). Moreover, vegetation and trees specifically have been found to increase humidity, and remove ambient dust and chemical particulates (Brown & Grant, 2005; Deelstra & Girardet, 2000). Green spaces (including such innovations as rooftop gardening) also contribute to the reduction in energy use for cooling in urban areas (which are generally 5°C to 9°C warmer than rural areas), through evapo-transpiration, allowing for the greater flow of air, and providing shade (Kuppuswamy, 2009; Brown & Grant, 2005; Deelstra & Girardet, 2000). Specifically, some research has shown a temperature reduction of 7°C in relation to 50% vegetation cover versus 15% (Brown & Grant, 2005). Therefore, urban heat island effects can be mitigated by the presence of community gardens and other green spaces, resulting also in photochemical smog decreases (Kuppuswamy, 2009; Brown & Grant, 2005; Deelstra & Girardet, 2000).  Moreover, by increasing porous/unpaved surfaces, green spaces like community gardens decrease stormwater runoff and subsequent flooding potential, and increase water recharge (Dow, 2006; Spirn, 1985; Deelstra & Girardet, 2000). Community gardens also increase the cultivation of native plant species as well as urban biodiversity, by expanding urban wildlife habitats (Dow, 2006; Spirn, 1985; Deelstra & Girardet, 2000).  6  Community gardening in particular, also contributes to improved urban waste management through such practices as composting and recycling, and (marginally) to the reduction in fuel consumption and subsequent pollution, by decreasing food miles and packaging (Dow, 2006; Deelstra & Girardet, 2000). Moreover, community gardening mitigates chemical contamination by primarily relying on organic practices (Dow, 2006; Deelstra & Girardet, 2000).  On the other hand, the contaminated land that community gardens are often situated on, may counter the beneficial effects of organic practices (Ferris et al., 2001; Linn, 1999; Dow, 2006). In addition, one article reported that urban gardeners typically test for soil fertility rather than soil contamination (Jackson, 2008). A number of studies have focused on testing the contaminants in urban soils and garden crops, and these contaminants generally include heavy metals (with lead likely being the most cited) and hydrocarbons, which result from the effects of prior (and nearby/current) land uses such as gas stations, industrial processing, waste dumping/incineration, vehicular traffic, building demolition and garden-plot demarcation materials (Bassuk, 1986; Heiger-Bernays et al., 2009; Chaney et al., 1984; Flynn, 1999; Hooker & Nathanail, 2006; Preer et al., 1980). Most studies on soil contamination also suggest prevention and remediation strategies to minimize or eliminate the public health risks of exposure to the aforementioned contaminants. These strategies include careful soil sampling, testing and remediation or replacement; raising planting beds; selecting and locating crops away from contaminants; creating barriers to pollution sources like roadways; washing produce using appropriate methods; and altering soil pH (Bassuk, 1986; Heiger-Bernays et al., 2009; Chaney et al., 1984; Finster et al., 2003; Flynn, 1999; Hough et al., 2004).  However, some studies have indicated that heightened concerns about urban soil contamination are mistaken, given that agricultural soils are usually more contaminated, and that concerns are disproportionate to the actual public health risks associated with exposure, due to mitigating factors such as plant uptake efficiency and contaminant bioavailability (Prasad & Nazareth, 2000; Leake et al., 2009; Wakefield et al., 2007). Specifically, contaminants can vary in form in soil, water and air, and in their ability to be taken up by roots and other plant parts (Chaney et al., 1984; Bassuk, 1986; Heiger-Bernays et al., 2009; Hough et al., 2004; Hibben et al., 1984; Prasad & Nazareth, 2000). Moreover, though some of the evidence is conflicting (Chaney et al., 1984; 7  Hibben et al., 1984), root crops and leafy greens are generally reported to be vulnerable to contamination (though species differ in this regard), whereas fruiting plant parts like peppers are generally reported to be less vulnerable (Finster et al., 2003; Hibben et al., 1984; Preer et al., 1980).  Also, though community gardens are thought to be more likely to implement organic practices, a survey of 20 community garden programs (5 rural and 15 (sub)urban, comprising a total of 63 community gardens) in New York, found that 60% either explicitly permitted or did not permit the use of chemical fertilizers, whereas 60% of the rural and 33% of the urban programs allowed chemical pesticides and herbicides (Armstrong, 2000a). In addition, a study of community gardens in Winnipeg, Manitoba found that most did not implement organic practices, and in fact, 63% used chemical pesticides and 9% used chemical herbicides (Roy, 2001). 1.4.2.2 Community Gardening Health Effects from Nature Contact (Benefits & Risks) Gardening is a form of intimate or active nature contact as opposed to more remote or passive forms of contact like being outdoors without much or any physical contact, and viewing nature through a window or on a photograph, picture or video. Because animal husbandry is either prohibited or uncommon in North America within community gardening contexts (Brown & Jameton, 2000), nature contact here invariably refers to horticulture. 1.4.2.2.1 Psychological (Emotional & Mental) Health Effects of Nature Contact Similar to the literature in such fields as eco-psychology, horticulture, landscape architecture and occupational therapy (Ulrich, 1999 & 2002; Relf, 1992), the findings on the effects of nature contact on people's emotional and mental well-being are overwhelmingly positive, in the literature on community gardening and health.  Mood enhancement, tranquility/relaxation and fulfillment (all indicating improved emotional states), as well as quiet reflection, improved concentration and enhanced (though unburdened) mental activity (which all indicate improved mental states) were typical findings in horticulture therapy group settings devised for psychiatric patients and other vulnerable groups (Rappe et al., 2008; Rappe, 2005; Lewis, 1995; Perrins-Margalis et al., 2000; Sempik, 2008; Brown & Grant, 8  2005; Gonzalez et al., 2009) and among private and community gardeners (Dow, 2006; Fieldhouse, 2003; Kingsley et al., 2009; Milligan et al., 2004; Parr, 2007; Thompson et al., 2007; Seller et al., 1999; Waliczek et al., 1996; Wakefield et al., 2007; Stigsdotter & Grahn, 2004; Unruh, 2004). Moreover, one study among community gardeners was a randomized experiment that measured cortisol in saliva and used a mood rating scale. Measurements for the experimental study were taken before and after the performance of a stressful task. Subjects were exposed to a gardening task and controls to a reading task, resulting in a significant reduction in stress for the subjects (Van den Berg & Custers, 2010). The perceived basis for improved emotional and mental health due to community gardening in these studies were fascination with natural processes and the beauty in nature (Fieldhouse, 2003; Milligan et al., 2004; Kingsley et al., 2009; Waliczek et al., 1996); working outdoors performing gardening tasks, touching soil or nurturing plants and in so doing being productive (Parr, 2007; Thompson et al., 2007; Waliczek et al., 1996; Wakefield et al., 2007); and being in a quiet outdoor space (Milligan et al., 2004; Fieldhouse, 2003; Parr, 2007). In the research that has considered all types of nature contact and health (in addition to gardening), the prevailing theory about how stress-relieving effects occur is: i) being away – referring to an escape from stressful environments that natural settings provide; ii) extent – meaning natural settings are comprised of interrelated parts of a whole that provide sufficiently varied and numerous experiences that sustain curiosity endlessly; iii) fascination – indicating the ability of stimuli in natural settings to draw and sustain our attention effortlessly; and iv) compatibility – referring to natural environments facilitating the accomplishment of personal goals through productive work or activity (Relf, 1992; Hynes & Howe, 2004).  However, negative impacts on emotional/mental health during nature experiences have been reported in a study on mental outpatients gardening communally, who described gardening tasks as being monotonous (Rappe et al., 2008). In addition, increased stress was found for hospital patients who visited hospital gardens comprising elements that were not perceived to be part of the natural scenery. Such elements included abstract art, cigarette smoke, urban noise, predominating hardscapes, and litter (Ulrich, 2002). Another study also cited insecure land tenure as possibly having a negative effect on the mental health of community gardeners (Wakefield et al., 2007). 9  1.4.2.2.2 Physiological Health Effects of Nature Contact A study of community gardens in Latino neighbourhoods reported an improvement in one community gardener's heart problem as a result of frequenting a garden (although the dominance of socio-cultural interaction at the garden may have also played a part) (Saldivar-Tanaka & Krasny, 2004).  Regarding nature contact in general (and not just at community gardens), a reduced heart rate and blood pressure have been found to result from visiting botanical gardens (Lewis, 1995), and a decreased susceptibility to illness was found for prisoners having greater contact with nature and for workers that had views of nature (Kuppuswamy, 2009; Hynes & Howe, 2004). In addition, exposure to sunlight has been reported to decrease vulnerability to chronic diseases (Bellows et al., 2005). For instance, it was found in one study to result in lower cholesterol when linked to gardening during the summer months (Bellows et al., 2005), and been reported to increase vitamin D synthesis, and increase serotonin which reduces winter-depression (Leake et al., 2009). Other research also found that the amount of vegetation in one's living environment, particularly the presence of gardens, was positively correlated with perceived good health, measured in terms of one's reported number of symptoms over time (de Vries et al., 2003; Grahn & Stigsdotter, 2003). Shorter hospital stays as well as reduced pain and post-operative complications have also been found for gall bladder surgery patients with a window view to nature, as opposed to a brick wall (Ulrich, 2002). In addition, for people viewing nature from their homes, improved stress biomarkers such as “blood pressure, muscle tension and skin conductance” were reported (Relf, 1992; Kuppuswamy, 2009), similar to the aforementioned study by Van den berg & Custers (2010) that found reduced cortisol in saliva.  On the other hand, risks to community gardeners from nature contact include exposure to excessive direct sunlight which may result in sunburn and increase the potential for skin cancer (Bellows et al., 2005). In addition, chronic physiological effects are more likely to occur whenever synthetic chemical compounds are used by community gardeners to enrich soil or control undesirables like pests and weeds. Though community gardens tend towards organic practices (Duchemin et al., 2009), one study found exceptions in Winnipeg, Manitoba, whereby community garden policy discouraged organic practices in some cases (Roy, 2001). Moreover, 10  the aforementioned contamination of urban soils by heavy metals or PAHs, may pose another potential physiological risk as community gardeners handle soil and plants, and eventually consume produce (Heiger-Bernays et al., 2009; Alloway, 2004; Bassuk, 1986). For instance, the physiological effects of lead poisoning (which is the most common urban soil contaminant discussed in the literature) tend to be chronic and more severe for children, and include encephalitis and neuro-behavioral impairment (Chaney et al., 1984). However, factors such as contaminant type and concentration, type of crop grown, part of crop consumed, method of washing the plant part consumed, and bioavailability affect the potential for physiological effects to occur (Chaney et al., 1984; Alloway, 2004). 1.4.2.3 Community Gardening Health Effects from Physical Activity (Benefits & Risks) Community gardening involves physical activity or exertion that typically also entails the use of tools and equipment. The physical activity and use of tools and equipment may be slight or substantial and may have effects on community gardeners' physical health status or abilities. 1.4.2.3.1 Fitness & Physiological Health Effects Gardening in general is reported to be a preferred form of exercise by men and women of all cultural backgrounds (Bellows et al., 2005; Lombard et al., 2006; McCullum, 2004), and has long been recognized as beneficial to physical health in horticulture and occupational therapy settings (Brown & Jameton, 2000; Elings, 2006; McBey, 1985). Research has found that gardening reduces the risk of obesity among children and adults, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis among older adults, and occupational injuries among railway workers (Bellows et al., 2005; Hynes & Howe, 2004; Kingsley et al., 2009; Leake et al., 2009; Lombard et al., 2006; McCullum, 2004; Thompson et al., 2007; Magnus et al., 1979). In addition, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has stated that endurance, flexibility and strength can all be improved by gardening (Dow 2006), which some community gardeners have corroborated (Kingsley et al., 2009). Gardening incorporates fine and gross motor tasks (Bellows et al., 2005; Brown & Jameton, 2000; Relf, 1992); has been likened to moderate walking, cycling at less than 10 kph, and water aerobics (Hynes & Howe 2004); and been ranked as a medium to high intensity activity (McCullum, 2004). This may have been the basis for the improved sleep experienced by half the mental outpatients that participated in a group gardening study in Finland 11  (Rappe et al., 2008). Moreover, some research has found that the existence of neighbourhood green spaces such as community gardens promotes greater physical activity in those spaces (Groenewegen et al., 2006; Abraham et al., 2010), though other research contradicts these findings, except for gardening as the enhanced physical activity (Maas et al., 2008). Specifically, more green space in one's living environment was linked to more frequent and longer gardening sessions, which was not found to be the case for other types of physical activity like walking and cycling (Maas et al., 2008).  However, some community gardeners that participated in one study did not find that physical activity in the garden had any beneficial effects, because it was typically mild or they were considerably fit before beginning as community gardeners (Kingsley et al., 2009). Most participants in the study also reported that walking or cycling to their plots from where they lived, provided more exercise than working on their plots (Kingsley et al., 2009). 1.4.2.3.2 Physical Strain & Injury Barely any research about physical strain or injury exists with regard to community gardening. In one study, lower back pain was found to be a common physical ailment reported by home gardeners over 62 years of age, due to the various (prolonged) postures assumed while performing gardening tasks (Park & Shoemaker, 2009). Moreover, though older gardeners had greater hand strength and pinch force than older non-gardeners, the former experienced greater pain when gripping (which is involved in most gardening tasks), if they had arthritis and used tools that were poorly designed or improperly handled (Park & Shoemaker, 2009; Bellows et al., 2005). The risk of injury from heavy or sharp tools is also present in community gardens, particularly for children and older adults (Bellows et al., 2005). 1.4.2.4 Community Gardening Health Effects from Crop/Food Consumption (Benefits & Risks) Community gardening typically involves the growing of edibles, particularly vegetables, which may be consumed by gardeners and others in their household, shared with fellow gardeners or non-gardeners, or sold to generate an income. Both the quantity and quality of produce, in  12  isolation and in relation to conventional urban food systems, have health implications for consumers. 1.4.2.4.1 Food Security Food security is enhanced whenever food dollars are saved through community gardening, particularly for low income households (Bellows et al., 2005; Chisholm, 2008; Kurtz, 2001; Hanna & Oh, 2000; Mougeot, 2000; Lombard et al., 2006). Moreover, it has been estimated that “in a 130-day temperate growing season, a 10x10 meter plot can provide most of a household‟s total yearly vegetable needs (Bellows et al., 2005; Brown & Jameton, 2000).” In addition, community garden projects often augment the food bank donations of other entities like retailers and restaurants (Bellows et al., 2005; Hancock, 2001). Moreover, one study mentioned that about 1000 lbs of vegetables out of a total of about 5000 lbs harvested (in one season it is assumed), were donated to local soup kitchens, senior centres, friends and neighbours (Armstrong, 2000a). Community gardens also can be a part of sustainability and food justice movements that often comprise community kitchens, farmers' markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) projects, and that are more preventive rather than reactive to hunger or food insecurity as public health concerns (McCullum, 2004; Feenstra, 1997; Gottlieb & Fisher, 1996).  On the other hand, because of the small plot sizes typically cultivated, community gardening is insufficient to significantly provide food security (Nugent, 2000; Chisholm, 2008). 1.4.2.4.2 Food Choices, Nutrition & Food Safety There is evidence in the literature indicating that community gardeners have better dietary habits because they consume more fresh fruits and vegetables from their plots and less processed foods (Alaimo et al., 2008; Wakefield et al., 2007; Armstrong, 2000b; Bellows et al., 2005; Hanna & Oh, 2000; Hynes & Howe, 2004; McCullum, 2004; Lombard et al., 2006). In addition, consuming fresh produce that is grown organically and locally, contributes to community gardeners' confidence that their produce is more nutritious and safer for consumption (Kingsley, 2009; Patel, 1991). Moreover, some research has shown that a “5-10 day transportation and  13  storage lag between production and consumption leads to losses of 30-50% in some nutritional constituents (Bellows et al., 2005).”  However, given the aforementioned environmental health concerns, there are also food safety risks associated with consuming produce from community and urban gardens (Flynn, 1999). Where soil testing has not been carried out (properly) or prior or nearby land uses are uncertain or known to possibly contribute to soil contamination, community gardening could pose risks to the safety of crops grown for consumption (Jackson, 2008; Flynn, 1999). In addition, where organic practices are not utilized, synthetic chemicals could contaminate soil and crops (Roy, 2001; Flynn, 1999). The improper use or application of (untreated) grey water and manure may also pose risks for community garden food consumption (Mougeot, 2000; Jackson, 2008; Flynn, 1999; Bellows et al., 2005). Exposure determinants such as the type of crop grown or plant part harvested, the level and type of contamination, and the cleaning procedure for harvested produce, do however determine the food safety risk, as aforementioned for physiological risks associated with nature contact in community gardens (Chaney et al., 1984; Alloway, 2004). 1.4.2.4.3 Medicinal Plants Little in the literature addresses the growth and use of medicinal plants in community gardens. One study carried out in Australia reported that cultivating medicinal herbs was quite common in Waterloo community gardens. Two gardeners in the study commented on the use of herbs to treat physiological conditions, thus serving as alternatives to conventional medical treatments (Thompson et al., 2007). 1.4.2.5 Community Gardening Effects on Social & Economic Determinants of Health (Benefits & Risks) “Social determinants of health are societal conditions that affect health and can potentially be altered by social and health policies and programs” and include social and political institutions, systems and structures; physical surroundings or environments; and relational networks, groups and hierarchies (Anderson et al., 2003). Communal and personal prosperity and poverty offer different opportunities/resources to facilitate or undermine health at the communal level, based on the extent to which social and economic equity exist (Anderson et al., 2003). In addition, 14  financial or socioeconomic status and conditions on one hand, and health on the other, have been positively correlated (Kuppuswamy, 2009; Anderson et al., 2003). 1.4.2.5.1 Social Factors Research has found that community gardens and similar urban green spaces are potential sites for building social capital, which comes about when people have the opportunity and willingness to socialize on the basis of common interests and in so doing develop their personal potential further (Glover, 2004; Greiner et al., 2004; Hancock, 2001; Hynes & Howe, 2004; Kweon et al., 1998; Relf, 1992).  The social benefits of community gardening, sometimes in relation to health, are likely the most mentioned in the literature on community gardening (Alaimo et al., 2008). Research has found that community gardening fosters social networks and support among gardeners and between gardeners and other neighbourhood residents (Wakefield et al., 2007; Abraham et al., 2010; Glover, 2004; Kurtz, 2001; Milligan et al., 2004; Rappe et al., 2008; Rappe, 2005). Hence, findings for increased neighbourhood beautification, safety and security, and the bridging of ethnic, generational and socioeconomic boundaries have been reported in a number of studies (Armstrong, 2000a; Labonte, 1986; Teig et al., 2009; Glover, 2004; Parr, 2007; Bellows et al., 2005; Duchemin et al., 2009; Hanna & Oh, 2000; Lewis, 1995; Thompson et al., 2007; Waliczek et al., 1996; Schukoske, 1999; Hall, 1996). Improved communal nutrition was also reported by two studies investigating the use of community gardens to prevent and control diabetes among Native American populations (Armstrong, 2000b; Lombard, 2006). Community gardeners have also reported that they “enjoy their community” and have shared deep personal issues and experiences with fellow gardeners because they perceived themselves to be in a supportive social environment (Kingsley et al., 2009, p. 213; Rappe et al., 2008). They have also reported sharing tools, harvest, and knowledge about gardening and culinary practices (Duchemin et al., 2009; Teig et al., 2009; Thompson et al., 2007; Wakefield et al., 2007). One aforementioned study participant also reported experiencing an improvement in cardiovascular symptoms because of frequenting a community garden where social interaction was a stronger factor of influence than actual gardening (Saldivar-Tanaka & Krasny, 2004).  15  Regarding negative outcomes of social interaction at community gardens, reports of vandalism and theft committed by outsiders from the surrounding neighbourhood or theft by fellow gardeners have also been made in the literature (Armstrong, 2000a; Teig et al., 2009; Dow, 2006; Wakefield et al., 2007). One study found that having a fence did not reduce the prevalence of vandalism, which half of all community garden programs had experienced (Armstrong, 2000a). In addition, a gardener in another study reported increased stress as a result of community gardening because of expectations for participation, whereas another gardener expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of attendance during decision-making sessions (Teig et al., 2009). Other studies have reported new community gardeners' disappointment regarding insufficient communal cohesion, racial and socioeconomic tensions, as well as conflict over fence installation, and over growing non-edibles exclusively (Glover, 2004; Kurtz, 2001). Overall, different interpretations of urban community at different community gardens have been reflected in different extents of cohesion and harmony on different issues among gardeners, and between gardeners and non-gardeners in surrounding neighbourhoods (Glover, 2004; Kurtz, 2001). 1.4.2.5.2 Financial/Economic Factors Based on much of the research, community gardening reduces the food purchasing costs and hence the financial burden on low income families (Hancock, 2001; Lombard et al., 2006; Roy, 2001; Thompson et al., 2007). This is especially the case in places like the US where, in low income neighbourhoods, there is a scarcity of grocery stores selling fresh fruits and vegetables, and a larger number of fast food eateries and convenience stores (Alaimo et al., 2008; Hynes & Howe, 2004). Food cost savings have been estimated in one instance to be between US $50 and US $250 per gardener, or about 5000 lbs of vegetables produced by less than 40 gardeners (Armstrong, 2000a). In another instance, estimates for a 700 square foot plot were US $500 worth of vegetables harvested during an average growing season at an average cost of US $25 (Alaimo et al., 2008). Moreover, it has been estimated that for every US $1 invested in community gardening, US $6 worth of vegetables are produced (Bellows et al., 2005; Hynes & Howe, 2004). In addition, gardens typically provide some combination of tools, equipment, seeds/seedlings, expertise, education/training, and soil enrichment, tilling and testing at little to no additional cost to gardeners, who in some cases (gardens in half the community garden programs in one study) are able to sell their produce (Armstrong, 2000a; Hanna & Oh, 2000). 16  Some gardens are exclusively entrepreneurial and are initiated in order to alleviate communal poverty and resolve social problems like delinquency and crime, by providing training and employment opportunities (Ferris et al., 2001; Hancock, 2001; Parr, 2007; Thompson et al., 2007; Zimbler, 2001; Brown & Jameton, 2000). Such enterprises may also be part of local, sustainable food economies, and therefore supply farmers' markets or be part of CSAs (Feenstra, 1997; Thompson et al., 2007; Zimbler, 2001).  Community gardens also tend to increase area property values (Dow, 2006; Linn, 1999; Relf, 1992). They can also create job opportunities in research, landscaping, construction and food production, processing and marketing (Dow, 2006). Because gardens are typically run by volunteers, labour costs are minimized to municipalities, non-profits and local citizens, in comparison to the maintenance costs associated with other open spaces like parks (Dow, 2006).  However, financial factors can also be detrimental to community gardening, by for instance, inhibiting their establishment based on significant start-up and often perpetual costs associated with site preparation, water, tools and equipment, rent and insurance (Dow, 2006; Wakefield et al., 2007). In addition, it may be difficult to locate markets for produce grown for sale, due to the monopoly of conventional channels by wholesalers (Dow, 2006). Moreover, garden plots are typically too small to generate significant food cost savings and any revenue generated from sales are generally modest (Quon, 1999; Roy, 2001). However, findings in one study indicated that gains may sometimes be underestimated (Roy, 2001) or difficult to determine locally or regionally (Kaufman & Bailkey, 2000; Quon, 1999; Nugent, 2000; Roy, 2001). Furthermore, the increase in property values due to the presence of community gardens frequently results in neighbourhood gentrification and the eventual removal of community gardens (Linn, 1999; Armstrong, 2000a). 1.4.3 Community Gardening Policy There is less literature on community gardening in relation to policy than to health, and a stated greater need for research on policy by the ACGA (2009). In Canada, community gardening policy in Montreal, Toronto, Waterloo, Winnipeg and Vancouver has been investigated (Duchemin et al., 2009; Irvine et al., 1999; Roy, 2001; Chisholm, 2008; Dow, 2006; Wekerle, 17  2004; Hamilton, 1997; Hall, 1996), whereas in the US, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, California, Texas and Tennessee are some of the cities and states that have been studied (ACGA, 2000; Chisholm, 2008; Twiss et al., 2003; Schmelzkopf, 1995; Schmelzkopf, 2002; Zimbler, 2001; Campbell, 2004; Hamilton, 1997; Hanna & Oh, 2000; Schukoske, 1999). Policies in the Netherlands, Germany, UK, other parts of the EU and less industrialized countries have also been examined (Mougeot, 2000; Zimbler, 2001; Bourque, 2000; Drescher et al., 2006; Flynn, 1999; Lock, 2001a; Lock, 2001b; Hall, 1996).  Most of the research on policy is based in the US, and is focused on weak land tenure as a barrier to initiating and sustaining community gardens, due to what has repeatedly been described as the typically unfavourable attitudes of municipal authorities/officials (ACGA, 2000; Campbell, 2004; Chisholm, 2008; Dow, 2006; Zimbler, 2001; Kaufman & Bailkey, 2000; Hall, 1996; Mougeot, 2000; Linn, 1999). There has also been some focus on the political weakness of community gardening advocates (ACGA, 2000; Zimbler, 2001; Hall, 1996). Descriptions have been given of political crises involving the (near) loss of community gardens and conflicts between community garden advocates and local government authorities, such as in New York (Schmelzkopf, 1995; Schmelzkopf, 2002; Zimbler, 2001; Smith & Kurtz, 2003). In some studies, barriers to the establishment of community gardens and urban agriculture at large (land tenure, insufficient funding, etc.) have been mentioned, and policy and advocacy recommendations for overcoming them have been made (Kaufman & Bailkey, 2000; Deelstra & Girardet, 2000; Hall, 1996; Wakefield et al., 2007). In particular, urban planners have been mentioned as key potential and sometimes proven players in shifting municipal land use priorities in favour of urban agriculture and community gardening (Deelstra & Girardet, 2000; Quon, 1999; Dow, 2006; Chisholm, 2008; Hall, 1996; Mougeot, 2000). In addition, some support has been given to the creation or strengthening of intermediary organizations and municipal representation, in order to better link community gardeners and local governments in policy development and resource allocation efforts, to ensure the longevity and well-being of community gardens (Chisholm, 2008; Wekerle, 2004; Campbell, 2004; Schukoske, 1999).  Environmental and public health policies with regard to community gardening and urban agriculture have been discussed on mostly a global scale, with aspects such as animal husbandry 18  having limited relevance in North America (Flynn, 1999; Mougeot, 2000; Brown & Jameton, 2000; Bourque, 2000). Actual and perceived health risks were mentioned as political barriers to the establishment of urban agriculture, and policy-makers allocated roles in mitigating these risks (Mougeot, 2000; Kaufman & Bailkey, 2000; Roy, 2001; Bourque, 2000; Lock, 2001a; Lock, 2001b). Chemical and biological contamination of soil and crops, waste recycling and water (re)use are some of the urban agriculture and community gardening risks described (Flynn, 1999; Mougeot, 2000; Brown & Jameton, 2000; Lock, 2001a; Lock, 2001b; Roy, 2001; Bourque, 2000). On the other hand, some articles have mentioned that in policy-making, insufficient attention has been given to urban agricultural health benefits (Lock, 2001b) and too much to risks (Mougeot, 2000), whereas existing and new research on benefits (from nature contact, nutrition and social cohesion) could significantly influence policy-making in favour of urban agriculture or community gardening (Brown & Jameton, 2000; Chisholm, 2008; Twiss et al., 2003; St. Leger, 2003). There is also some focus on how community gardens are or can be a part of sustainability and food justice movements, and thus address social, economic and environmental issues through effective inter-departmental municipal policy (Feenstra, 1997; Holland, 2004; Irvine et al., 1999; Campbell, 2004; Hall, 1996; Roy, 2001). Nevertheless, one article excluded community gardens entirely (but mentioned private gardens), in its discussion of green infrastructure as a means of improving health in cities (Kuppuswamy, 2009). 1.5 Review Conclusion This review compiled the findings of various studies with respect to health benefits and risks, as well as policy in relation to community gardening. Regarding some aspects of health there has been little to no research (medicinal plants for instance) and in others there has been more, such as in the social benefits of community gardening. There was also much similarity found between community gardening and gardening in general, and between the former and social and therapeutic horticulture (STH). Overall, the findings for the beneficial health effects of community gardening are predominant. There is nevertheless a dearth of research regarding community gardening in general, but especially with regard to policy, and some aspects of health.  19  2 Methods As will be explained in greater detail in this section, this study's objectives (Section 1.3.1) were accomplished by: selecting an appropriate cross-sectional study design developing sampling strategies for community gardens, coordinators, gardeners and municipalities using appropriate methods to recruit community garden coordinators and gardeners designing, pilot-testing and administering coordinator and gardener surveys collecting, storing, organizing and analyzing the different types of data collected 2.1 Study Design This study was qualitative in terms of data collection methods and quantitative in terms of the predominant types of data collected and the techniques used for their analysis. The study was based primarily on a cross-sectional phone survey designed to investigate community gardening practices, motivations and experiences on one hand, and perceived community gardening health effects on the other hand, among community gardeners in the City of Vancouver. A second phone/electronic survey was designed for coordinators who managed the community gardens, and was designed to establish or verify the physical and social contexts that gardeners functioned in and reported on in their surveys. In addition, informal telephone and email interviews were conducted with municipal officials and employees in Metro Vancouver and other municipalities outside British Columbia, to find out what administrative policies existed with regard to community gardening.  20  2.2 Sampling Strategy for Recruitment of Community Gardeners and Coordinators To begin the sampling process, a list of community gardens in the City of Vancouver was obtained from the City of Vancouver's Food Policy department (though an unspecified number of gardens comprising approximately 500 plots had not been added to the list). A total of 76 community gardens (corresponding to over 2600 plots) were on the list. The number of plots at community gardens generally implied an equivalent number of community gardeners, the exceptions being that many gardens have a few plots assigned to organizations or groups rather than individuals or households, and that some have people sharing plots or more than one plot per person.  2.2.1 Study Inclusion Criteria for Community Gardens To be eligible for sampling in this study, gardens had to be within the City of Vancouver and comprise individual plots that were primarily assigned to individuals (or households) who were adults or 19 years of age and older. Priority was also given to larger gardens throughout the recruitment phase of the study (and more so at later stages), because the idea and experience of community (in a gardening context or any other) is typified by many people as opposed to a few.  2.2.2 Community Garden Selection & Categorization Therefore from among the 76 gardens, two were eliminated from consideration for this study because they were school gardens (and based on the above criteria, subjects would not be 19 years of age or older, in addition to the fact that school gardens typically do not have individual plots). Therefore, a total of 74 gardens comprising public access (open to City of Vancouver residents to obtain a plot, though location restrictions within the city sometimes apply) and community-share gardens (open to members of a particular group, organization or housing complex), were initially deemed eligible for sampling. As the study progressed and more information was obtained about gardens, some other gardens were deemed ineligible. The 74 gardens were located in 18 City of Vancouver neighbourhoods, as indicated on the city's 21  list. It was determined that indicator(s) for socio-economic status (SES) should be the basis for a sampling strategy, because in the literature, community gardening is strongly associated with SES. City of Vancouver neighbourhood locations were already generally known to predict SES to some extent, so a more discerning tool was needed to define the sampling strategy. Therefore, the 2009 City of Vancouver Social Indicators Report (City of Vancouver, 2009) was obtained and read (partially), and income was chosen as an appropriate SES indicator in addition to neighbourhood location, based on the 2006 median household after-tax income census data map in the report (the most recent map of its kind at the time), which is also displayed in  Figure 1.  22  Figure 1: Map of 2006 median after-tax household incomes by census tracts  The census tracts in the map were combined in conformity with City of Vancouver neighbourhood boundaries, based on the Vancouver neighbourhood map (http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/socialplanning/newtovancouver/part1/neighbourhoods.htm), presented in Figure 2. Thus SES representation, as determined by income and neighbourhood location, became the key factor in defining a sampling strategy. 23  Figure 2: City of Vancouver Neighbourhood Map  The 18 neighbourhoods containing community gardens were then categorized into seven clusters, based on the range of median incomes and the corresponding census tracts sizes within them. Within each neighbourhood cluster, half the number of gardens were chosen for sampling by listing them in order of size, as determined by number of plots, and selecting every other one, starting with the largest garden. Therefore, a total of 38 gardens from all seven clusters were selected for sampling, or approximately half the total number of 74 gardens deemed eligible at the time.  24  2.3 Sampling Strategy for Community Gardening Policy Review in Metro Vancouver Municipalities To investigate community gardening policy, it was determined that officials/employees in each of the 22 municipalities in Metro Vancouver (besides the City of Vancouver), and those in the Cities of Montreal and Toronto would be contacted (both cities reputed to be heavily involved in community gardening). Parks and Recreation and Social/Community Planning departments were the main focus for obtaining relevant contact and research-related information 2.4 Study Subject Recruitment for Gardener & Coordinator Interviews In this study, only gardeners and coordinators needed to be formally recruited for participation. Municipal officials/employees were simply contacted on phone or via email repeatedly, if necessary, until the appropriate person was reached and spoken to. 2.4.1 Study Inclusion Criteria for Gardeners and Coordinators To participate in this study, community gardeners and coordinators had to be 19 years of age or older, as stated on all consent forms. It was also determined in the initial phases of the study that newer gardeners had to have cultivated their garden plots for at least one year, in order to increase the validity of their responses to questions on health effects (this did not apply to coordinators, as their survey did not contain such questions). Though having subjects that had been community gardeners for a variety of durations, would be useful in assessing any patterns in their responses regarding reported health effects, it was necessary to restrict the participation of newer gardeners at some point, in order to avoid over-sampling from among them. 2.4.2 Sampling, Garden Eligibility and Participation Rates The initial goal was to contact garden coordinators at each of the 38 gardens selected for sampling, and recruit 5% of gardeners from gardens with over 20 gardeners, and one gardener from those with less than 20 gardeners. When contacting coordinators, gardens were prioritized in order of size as determined by number of plots i.e. larger gardens were contacted first in each cluster (and were given priority because they best captured the meaning of “community” in 25  community gardening). In the process of contacting coordinators some gardens were excluded from sampling because they were found not to fit the aforementioned criteria. Some gardens were also excluded because garden coordinators did not respond to repeated email or phone requests (a maximum of 3 requests were made) to participate in the study, or responded but declined to participate. A total of 14 gardens initially selected for sampling, were therefore not sampled from for the above reasons.  An additional 27 gardens were substituted in place of the 14 gardens (from the remaining 36 gardens not selected for initial sampling out of the total of 74 eligible gardens). Of these 27 gardens, 10 were excluded because they did not fit the study criteria, or as mentioned above, no response or a negative response was received from their garden coordinators. Of the remaining 40 gardens that were potentially eligible for the study, all but seven gardens were contacted for participation (and all the latter comprised 20 or less plots/gardeners). Most of the seven gardens were excluded due to time constraints, which necessitated gradually ending the recruitment phase of the study, by focusing on gardens with 30 plots/gardeners or more. A few were also left out because no contact information was obtainable.  Eventually, the adherence to a 5% quota was abandoned and any number of willing participants from any selected and eligible gardens were accepted, primarily due to lower recruitment levels than expected (even among substituted gardens). Nevertheless, some priority was still given to larger gardens. 2.4.3 Contacting Potential Subjects and Obtaining Consent Some garden coordinators were contacted by email initially and some were contacted on phone to seek their participation. Sometimes phone contact led to email correspondence whereby standardized email requests and consent forms (the former and latter designed separately for coordinators and gardeners) were sent to coordinators. In the (standardized) email, coordinators were requested to forward another (standardized) email request, and an attached (gardeners') consent form to gardeners, who could then contact the researcher to express an interest in participating. In addition to assisting with recruitment, coordinators also participated in the study by consenting to complete a survey. 26  Sometimes phone contact with coordinators did not lead to email correspondence, but instead to face-to-face contact at garden events, as happened with email correspondence in some instances. Though initial efforts were geared primarily towards email recruitment, attending garden events with the permission of garden coordinators, became the most common and effective means of recruitment. Moreover, attending garden events – work or clean-up parties in particular – to request the participation of gardeners in person, yielded most of the subjects that participated in this study. Just one garden coordinator declined the researcher's request to attend a garden event to seek gardeners' participation (based on established garden rules as agreed upon by gardeners). All gardeners either received a consent form with the email request forwarded to them by their garden coordinators, or via email before being interviewed on phone, after having voluntarily provided their email address at a garden event. Gardeners and coordinators expressed their voluntary interest to participate by verbal consent i.e. contacting the researcher in response to email or phone requests (a maximum of 3 requests were made per person, with successive requests made at least 5 days apart). 2.5 Survey Design & Administration New gardener and coordinator surveys were developed based on the aims of this study, a preliminary literature review, and advice from City of Vancouver officials. No existing surveys were found that matched the majority of questions of interest to satisfy the aims of this study, although after the literature review was completed, some survey questions were found to be similar to those used in some previous studies. 2.5.1 Gardeners' Survey The initial community gardeners' survey had 133 questions, and was pilot-tested twice (two coordinators participated and were not included in the study), on phone and in-person, and took a maximum of 50 minutes to complete. Gardeners were given the option of taking the survey in one 50-minute phone session or in two 25-minute phone sessions, with the majority opting for the former. After the initial four interviews it was determined that some questions were extraneous (mainly questions about the reasons and durations for methods of soil enrichment; weed, pest and disease control; and waste disposal) and were therefore excluded in the remainder 27  of the surveys administered. The final survey used for the majority of phone interviews comprised 118 questions as presented in Appendix B, and took a minimum of 50 minutes, a maximum of three hours, and an average of an hour and ten minutes to complete.  The gardeners' survey was divided into seven sections each comprising related themes as follows:  Section 1: Community gardening motivations, past and current experience (Questions 1 to 10)  duration of any past agricultural experience and crops/animals raised duration of any past community gardening experience duration at current community garden plot other current (community) gardening location initial community gardening motivations, in order of importance current community gardening motivations (if different from initial motivations), in order of importance  Section 2: Community garden and plot characteristics (Questions 11 to 19)  size of community garden plot soil-testing at the garden commute to the garden from one's home perceptions of the garden in relation to the surrounding neighbourhood perceptions of theft at the garden and on one's plot Section 3: Community gardening practices – Part I (Questions 20 to 34)  community gardening philosophies or approaches typical growing season duration patterns of plot visitation during growing season crops (in)frequently grown and motivations 28  raised beds and motivations for installation seed sources, motivations and quality harvest uses Section 4: Community gardening practices – Part 2 (Questions 35 to 51)  soil enrichment; weed, pest and disease control; and waste disposal methods water and tool sources work-sharing on one's plot and patterns/types of social interaction with fellow gardeners involvement with other gardening-related organizations  Section 5: Community gardening health effects (Questions 52 to 98)  physiological health status and other health-related habits perceived community gardening effects on mental and emotional health, physical fitness, physical strain/injury, dietary choices, financial state and social well-being  Section 6: Conclusion (Questions 99 to 100)  future plans for community gardening improvements desired in one's experience as a community gardener  Section 7: Demographic and related questions (Questions 101 to 118)  age, sex, household size and type educational level and type occupational experience and related stress levels non-occupational stress sources and levels ethno-cultural background household income and postal code 29  2.5.2 Coordinators' Survey The initial garden coordinators' survey comprised 48 questions, and took an average of one hour to complete on phone, in the two pilot-testing sessions held with two coordinators (who did not later participate in the study, and who were not the same ones that participated in pilot-testing the gardeners' survey). The final coordinators' survey was reduced to 21 questions (mainly because it excluded demographic and health effects questions in the original survey) and took 15 to 30 minutes to administer on phone. Coordinators had the option of completing the survey electronically or being interviewed on phone and most chose to do a phone interview.  As displayed in Appendix C, the coordinators' survey comprised two sections:  Main section (Questions 1 to 19)  coordinator's past and current experience as a gardener and coordinator age and size of garden prior land use and soil-testing obtaining garden plot and demand for plots garden rules, services and activities perceptions of the garden in relation to the surrounding neighbourhood perceptions of theft at the garden stress and satisfaction levels in relation to being a coordinator improvements desired in the support received  Demographics section (Questions 20 to 21)  available demographic data on community gardeners coordinator's other occupations coordinator‟s sex  30  2.5.3 Informal Phone Interviews with Municipal Officials No survey was designed for use in collecting information about community gardening policy in Metro Vancouver municipalities or other cities/regions. Municipal officials/employees were interviewed informally on phone or via email after research on municipal web-sites had been conducted to obtain contact and other available information. The following questions are typical of what was asked during the informal phone interviews:  Who can I speak to about community gardening policy in your city/municipality? Do you know of any community gardens in your city/municipality? Are any of the community gardens in your city/municipality on city land? What administrative policy/ies exist regarding the establishment and management of community gardens? Are there any organizations that oversee community gardening in your city/municipality on behalf of or in partnership with the city? What is the nature and duration of the land use agreement(s) the city has with the community garden(s)? What, if any, other resources does the city provide the community garden(s) in addition to land? Is there soil-testing protocol related to the prior land use for community gardens? 2.5.4 Data Collection & Resource Limitations Because this study was not funded at all, participants were not compensated for their time. Therefore also, the surveys were developed in English only and no paid interview translations were possible. Moreover, no volunteers were found to assist in conducting interviews with exclusively Spanish-speaking community gardeners at one particular garden, or non-Englishspeaking gardeners of Asian descent at any other garden. Therefore, effectively, non-Englishspeaking community gardeners were excluded from participating in the study.  31  2.6 Data Storage and Verification Coordinator and gardener phone interview responses were entered into electronic versions of the surveys on the researcher's computer during the interview process. The permission of subjects was sought for later contact, in order to clarify responses as needed. All but one gardener consented to be contacted again. It was later found necessary to contact all community gardeners except three, with follow-up questions. All gardeners contacted responded and clarified initial responses to survey questions.  Notes were hand-written during phone interviews with municipal officials/employees and transferred to a spreadsheet after the interview. Follow-up phone calls and emails were sent to request additional information, or clarify previous information as needed. 2.7 Data Organization & Analysis This study involved the collection of quantitative data mainly and some qualitative data, requiring different analytical techniques. 2.7.1 Quantitative Data Quantitative survey data was entered into Open Office spreadsheets and imported to S-Plus to generate descriptive statistics. 2.7.2 Qualitative Data Qualitative data was also input into spreadsheets and content analysis (Taylor-Powell & Renner, 2003) was used to develop, link and categorize themes in subjects' responses. Themes were then ranked based upon the frequency of their occurrence and relative frequencies were calculated for each category and for items within categories, based on the total number of responses per question.  Information gathered about community gardening policy was also entered into spreadsheets and tabulated for each municipality and for the city of Montreal, Quebec, which was the only other municipality outside of British Columbia for which data was obtained. A graduate student in 32  UBC's program of occupational and environmental health volunteered to provide French translation for the documentation obtained from Montreal, most of which was in French. Unsuccessful attempts were made to obtain data from the city of Toronto, Ontario though some general information was found on the city's website.  33  3 Results In applying the aforementioned methods, the following results were obtained for this study and will be discussed in greater detail in this section:  community gardeners' and coordinators' participation levels and garden and cluster representation in the study physical and related community garden characteristics and managerial oversight characteristics community gardeners' and coordinators' demographics community gardeners' practices, motivations and experiences with regard to: ◦ past and current gardening experiences ◦ plot characteristics ◦ garden/plot visitation patterns ◦ crops grown ◦ soil enrichment and the control of undesirables ◦ gardening supply sources ◦ neighbourhood contexts and social participation ◦ improvements desired and future plans community gardeners' health status and perceived health effects in relation to community gardening for ◦ psychological health ◦ physical and physiological health ◦ nutrition ◦ financial and social well-being policy and community gardening in Metro Vancouver municipalities and the City of Montreal 34  3.1 Sampling Results As a result of combining a map of 2006 after-tax median household income census tracts with a Vancouver neighbourhood map (in conformity with boundaries in the latter), the aforementioned 18 community garden neighbourhoods were categorized by median after-tax household income ranges into the seven clusters shown in Table 1.  35  Table 1: City of Vancouver community garden neighbourhoods grouped in clusters based on 2006 median after-tax household income census data  Assigned 18 community garden City Ascending order of 2006 median afterCluster of Vancouver neighbourhoods tax incomes (CAN $'000s) for census tracts # grouped in clusters in neighbourhoods (#s rounded down) 1 Downtown East Side (DTES) 11 Strathcona (Strath) 16, 24 Strath-DTES* 2  Grandview-Woodland Mt. Pleasant  28, 28, 31, 32, 35, 44, 47 28, 32, 32, 37, 38, 54  3  West End  30, 31, 32, 34, 34, 35, 35, 35, 38  4  Marpole Hastings-Sunrise Fairview  30, 44, 45, 45, 49, 57 31, 32, 38, 44, 44, 48, 50, 51 37, 38, 43, 43, 48, 48, 54  5  Victoria-Fraserview Renfrew-Collingwood Killarney  36, 42, 43, 44, 45, 45, 46, 46, 48, 51 35, 38, 39, 40, 43, 45, 45, 45, 49, 55 39, 42, 45, 46, 48, 51, 56  6  Kensington-Cedar Cottage Kitsilano Riley Park UBC**  43, 43, 44, 45, 45, 46, 51 41, 42, 42, 43, 50, 51, 53, 53 45, 47, 51, 53 -  7  Kerrisdale West Point Grey Shaughnessy  43, 44, 50, 57, 72, 81 54, 62, 75 54, 63, 117  *This neighbourhood is officially non-existent and was therefore not on the Vancouver neighbourhood map in Figure 2, and could not subsequently be assigned an income (range), but was listed by the City of Vancouver likely because some gardens were situated on the Strathcona-DTES boundary. It was also not counted as a neighbourhood in this study. **The University of British Columbia or UBC is situated in Electoral Area A which was not an official neighbourhood on the Vancouver neighbourhood map in Figure 2 and was also not on the income census data map in Figure 1; it was therefore not assigned an income (range). UBC was however counted as a neighbourhood in this study because it is in an officially recognized municipal area (Electoral Area A).  36  For each of the resulting seven neighbourhood clusters in Table 1, the number of gardens and plots were determined. As shown in Table 2, clusters differed in terms of number of gardens and plots, and have been listed in ascending order of income ranges.  Table 2: Relative frequencies for gardens and plots per neighbourhood cluster Cluster Neighbourhood clusters in ascending income order # (based on 2006 median income census data) 1 DTES, Strathcona, Strath-DTES 2 Mt. Pleasant, Grandview-Woodland 3 West End 4 Marpole, Hastings-Sunrise, Fairview 5 Victoria-Fraserview, Renfrew-Collingwood, Killarney 6 Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Kitsilano, Riley Park, UBC 7 West Point Grey, Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale Grand totals  Gardens Count n = 76 11 14% 20 26% 4 5% 11 14% 8 11% 16 21% 6 8% 76 100%  Plots Count n = 2691 848 32% 602 22% 239 9% 250 9% 101 4% 473 18% 178 7% 2691 100%  The middle income clusters (2 to 6) comprised 78% of all gardens, and Cluster 2 (the lowest middle income cluster), had the highest proportion of all clusters (26%), whereas Cluster 6 (the highest middle income cluster), had the second highest (21%). Cluster 1 (the lowest income cluster) had 14% of all gardens and Cluster 7 (the highest income cluster) had 8%. 3.1.1 Study Participation Study subjects (coordinators and gardeners), neighbourhood clusters, community gardens and municipalities represented various levels and types of participation in this study. 3.1.1.1 Clusters No community gardens or gardeners from Cluster 5 participated in the study, for reasons specified in Appendix D.1 (and Table 65). Therefore, just six of the seven neighbourhood clusters were represented, as displayed in Table 3.  37  Table 3: Relative frequencies for participating gardens and study subjects per cluster Cluster Neighbourhood clusters in ascending income order # of Participating # (based on 2006 median income census data) Gardens Gardens (n = 16) 1 DTES, Strathcona, Strath-DTES 11 2 12.5% 2 Mt. Pleasant, Grandview-Woodland 20* 6 37.5% 3 West End 4 2 12.5% 4 Marpole, Hastings-Sunrise, Fairview 11 2 12.5% 5 Victoria-Fraserview, Renfrew-Collingwood, Killarney 8 6 Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Kitsilano, Riley Park, UBC 16 3 19% 7 West Point Grey, Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale 6 1 6% Grand totals 76* 16 100%  Study Subjects (n = 55) 12 22% 13 24% 6 11% 6 11% 12 22% 6 11% 55 100%  *Because many other gardens among all 76 (on the city's original list) were later found to be ineligible for this study (and participation is the focus of this table), the two school gardens that were excluded at the outset have been included here, raising Cluster 2 garden numbers from 18 to 20 and the grand total for that column from 74 to 76.  Cluster 2 (the lowest middle income cluster) was represented by nearly 38% of participating gardens, which was the largest proportion of all clusters. This cluster also contained the largest number of community gardens. On the other hand, Cluster 7 (the highest income cluster) was represented by the smallest proportion of participating gardens at 6% (in addition to having the second smallest number of gardens per cluster). Regarding study subjects, Cluster 2 had the largest proportion in the study at 24%, followed closely by Clusters 1 and 6, each at 22%. On the other hand, Clusters 3, 4 and 7 each equally contributed the smallest proportion of study subjects at 11%.  Moreover, Appendix D (Table 66) presents the number of participating gardens per cluster as a percentage of the total number of gardens per cluster. Cluster 3 had the highest at 50%, followed by Cluster 2 at 30%, whereas the remaining were each represented in the study by between 17% and 21% of gardens in their neighbourhoods.  Regarding broader income levels, Cluster 1, which represented the lowest income neighbourhoods (below CAN $25,000) constituted 13% of participating community gardens and 22% of study subjects. However, Clusters 2 to 6 which represented the middle income 38  neighbourhoods (mostly CAN $30,000s and $40,000s), made up nearly 82% of participating gardens and 67% of subjects. Lastly, Cluster 7 which comprised the highest income neighbourhoods (mostly above CAN $50,000 and as high as $117,000), was represented by 6% of gardens in the study and 11% of subjects. 3.1.1.2 Gardens Overall, 21% of the community gardens on the city's original list (including the two school gardens excluded at the outset) i.e. 16 of the 76, participated in this study.  The community gardens participating in this study had a total of over 1000 plots as shown in Table 4. The gardens in Cluster 1 – Strathcona and Cottonwood – had the largest number of plots, with 200 and 140, respectively, and were also the only ones with over 100 plots each. These gardens were located in the lowest income cluster (median incomes from CAN $11,000 to $24,000). Pine Street, a Cluster 4 garden, had the third highest number of plots at 91. However, the other Cluster 4 garden – Kitsilano Church – had the smallest number of plots at 11, followed by the McSpadden garden in Cluster 2 with 18 plots (though the latter remains unconfirmed by the coordinator who did not participate in the study).  39  Table 4: Relative frequencies for study subjects per garden and plots per garden Garden Cluster Participating Plots per Study subjects per garden Count # gardens garden Gardeners Coordinators Total 1 1 Strathcona 200 9 1 10 2 1 Cottonwood 140 1 1 2 3 2 Pandora 66 2 1 3 4 2 Elizabeth Rogers 54 2 1 3 5 2 Ladybug 30 2 1 3 6 2 Wall Street * 42 2 0 2 7 2 McSpadden * 18 1 0 1 8 2 South China Creek 21 0 1 1 9 3 Mole Hill 80 4 0 4 10 3 Stanley Park 28 1 1 2 11 4 Pine Street 91 3 1 4 12 4 Kitsilano Church 11 1 1 2 13 6 Maple 75 5 1 6 14 6 Cypress 69 3 1 4 15 6 Crowspoint 33 2 0 2 16 7 16 Oaks 70 5 1 6 Grand totals 1028 43 12 55  n = 55 18% 4% 5% 5% 5% 4% 2% 2% 7% 4% 7% 4% 11% 7% 4% 11% 100%  *The number of plots for the Wall Street and McSpadden community gardens were listed by the city but remained unconfirmed by the respective garden coordinators, as they did not participate in the study (by consenting to complete the coordinators' survey, though one assisted in recruiting gardeners). However for the Crowspoint and Mole Hill community gardens, whose coordinators also did not participate, the number of plots in their respective gardens was provided during correspondence about recruiting gardeners.  In addition to having the largest number of plots, the Strathcona garden in Cluster 1 also contributed the highest number of study subjects at 18%, followed by gardens in Clusters 6 and 7, i.e. Maple and 16 Oaks, respectively at 11% each. On the other hand, two Cluster 2 gardens, South China Creek and McSpadden, were represented by the lowest number of study subjects (each with just one interviewee or 2% of subjects). Though some community gardens were later found to be physically adjacent to one another, they were placed in different neighbourhoods on the city's list due to the technicality of municipal boundaries, and were therefore also put in different clusters. This was the case specifically for both Cluster 4 gardens. The Pine Street garden was placed in a Cluster 4 neighbourhood (based on the city listing it in the Fairview neighbourhood), though it was located across the road from 40  the Cypress and nearby Maple gardens, which were both in a Cluster 6 neighbourhood (Kitsilano). In addition, the Kitsilano Church garden was located on the boundary between the Fairview and Kitsilano neighbourhoods, which are in Clusters 4 and 6, respectively, and was ultimately assigned to the former. 3.1.1.3 Subjects As displayed in Table 4, a total of 55 subjects – community gardeners and coordinators from 16 City of Vancouver community gardens – participated in this study (representing six of the seven sampling clusters).  A total of 43 telephone interviews with community gardeners were completed, whereas four interviews were started but never completed, due to loss of follow-up with two subjects, time constraints expressed by one other subject, and the decision not to complete the interview with the fourth subject, based on the perception of discomfort on their part during the first half of the interview. Among garden coordinators, 12 were interviewed on phone or completed their survey electronically, whereas four others did not participate because two declined to, one could not be reached, and the fourth had participated in pilot-testing the coordinators' survey. 3.1.1.4 Municipalities In Metro Vancouver, 22 out of 23 municipalities (the City of Vancouver was not included) provided information on existing policy with respect to community gardening. For one municipality (Electoral Area A), no clear information on policy was available at a municipal level as it was not a typical municipality. However, two gardens were known to exist in Area A (one was on the city‟s list) and were therefore reported in the results. The City of Montreal also provided information about community gardening policy. 3.2 Community Garden Characteristics Community garden coordinators provided information about their respective community gardens' physical and managerial oversight characteristics, which gave some context to community  41  gardener's responses, and enabled some comparison between both sources of information, where possible. 3.2.1 Physical & Related Characteristics Coordinators described their gardens in terms of age, size and prior land use as presented in Table 5. The city also provided each garden's street address and neighbourhood as shown in Appendix E (Table 67).  Table 5: Age, size, number of plots, and prior land uses for participating community gardens  Cluster # 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 6 6 6 7  Participating Garden ~ Garden size Plots per gardens age (years) (square feet) garden Strathcona 25 130,680 200 Cottonwood 20 174,240 140 Pandora 2 10,000 66 Elizabeth Rogers ~17 8,800 54 Ladybug 1 4,037 30 Wall Street* 42 McSpadden* 18 South China Creek 4 3,000 21 Mole Hill 80 Stanley Park 8 5,000 28 Pine Street 4 91 Kitsilano Church 3 500 11 Maple 20 72,400 75 Cypress 18 2,520 69 Crowspoint 33 16 Oaks 4 18,100 70 mean age mean size mean # 10.5 years 39,025 sq ft 64  Prior land use dump site then railway part of Strathcona Park part of Pandora Park part of Elizabeth Rogers Park lot empty after demolition dump site then park part of Stanley Park unused land by railway lawn on church property unused land by railway dump by railway line lot empty after demolition  *The number of plots for the Wall Street and McSpadden community gardens were listed by the city but remained unconfirmed by the respective garden coordinators, as they did not participate in the study (by consenting to complete the coordinators' survey, though one assisted in recruiting gardeners). However for the Crowspoint and Mole Hill community gardens, whose coordinators also did not participate, the number of plots in their respective gardens was provided during correspondence about recruiting gardeners.  42  The four community gardens for which no information is displayed, are those whose garden coordinators did not participate for aforementioned reasons. In addition, the Pine Street coordinator did not know the approximate size of the garden, and the Elizabeth Rogers coordinator was uncertain about the age of the garden.  Garden locations can be approximated on the city of Vancouver map in Figure 2, after looking at Table 67 (which lists garden names, street addresses and neighbourhood names). Overall, the community gardens in this study were located in the northern and central parts of the city (West of Nanaimo street and North of 41st Avenue).  Of the community gardens for which age is presented in Table 5 and Appendix E (Table 68) 58% are under 10 years old and the remaining 42% are over 15 years old. The youngest garden (Ladybug) is 1 year old, the oldest (Strathcona) is 25 years old, and the mean age is 10.5 years.  Regarding approximate community garden sizes in terms of area, in Table 5 and Appendix E (Table 69), 63% covered 10,000 square feet (sq ft) or less, whereas 36% covered more than 10,000 sq ft. In terms of number of plots, the range was 11 to 200, and the mean was 64. The smallest garden (Kitsilano Church) covered 500 sq ft, and also had the least number of plots (11). The largest garden (Cottonwood) covered over 170,000 sq ft and also had the second largest number of plots (140), whereas the second largest garden (Strathcona) covered over 130,000 sq ft, and had the largest number of plots (200). Moreover, the gardens with 50 or more plots were also generally the ones covering 8,000 sq ft or more. The mean area was determined for 11 gardens (and not 12 because one garden's area was unknown) to be approximately 39,000 sq ft. For gardens where the approximate area was given in terms of city blocks as displayed in Appendix E (Table 70), the estimated square footage was determined based on the area of half a city block as shown in Appendix E (Figure 5).  Considering prior land uses, 42% of the community gardens were part of parks, 33% were located by railway tracks, 17% were on lots where buildings had been demolished, and one was a lawn on church property. Moreover, 25% were located on land that was reported to have been a dump site for some duration. 43  3.2.1.1 Soil-testing In relation to community gardens' generally toxic prior land uses, the possibility of soil contamination was deemed relevant to this study. Hence, both community gardeners and coordinators were asked about soil-testing in their respective surveys.  Based on the responses of the 12 participating coordinators, as shown in Table 6, 50% of all gardens had had their soil tested within the past 25 years, with the oldest test done in 1985 and the most recent one this year (2011).  Table 6: Coordinators responses for whether soil had been tested, when it was tested if at all, and what the test results were Garden names Strathcona Cottonwood Pandora Elizabeth Rogers Ladybug Wall Street McSpadden South China Creek Mole Hill Stanley Park Pine Street Kitsilano Church Maple Cypress Crowspoint 16 Oaks Totals Rel. freq.2 (n = 12)  CoordSoil tested? inators No No, but new soil Yes 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 12 3 3 6 100% 25% 25% 50%  When soil tested 1985 2004/05*  Soil-testing results 1 safe c. levels safe c. levels  -  -  -  -  2006  unknown  unsure 2011 2007/08  low fert. fert. issues spot c.  “-” = coordinator did not participate in study In this column, c. = contamination; avg. = average; fert. = fertility 2 Rel. freq. = Relative frequencies *Reported to be the 3rd test carried out at the garden  1  44  Test results reported by coordinators indicated that 50% were for contamination, 33% for fertility, and 17% (represented one) unknown, as presented in Table 7. Contamination levels (of an unspecified type) for two gardens, Cottonwood and Strathcona (Table 6), were reported to be below regulatory limits (except for two non-food-growing areas within the Cottonwood garden). For the 16 Oaks garden an unspecified type and level of spot contamination was also found.  Table 7: Relative frequencies for coordinators' types of responses regarding soil-testing results Coordinators & soil-testing results coordinators reported on contamination coordinators reported on fertility coordinators did not know results coordinators participated in the study & reported soil was tested coordinator did not participate in study & gardener reported soil was tested gardens with coordinators/gardeners reporting soil tested in garden  Gardens Count n = 7 n = 6 3 43% 50% 2 29% 33% 1 14% 17% 6 86% 100% 1 14% 7 100%  Among the remaining gardens (50% of 12) for which testing was reported not to have been done, half were reported to have had new soil brought in (Table 6). In addition, the Cottonwood garden (which was among those gardens whose coordinators reported testing having been done) remediated a non-food-growing area based on previous findings (seven years prior) of excessive contamination (and the advice of a soil scientist), though no recent testing had been done.  All gardeners at 7 of the 15 community gardens that had community gardeners in the study, were unsure of whether or not soil-testing had been carried out at their gardens at all, as shown in Table 8 and Appendix E (Table 71).  45  Table 8: Relative frequencies for gardeners' responses regarding soil-testing based on garden representation Gardeners' knowledge about soil-testing at respective Gardens gardens as a whole & on individual plots Count n = 16 n = 15 all unsure if soil tested in garden as a whole or on plots 7 44% 47% all sure soil tested in garden as a whole 1 6% 7% some sure soil tested in garden & some sure tested on individual plots 2 13% 13% some sure soil tested in garden & none sure about individual plots 4 25% 27% none sure about garden, some sure soil tested on individual plots 1 6% 7% gardens represented by gardeners in the study 15 94% 100% gardens represented by a coordinator & no gardeners 1 6% gardens represented by a coordinator or gardeners or both 16 100%  However, at the Mole Hill garden, though all gardeners interviewed reported being unsure (about testing having been done), in response to a separate survey question, they stated that all garden plots were on raised beds, which was observed to be the case, as indicated in Appendix E (Table 71).  In addition, 9% of gardeners reported testing having been done by individual gardeners (themselves or others) on their plots, and 50% of them reported results for fertility rather than contamination testing, as shown in Table 9.  Table 9: Proportions per garden for gardeners reporting soil having been tested on their own or others' plots Garden Gardeners Soil tested? When soil Names (n) Yes, my/others' plot(s) tested Strathcona 9 2 22% 2003/04, 2007-'10 Wall Street 2 1 50% 2009 16 Oaks 5 1 20% unsure All other gardens 27 Total 43 4 9%  Soil-testing results fertility, unknown fertility unknown -  46  Among the community gardens where some or all gardeners were certain that testing had been done in the garden as a whole, as opposed to individuals‟ plots (7 of the aforementioned 15 as displayed in Table 8), 86%, i.e. six of the seven gardens, showed a match between community gardeners and their respective coordinators, for reporting that soil-testing had been done, as shown in Table 10. The only exception was the Crowspoint garden, whose coordinator was not a study subject and did not therefore give a response to compare to that of the respective gardener‟s, as indicated in Table 6.  47  Table 10: Relative frequencies for similarities and differences between coordinators and gardeners regarding soil-testing Comparison between gardeners' and coordinators' reports on soil-testing Gardens Soil tested in whole garden (as opposed to individual plots)? Count n = 7 match between report by gardeners & coordinator 6 86% no match because coordinator did not participate in study 1 14% total gardens with coordinators/gardeners reporting soil tested in whole garden 7 100% When soil tested? match of within 1 year between most/all gardeners & coordinator for year of testing* difference of 2 or more years between gardener(s) & coordinator for year of testing gardener stated a year but coordinator was unsure of one gardener stated a year but coordinator did not participate in study total gardens with coordinators/gardeners reporting soil tested in whole garden  3 2 1 1 7  43% 29% 14% 14% 100%  Soil-testing results? gardeners reported no contamination, coordinator reported spot contamination gardener reported spot contamination, coordinator reported safe contamination levels gardener reported no serious contamination, coordinator reported fertility/unknown gardener reported fertility, coordinator reported safe contamination levels gardener reported no contamination, coordinator did not participate in study gardener and coordinator reported on fertility total gardens with coordinators/gardeners reporting soil tested in whole garden  1 1 2 1 1 1 7  14% 14% 29% 14% 14% 14% 100%  gardeners reporting on contamination gardeners reporting on fertility total gardens with coordinators/gardeners reporting soil tested in whole garden  5 2 7  71% 29% 100%  coordinators reporting on contamination coordinators reporting on fertility coordinators not knowing results/not participating in the study total gardens with coordinators/gardeners reporting soil tested in whole garden  3 2 2 7  43% 28.6% 28.6% 100%  *In one garden, two of the three gardeners reporting when testing was done reported years similar to their garden coordinator, whereas one did not, therefore the qualifier “most/all” was used.  According to gardeners, the range of years for when soil was tested, was 1985 to 2010 as displayed in Table 11. At three gardens (Strathcona, Pine Street and 16 Oaks) gardeners closely matched the years stated by their respective coordinators (maximum of one year difference), 48  whereas at two gardens (Cottonwood and Cypress), their responses differed from the respective coordinators' responses by two or more years (Table 10).  Table 11: Relative frequencies and totals for gardeners from each participating garden reporting soil having been tested Garden Gardeners Soil tested? When soil tested? Soil test results? names (n) Yes Year stated Year? Results stated Results?4 Strathcona 9 4 44% 3 33% 1985 1 11% spot c. Cottonwood 1 1 100% 1 100% 2007/08 1 100% avg. fert. Pandora 2 1 E. Rogers 2 Ladybug 2 Wall Street 2 McSpadden 1 2 S. China Crk. Mole Hill 4 Stanley Park 1 Pine Street 3 1 33% 1 33% 2006 1 33% little c. 3 Kits. Church 1 Maple 5 1 20% 1 20% 1989 1 20% little c. Cypress 3 1 33% 1 33% 2009 1 33% low fert. Crowspoint 2 1 50% 1 50% 2010 1 50% no c. 16 Oaks 5 3 60% 3 60% 2007/08, 2010 2 40% no c. Total 43 12 28% 11 92%* 8 67%* 1  E. Rogers = Elizabeth Rogers S. China Crk. = South China Creek 3 Kits. Church = Kitsilano Church 4 In this column: c. = contamination; avg. = average; fert. = fertility *These frequencies are based on n = 12 (the total for column 3) and not n = 43 (the total for column 2) 2  In the two remaining gardens (out of the seven whereby some or all gardeners interviewed were certain testing in the larger garden had been done), one gardener from each stated a year, and in one case, the respective coordinator (at Maple) was unsure of when soil-testing was done, whereas in the other instance, the coordinator (at Crowspoint) did not participate in the study (Table 6). An exception with regard to testing frequency was the Cottonwood garden whose coordinator reported testing having been done for the third time in the stated year, whereas all other gardens reported one instance of testing (Table 6). 49  In addition, gardeners from five of the seven community gardens mentioned above, reported on contamination results, all specifying little, no or spot contamination, as displayed in Table 11. However there was little congruence between the responses given by gardeners and coordinators regarding soil-testing results (Table 10). Moreover, at the Pine Street garden, the coordinator did not know what the soil-testing results were (Table 6), though one gardener reported little contamination (Table 11). For gardeners at 29% of the seven community gardens, results were reported for fertility as opposed to contamination (Table 10). 3.2.2 Managerial Oversight Characteristics Community garden coordinators' responded to questions about how people obtain plots at their respective gardens, and what the garden rules, services, resources and activities were. 3.2.2.1 Obtaining a Community Garden Plot As indicated in Table 12, all coordinators (representing 12 community gardens) recruited new gardeners from a wait-list, with 83% reporting the availability of plots being the sole determinant for progress on the wait-list.  Table 12: Coordinators' responses regarding key processes involved in obtaining community garden plots and wait-list counts for prospective gardeners Community garden requirements for obtaining a plot must get on wait-list move up wait list as plots become available prove one's commitment in order to move up wait-list must be from neighbourhood sign membership agreement containing rules Typical community garden wait-list counts unknown 0 – 40 40+ to 100 100+ to 200  Coordinators (n = 12) 12 100% 10 83% 2 17% 2 17% 9 75% 1 6 2 3  8% 50% 17% 25%  50  The remaining 17% reported a probationary period (as proof of one's commitment to communal duties and garden rules) to be the primary means by which gardeners moved up the wait-list. Another requirement specified by a minority of coordinators (17%) was that prospective gardeners be from the surrounding neighbourhood. Eventually, according to 75% of coordinators, (qualified) applicants had to sign a membership agreement or contract that specified garden rules (and typically included a requirement to pay annual fees).  Regarding wait-lists, 50% were reported to have no more than 40 names typically, whereas 42% had 40 to 200 names, and among the latter more than half comprised 100 to 200 names. 3.2.2.2 Garden Rules Key garden rules, as mentioned by coordinators or listed in garden membership agreements, are shown in Table 13.  Table 13: Relative frequencies for key community garden rules reported by coordinators Community garden rules organic practices only pay annual fee – range of $5 to $50 share in maintaining communal areas respect other gardeners' plots attend scheduled events plot maintenance guidelines use/store tools & equipment properly composting/trash disposal guidelines no treated wood sale of produce/harvest prohibited only flowers and ornamentals can be grown  Coordinators (n = 12) 11 92% 11 92% 10 83% 10 83% 9 75% 9 75% 7 58% 7 58% 4 33% 2 17% 1 8%  With the exception of one garden, all emphasized organic practices and therefore specified that no gardening techniques involving synthetic chemicals were allowed, including treated wood for plot boundaries, as reported by 33% of coordinators. Other common garden rules (mentioned by at least 75% of coordinators) included participation in communal work and events, as well as 51  guidelines for respecting fellow gardeners' plots and maintaining one's plot accordingly from season to season. An annual fee was also required by all but one garden and ranged from CAN $5 to $50 as shown in the raw data in Appendix E (Table 72). In addition, tool and equipment maintenance, and composting or trash disposal guidelines were mentioned by nearly 60% of coordinators. Moreover, 17% specified prohibitions against selling any harvested items, and in one coordinator's case, against growing edibles like vegetables and herbs (given the particular garden's focus on flowers and ornamental plants). 3.2.2.3 Garden Resources, Activities and Services  As expected all coordinators reported scheduled community garden activities like work events/parties and planning meetings, as indicated in Table 14.  Table 14: Relative frequencies for community garden resources, activities and services reported by coordinators Community garden resources/activities/services Activities/Resources Coordinators (n = 12) work gatherings & meetings 12 100% informal social events 7 58% workshops/master gardeners/books 7 58% online presence besides coordinator's email 5 42% Services/Resources tools/equipment 12 100% water supply 12 100% composting facility/bin(s) 10 83% compost/manure/soil/wood chips delivery 9 75% trash pick-up 7 58% seed exchanges/swaps/free seeds 7 58% elevated plots/raised beds for accessibility 7 58% plant sales 1 8% affiliation with food assistance organization(s) 1 8%  Nearly 60% of gardens also scheduled informal social events like potlucks and harvest parties, and the same proportion also offered educational workshops, the informal expertise of master 52  gardeners, or books. However, less than half also had online forums like a facebook page, google group or blog (besides the garden's email listserv).  Moreover, supplies such as light and heavy tools and equipment, and water were provided by all gardens. Soil enrichment facilities and supplies were also provided by at least 75% of all gardens, and typically in the form of on-site composting but also through arrangements with the city of Vancouver to deliver compost, soil, manure or wood chips. Nearly 60% of gardens also had waste pick-up arrangements, also usually arranged with the city. In addition, most gardens had raised beds to provide accessibility for (interested) gardeners with limited mobility, although other reasons such as avoiding contamination and aesthetics were also mentioned as shown in Appendix E (Table 73). Most gardens also held formal seed exchanges or provided free seeds, and a small minority (8% or 1 garden) held plant sales. One garden was also affiliated with a food assistance organization by providing a garden plot for cultivation. 3.3 Demographics Community gardeners and coordinators responded to questions about personal traits (mostly) unrelated to community gardening practices or experiences. 3.3.1 Community Gardeners' Demographics Table 15, presents the findings from community gardeners' surveys on age, sex, ethnicity, duration in North America and educational level.  Most community gardeners in the study (60%) were women, and most were also between ages 31 and 50 (54%), with a slightly greater proportion reporting ages 31 to 40 (28%) compared with ages 41 to 50 (26%). The most frequently reported age bracket was 31 to 40 years for men, and 41 to 50 years for women.  Regarding ethnicity, over 90% of community gardeners were of Caucasian/Western European descent, and 7% were of Asian descent (and all the latter were women). In addition, 42% of community gardeners reported never having been outside North America, whereas 37% had spent over 90% of their lives in North America, and 10%, less than 75% of their lives. In 53  Appendix F (Table 74) Europe and Asia were the two most common regions community gardeners reported having lived in for more than three months. Moreover, as shown in Appendix F (Table 75), though 35% of gardeners spoke only English, an equal proportion spoke one other language at intermediate to fluent proficiencies, and an additional 14% spoke two or more other languages at the same range of proficiencies. Also, in Appendix F (Table 76) European languages were the most common second languages as mentioned in 79% of all responses, with French being most prevalent at 43%, followed by Spanish at 25%. Asian languages were the next major category with a combined response frequency of 15% for Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese.  Table 15: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported sex, age, ethnicity, duration in North America and educational level Community gardeners' demographics Sex Age bracket 19 - 30 31 - 40 41 - 50 51 - 60 61 - 70 71 - 80 Ethnicity Asian Caucasian Skipped question Proportion of time spent in North America < 50% 50% - 75% 75%+ - 90% 90%+ - 99% 100% or whole life Highest educational level High school Some college Bachelor's degree Master's degree Ph.D  Males 17 40% n = 17  Females 26 60% n = 26  Totals 43 100% n = 43  4 7 3 2 1 -  24% 41% 18% 12% 6% 0%  4 5 8 6 2 1  15% 19% 31% 23% 8% 4%  8 12 11 8 3 1  19% 28% 26% 19% 7% 2%  16 1  0% 94% 6%  3 23 -  12% 88% 0%  3 39 1  7% 91% 2%  2 3 6 6  0% 12% 18% 35% 35%  2 2 10 12  8% 0% 8% 38% 46%  2 2 5 16 18  5% 5% 12% 37% 42%  5 5 5 2  0% 29% 29% 29% 12%  1 5 14 5 1  4% 19% 54% 19% 4%  1 10 19 10 3  2% 23% 44% 23% 7%  54  Considering education, nearly 75% of community gardeners in this study had a 4-year college degree or higher, whereas 2% had no more than a high school education. Moreover, women were the majority of those with a 4-year college degree (14 of the 19 or 74%), though for most other educational levels men and women were (almost) equally represented. In Appendix F (Table 77) the fields of education pursued by community gardeners are also listed, and the most common responses were for environmental and planning, as well as behavioural and socio-cultural fields, which together equally contributed to a total of 40% of all responses.  Moreover, in Appendix F (Table 78) the occupations reported by community gardeners are listed. The most common occupations pursued were in the arts, and in business, law and political work, for a combined total of 40% of all responses. Some community gardeners reported more than one occupation therefore in Appendix F (Table 79), the statistics are for 53 jobs. The mean reported occupational duration was 12 years and the range was 1 month to 50 years. In addition three respondents stated that they were retired.  Gardeners also reported on their household size and type, as shown in Appendix F (Table 80). A significant minority of respondents (37%) reported living alone for a mean duration of 5.5 years. Among those that did not live alone, over 75% had lived alone in the past for an average of four years (10 years ago, on average). Also, among those that did not live alone, over 80% lived with just one other person, typically a spouse as opposed to a roommate.  In addition, as presented in Figure 3, nearly 70% of respondents had a household income (if living with a spouse or individual income if not living with a spouse) of over CAN $40,000, 21% over CAN $100,000 and 12% below CAN $20,000.  55  Household Income 25%  Relative Frequencies  20%  15%  10%  5%  0% 0 - 20  21 - 40  41 - 60  61 - 80  81 - 100  > 100 Skipped Question  Annual Household Income Brackets in CAN $'000s  Figure 3: Relative frequency distribution for community gardeners' reported annual household/individual income brackets  Table 16 also present gardeners‟ postal codes and 2007 postal code median income data, in relation to their household incomes. Most community gardeners i.e. 70% had a household income greater than the 2007 median income range assigned to the postal code area they lived in, whereas 25% had a household income about the same or less.  Table 16: Relative frequencies for gardeners’ postal codes and corresponding 2007 postal code median incomes Community Gardeners' Postal Codes 2007 Postal Code Median Income ($'000s) Gardeners (n = 43) V5P, V6A 10+ - 20 3 7% V5L, V5N, V6P, V5R, V5T 20+ - 30 15 35% V5Y, V5Z, V6B, V6E, V6G, V6Z 30+ - 40 12 28% V6H, V6J, V6K 40+ - 45 13 30%  56  Table 17: Relative frequencies for gardeners’ household incomes in comparison with postal code median income data  Household Income (H. Inc) vs. Postal Code Median Income (P.C. Inc) H. Inc < P.C. Inc H. Inc ~ or = P.C. Inc H. Inc > P.C. Inc Skipped Household Income Question  Gardeners (n = 43) 7 16% 4 9% 30 70% 2 5%  3.3.2 Coordinators' Demographics Community garden coordinators' responses to demographic questions are presented in Table 18. Over 80% of the 12 coordinators that participated in the study were women, and the mean duration in their position (as coordinators) was 5.4 years (with a median of 3.5, range of 0.66 to 15 and standard deviation of 4.9 years).  Table 18: Relative frequencies for coordinators' sex and duration as coordinator Coordinator's sex males females Duration as coordinator (years) <1 1 to 5 5+ to 10 10+ to 15  2 10 1 7 2 2  Respondents n = 12 17% 83% 8% 58% 17% 17%  In addition, over 65% had been coordinators for 5 years of less, and nearly 35% had up to 15 years of experience. Regarding formal occupations shown in Appendix F (Table 84), the most common responses among coordinators were education at 31%, retirees at 23% and business at 15%. One coordinator reported more than one occupation, and some occupations were classified in more than one response category, as was the case with community gardeners' occupations. 57  3.4 Community Gardeners' & Coordinators' Practices, Motivations and Experiences Study subjects responded to a number of questions regarding their motivations for certain community gardening choices or behaviours, their experiences prior to joining their respective gardens and after joining, and their plot management/cultivation practices. 3.4.1 Past & Current (Community) Gardening/Farming Experience Community gardeners (and coordinators) responded to survey questions about their past and current (community) gardening or farming experiences. Gardeners reported whether they had gardening or farming experience prior to community gardening, and if so, the duration of their experience. They also stated the duration of their current community garden experience and reported any other gardening they were involved in concurrently. Coordinators only reported on their duration as community gardeners. 3.4.1.1 Past (Community) Gardening/Farming Experience Based on the findings in Table 19, over 80% of respondents had some gardening (rather than farming) experience prior to becoming community gardeners.  58  Table 19: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported prior gardening or farming experiences  Community gardeners Prior gardening/farming experience some none Duration of prior gardening/farming experience (years) 2 yrs or less 2+ to 10 yrs 10+ to 30 yrs 30+ to 60 yrs Prior community gardening experience some none no prior gardening/farming experience at all Duration of prior community gardening experience (years) < 1 yr 2 yrs 3.5 yrs  36 7 5 11 12 8 4 32 7 1 1 2  Respondents n = 43 84% 16% n = 36 14% 31% 33% 22% n = 43 9% 74% 16% n=4 25% 25% 50%  The mean duration of their experience was 18.3 years (with a median of 14.5, range of 0.5 to 58 and standard deviation of 15.5 years), and 55% of them had more than 10 years of experience, which typically involved home gardening in childhood and throughout adulthood. In addition, 9% of respondents had prior community gardening experience for which the mean duration was 2.4 years (and a median of 2.8, range of 0.5 to 3.5 and standard deviation of 1.4). However, 16% of respondents had no gardening or farming experience prior to their current status as community gardeners. 3.4.1.2 Current (Community) Gardening/Farming Experience As presented in Table 20, community gardeners reported a mean duration of 3.2 years (and a median of three, a range of 0.3 to 22 and a standard deviation of 3.5 years) on their current community garden plots. 59  Table 20: Relative frequencies for study subjects' community gardening durations and other gardening locations  Gardeners' duration at current plot (years) 1 yr or less 1+ to 5 yrs 5+ to 15 yrs 15+ to 25 yrs Coordinators' duration as a gardener (years) 2 yrs or less 2+ to 10 yrs 10+ to 20 yrs 20+ yrs Gardeners' other current gardening location(s) no other location home other community garden plot other  11 27 4 1 3 5 3 1 11 28 2 2  Respondents n = 43 26% 63% 9% 2% n = 12 25% 42% 25% 8% n = 43 26% 65% 5% 5%  Nearly 90% had been on their current plots for 5 years or less and 26% for less than a year. Moreover, 75% also gardened elsewhere besides their plot, mostly at home (most specified balconies, patios or building rooftops and few mentioned yards), though 5% had a community garden plot at another garden.  Among coordinators, their mean duration as community gardeners was 8 years, with a range of 10 months to 25 years (a median of four and a standard deviation of 7.7 years). Moreover, 75% had more than two years of community gardening experience in the gardens they managed. 3.4.2 Community Gardeners' Initial and Current Motivations Community gardeners were also asked to list their initial and current reasons for community gardening, in order of importance.  60  3.4.2.1 Initial Community Gardening Motivations As shown in Table 21, respondents love of gardening, being outdoors and interacting closely with plants and soil, together constituted 20% of all listed initial motivations for community gardening (and were classified as such because they express an affinity for different degrees of nature contact).  Table 21: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported initial motivations for joining community gardens Gardeners' initial community gardening motivations hobby/recreation/enjoy plants, soil, outdoors communal/social aspect no/inadequate gardening space at home grow one's own food learn/experiment/teach one's child(ren) eat fresh/local/organic/healthy/medicinal aid sustainability/biodiversity/food security save money influence of friend(s)/family/other gardeners share produce with friends/neighbours  26 20 19 14 14 11 11 7 6 2  Responses (n = 130) 20% 15% 15% 11% 11% 9% 9% 5% 5% 2%  The next most common response was a desire for communal interaction, followed closely by the lack of or inadequate gardening space at home. Other frequently mentioned motivations were food self-sufficiency; experiential learning for one or one's child(ren); consuming fresh, local, organic food or medicinal plants; and supporting environmental sustainability and food justice causes. However, saving on food costs was among the least frequently cited responses.  Regarding the priority these responses were given by community gardeners, the most common response of nature enjoyment through gardening and being outdoors, was also most frequently ranked first in importance by respondents as detailed in Appendix G (Table 85). The lack of (adequate) gardening space at home, food self-sufficiency, experiential learning and consuming healthier or medicinal produce/plants, in that order, were the next most common responses at the 61  top of respondents' lists. The most common motivation to be ranked second by respondents was communal interaction followed by nature enjoyment through gardening and being outdoors again. Moreover, communal interaction was also the most common motivation to be ranked third by respondents. 3.4.2.2 Current Community Gardening Motivations In relation to initial motivations, community gardeners reported their current motivations as shown in Table 22.  Table 22: Relative frequencies for differences/similarities between gardeners' reported initial and current community gardening motivations  Comparison between initial and current community gardening motivations different current and initial motivations same current & initial motivations  Respondents (n = 43) 25 58% 18 42%  Most respondents (58%) had different current and initial motivations in that they listed current motivations that had not previously been mentioned among their initial motivations (or listed by any other respondents in some instances) or current motivations that had been listed among their initial motivations but were re-prioritized. Table 23 and Appendix G (Table 86) detail the frequencies of newly-listed as well as re-prioritized motivations.  62  Table 23: Total relative frequencies for reported current community gardening motivations based on any changes to initial motivations  Current motivations that reflect a change in initial community gardening motivations communal/social aspect learn/experiment/teach one's child(ren) enjoy gardening, plants, soil, fresh air aid sustainability/biodiversity/food security eat fresh/local/organic/healthy/medicinal grow one's own food save money/grow what's unavailable to buy physical activity creative expression on plot stress relief no/inadequate gardening space at home grow non-food items developing gardening websites interest in Japanese gardening  8 8 5 5 4 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1  Responses (n = 44) 18% 18% 11% 11% 9% 7% 5% 5% 5% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2%  Communal interaction and experiential learning were the most common current motivations mentioned, together constituting 36% of all responses, the latter having gained substantial priority in comparison to its listing among initial motivations in Table 21. Nature enjoyment through gardening and being outdoors, which was lower in priority relative to its top position among initial motivations, and supporting environmental sustainability and food justice causes were next, each equally contributing to 22% of all responses. Consuming more nutritious food, growing one's own food and saving on food budgets were also listed, and added up to 21% of responses. However, the lack of (adequate) gardening space made up just 2% of all responses, in contrast to its prominence among initial motivations.  Moreover, based on Appendix G (Table 86), communal interaction was the most common newlylisted motivation (comprising 21% of all responses), and among the second most commonly listed re-prioritized motivations. In addition, being outdoors and enjoying nature through gardening, was among the most commonly listed re-prioritized motivations, constituting 19% of all responses. 63  3.4.3 Plot Characteristics Community gardeners were also asked about key plot characteristics i.e. size and elevation and their responses are presented below. 3.4.3.1 Plot Size Based on Table 24, over 75% of community gardeners reported approximate plot sizes less than 100 sq ft, as captured by the median of 60 sq ft, whereas the mean size/area was twice that at nearly 120 sq ft (and a standard deviation of 191).  Table 24: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' approximations of their plot sizes/areas Gardeners' approximate plot sizes/areas (sq ft) < 50 50+ to 100 100+ to 300 300+ to 500 500+ to >1000  17 16 6 2 2  Responses (n = 43) 40% 37% 14% 5% 5%  Among the minority of plots reported to have areas ranging from 100 to over 1000 sq ft, 60% were below 300 sq ft. The range of sizes was 10 to 1076 sq ft. In Appendix G (Table 87), the wide size variation is accounted for by variation among gardens. For instance Strathcona gardeners were the only ones to report any plot sizes exceeding 200 sq ft (with the minimum in that garden being 70 sq ft). In addition, Elizabeth Rogers and Pine Street gardeners together reported plot sizes between 90 and 160 sq ft, whereas Mole Hill gardeners reported sizes in the range of 10 to 22 sq ft. 3.4.3.2 Plot Elevation In addition to coordinators' aforementioned responses about raised beds and their purposes, community gardeners provided responses to similar questions as shown in Table 25.  64  Table 25: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported plot elevation status and reasons given for plot elevation Community garden plot a raised bed (> or < 1 ft)? yes, raised by gardener yes, gardener given raised plot no, not raised yes, plot was given raised & increased by gardener Community gardeners' reasons for raising beds soil/growing conditions ergonomic comfort total respondents who raised their plots (further)  15* 14 12 2* 16 1 17**  Respondents n = 43 35% 33% 28% 5% n = 17 94% 6% 100%  **this total is the sum of 15* and 2*  More than 70% of community gardeners reported having a raised bed/plot, though height definitions varied among those that specified (less than a foot to more than two feet). Nearly 50% of those with a raised bed had elevated them from ground level, while 5% increased them in height after their gardens or previous plot owners had raised them to some extent. Nearly all respondents that reported raising their plots did so to improve soil conditions, such as dampness, fertility, compaction, depth and contamination, as shown in Appendix G (Table 88). Just one respondent intended to improve ergonomic comfort while gardening. 3.4.4 Commuting to Community Gardens & Patterns of Garden Plot Visitation Community gardeners' responded to questions about their means of commute to garden plots, their level of satisfaction with the commute, and the frequency, duration and times of day typical for garden/plot visitation. 3.4.4.1 Commute to Garden Plot and Related Satisfaction Nearly 60% of respondents in Table 26 reported typically walking to their community garden plots from where they lived, whereas 30% either usually cycled or drove, and less than 10% took public transportation. However, 5% of respondents reported no typical means of commuting.  65  Table 26: Relative frequencies for community gardeners’ reported means of commute to their plots  Gardeners' usual means of commute Walk Cycle Drive Public transit No typical mode  25 7 6 3 2  Respondents (n = 43) 58% 16% 14% 7% 5%  Among alternative means of commuting, and as shown in Appendix G (Table 89), cycling and walking were the most commonly reported. Driving and then public transportation were next, the latter accounting for just 2% of all responses, in contrast to approximately 30% for each of the other alternative means.  Regarding respondents' satisfaction with the convenience of their commute, the majority (84%), based on the data in Table 27, reported being very satisfied or moderately satisfied (the former constituting a large majority of those responses). In addition, less than 20% expressed moderate or slight dissatisfaction (the latter comprising a substantial proportion of those responses).  Table 27: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' levels of satisfaction with the convenience of the commute to their plots Gardeners' levels of satisfaction with convenience of commute Respondents Respondents Satisfaction level (n = 43) Dissatisfaction Level (n = 43) very satisfied 28 65% very dissatisfied moderately satisfied 8 19% moderately dissatisfied 2 5% slightly satisfied slightly dissatisfied 5 12%  66  3.4.4.2 Patterns of Garden Plot Visitation Based on the responses displayed in Table 28, the majority of respondents (72%) gardened from the spring to the fall or winter, whereas 17% gardened (nearly) year-round, and less than 10% did so from the summer to the fall or winter.  Table 28: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported typical growing season durations and frequency of plot visitation during growing season Typical growing season duration Seasonal range spring – fall/winter winter – fall/winter summer – fall/winter all year NA (just got plot last winter – 4 months ago) Typical frequency of plot visits during growing season # of visits per week 1 or less 2 to 3 3+ to 5 5+ to 7  Respondents n = 43 31 72% 5 12% 4 9% 2 5% 1 2%  7 21 12 3  16% 49% 28% 7%  Nearly 50% reported visiting their plots two to three times a week during growing season, 35% more that thrice a week, and 16% once or less than once a week.  The mean reported duration for a typical plot visit, as shown in Table 29, was approximately 1 hour (with a median of 0.75, a range of < 0.25 to 4.5 and a standard deviation of 0.98 hours), though more than 75% of respondents stated an hour or less.  67  Table 29: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported typical plot visitation durations and times of day for visitation  Typical duration of plot visits during growing season Hours/mins. per visit 30 min or less 30 min+ to 1 hr 1+ to 2 hrs >2 hrs Typical time of day for plot visit during growing season Duration/Time of day any time of day early to mid morning morning to early afternoon late morning to late afternoon/evening late afternoon/evening/night  Respondents n = 43 16 37% 17 40% 4 9% 6 14%  4 5 1 9 24  9% 12% 2% 21% 56%  In addition, most community gardeners (56%) said they usually went to their plots in the late afternoon or evening, primarily due to their work schedules, although 35% reported typically going some time in the middle of the day. 3.4.5 Crops Grown, Motivations for Crop Selection & Harvest Use Community gardeners gave responses to questions about what crops they grew on their plots both typically and occasionally, why they grew what they did, and what they usually did with their harvest.  68  3.4.5.1 Crops Grown Based on Figure 4, vegetables were by far the predominant type of crop grown by community gardeners in this study, as they constituted on average nearly 75% of all crops grown on their plots.  Crop Percentages Mean percentage for all garden plots  80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% vegetables  herbs  fruits  flow ers  other  Crop Category  Figure 4: Mean percentages for each crop category as derived from reported relative crop percentages on each community gardener's plot  Flowers, fruits and herbs, in that order, each constituted between 15% and 20%, and others such as shrubs, less than 10%. In addition in Appendix G (Table 90), the most prevalently mentioned varieties of vegetables typically grown were leafy ones like lettuce, kale and Swiss chard (30%); followed by fruiting vegetables like tomatoes, squashes and peppers (20%); bulb vegetables like chives, garlic and onions (16%); root vegetables like potatoes, beets and carrots (16%); and pod vegetables like beans and peas (12%). Among typically cultivated herbs, oregano, thyme, basil, sage and parsley were the most common, whereas berries were the overwhelming majority among fruits, specifically strawberries and raspberries. Lastly, the most frequently mentioned among flowers grown typically, were nasturtiums, calendula, roses and poppies. 69  For the less frequently grown crops presented in Appendix G (Table 91), fruiting vegetables, root vegetables and leafy vegetables, in that order, were the most commonly mentioned. Moreover, similarities between crops grown during respondents' prior gardening or farming experiences, occurred most frequently for leafy, pod and fruiting vegetables, as shown also in Appendix G (Table 92). 3.4.5.2 Motivations for Crop Selection Community gardeners were also asked about their reasons for choosing the crops they grew on their plots and as shown in Table 30, culinary tastes and dietary preferences were the most frequently stated reasons (nearly 20% of all responses), followed by the level of work required in cultivating a crop – the preference being for as little work as possible (13%), and experimenting with different crops in order to increase one's knowledge (11%).  Table 30: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported reasons for growing the crops they do (in)frequently on their plots Community gardeners' motivations for crop selection culinary/dietary ease of cultivation experimentation/learning financial ease/no purchase inconvenience access to fresh/organic/nutritious/medicinal aesthetic tastes (flowers) sustainability/biodiversity ease of availability/found on plot/grows on its own familiarity/prior experience plot space management/efficiency local climate suitability pest control high yield theft avoidance hardy/durable varieties share produce/seed with others convenience of transporting produce  Responses (n = 173) 31 18% 22 13% 19 11% 16 9% 16 9% 13 8% 8 5% 8 5% 7 4% 6 3% 6 3% 5 3% 5 3% 4 2% 3 2% 3 2% 1 1%  70  Other less common responses included financial ease, access to healthier food, promoting biodiversity (by encouraging bees, and other animals), familiarity with growing certain crops, pest control and theft avoidance. Moreover, plants or seed(lings) being given or donated to respondents, being found on one's plot or growing without having been planted, constituted 5% of all responses. 3.4.5.3 Harvest Use Regarding how community gardeners used the crops they harvested, in Appendix G (Table 93), the minority (23%) consumed them within their household only, whereas nearly 75% shared them with fellow community gardeners, neighbours, friends or family. In addition, one respondent reported donating some to charity. 3.4.6 Gardening Philosophies & Practices Community gardeners described their guiding principles with regard to proper community gardening practices, and responded to questions about what they typically did in practice. A focus on organic versus non-organic methods is the main approach taken in considering their responses. 3.4.6.1 Guiding Philosophies Community gardeners‟ key response categories (derived during the process of content analysis) regarding the philosophies they relied on to guide and inform their community gardening practices, are presented in Table 31 and detailed in Appendix G (Table 94).  71  Table 31: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported guiding philosophies with respect to community gardening practices Response categories for philosophies guiding gardening practices environmentalist approach building community value of food nature enjoyment & well-being best practices in plot management skill development/experimentation/books garden rules garden aesthetics & maintaining quiet space  Responses (n = 144) 48 33% 24 16% 24 16% 18 12% 14 10% 11 7% 3 2% 2 1%  One third of all responses were based on promoting environmental sustainability and biodiversity, and thus utilizing only or primarily organic methods for soil enrichment, controlling undesirables (like pests) and waste management. Nevertheless, two respondents stated that they had sometimes used synthetic chemical additives on their plots. Building community and the value of food were the next most common responses, together comprising nearly one third of all responses. The former indicated community gardeners' intentions to engage positively with each other, whereas the latter referred to preserving access to fresh, organic food, and enhancing selfsufficiency. Nature enjoyment (meaning connecting to the earth or nature for one's well-being) was the next most common response, comprising 12% of all responses. In addition, a general respect for the privilege of having a plot, maximizing plot space efficiency, enhancing plot aesthetics and soil care, combined with developing one's gardening skills through expert sources and continuous experiential learning, constituted one sixth of all responses. Lastly, an adherence to garden rules as well as preserving garden aesthetics and an ambiance of quiet space, were the least prevalent responses, and together constituted less than 5% of all responses. 3.4.6.2 Gardening Techniques/Practices – Soil Enrichment, Weed, Pest & Disease Control & Waste Disposal Community gardeners also described the gardening techniques they typically used to add nutrients to soil and to control undesirables like weeds, pests and disease. 72  3.4.6.2.1 Soil Enrichment Methods The reported use of decayed or undecayed plant material, new soil, animal and kitchen waste (solid and liquid), all generally understood to be safe substitutes for chemical additives, was highly prevalent i.e. at least 80% of responses, as displayed in Table 32.  Table 32: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported soil enrichment methods Soil enrichment methods compost undecayed plant material new soil animal waste organic fertilizer/soil salts, ash, lime crop rotation/weeding/tilling compost/comfrey teas or urine chemical fertilizer/additive kitchen waste inoculants (bacteria/fungi)  44 18 13 12 10 6 6 5 4 3 1  Responses (n = 122) 36% 15% 11% 10% 8% 5% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1%  In addition, 8% of all responses specified the use of organic additives. Other alternatives commonly deemed to be safe such as the use of salts, ash, lime and inoculants, comprised 6% of all responses, whereas non-additive methods (those not involving the use of any (non-)organic substances) like crop rotation and tilling accounted for 5%. However, 3% of responses did specify the use of (synthetic) chemical agents. 3.4.6.2.2 Weed Control Methods For weed prevention or control, as displayed in Table 33, virtually all responses stated organic practices, and most responses described non-additive methods, the most frequent of which was manually pulling out weeds, accounting for nearly 80% of all responses.  73  Table 33: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported weed prevention and control methods Weed prevention/control methods manually pull out add soil from city/mulch plant densely/grow red clover keep away sun/avoid garden compost rake soil/raise soil profile no weeds  41 3 3 2 2 1  Responses (n = 52) 79% 6% 6% 4% 4% 2%  Other less frequently reported non-additive methods included planting techniques, avoidance strategies, and soil enhancement, each comprising approximately 5% of all responses. Adding soil or mulch was the only additive technique reported and comprised 6% of responses. Only one respondent reported having no weeds. 3.4.6.2.3 Pest Control Methods For pest control techniques, Table 34 presents community gardeners' responses, whereas in Appendix G (Table 95) their responses for pests found and crops targeted crops are displayed.  74  Table 34: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported pest prevention and control methods Pest prevention/control methods manually/mechanically remove/kill 21 deterrents/companions/beneficials 16 no methods used 9 eggshells/copper/coffee grounds/diatomaceous earth/spices 9 vinegar/organic spray/soapy water/beer/bacteria 8 rotate crops/mix plant heights/space plants/cover plant/harvest earlier 5 chemical spray/slug pellets/non-toxic* slug bait/rat poison 4 avoid certain crops 3 clean plot/regular maintenance 3 water less 2  Responses (n = 80) 26% 20% 11% 11% 10% 6% 5% 4% 4% 3%  *non-toxic refers to slug bait that does not contain metaldehydes, as reported by one respondent  Slugs and aphids comprised 50% of all pests mentioned by respondents, whereas other insects (besides aphids), rodents, mammals, birds, flies, moths, and worms, combined, comprised 42% of all responses. Some responses (7%) indicated a lack of certainty regarding what pests crops had been affected by, and only one reported not having pests. Leafy crops and leaves in general accounted for 42% of all crops reported to have been targeted, whereas root, pod, fruiting and inflorescent vegetables, together constituted 28%. In addition, slightly more than 10% of responses reported the indiscriminate targeting of crops by pests.  For methods used to prevent and control pests, non-additive techniques were the most frequently cited, at 63% of all responses. Manual removal, and the use of deterrent plants accounted for more than half of these techniques, whereas crop selection and placement techniques, avoiding certain crops, regular plot maintenance, and watering less comprised less than half. The use of additives, on the other hand, comprised 26% of all responses and among them, the use of (synthetic) chemicals constituted 5% of all responses. The variety of non-chemical agents included eggshells, coffee, spices, vinegar, soapy water and beer, among others. In addition, no methods were used by some gardeners (11% of all responses). 75  3.4.6.2.4 Disease Control Methods Community gardeners' responses for disease control techniques are presented Table 35, whereas those for diseases found and crops affected are in Appendix G (Table 96).  Table 35: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported disease prevention Disease prevention/control methods prune/thin/remove plants/discard away from compost no methods used crop rotation/dense, sparse or diverse planting/avoid growing cover plants/no over-watering/elevate leaves/straw on ground harvest earlier/avoid decomposition augment soil/add sand to clayey soil perhaps avoid growing/soil enrichment/cornmeal/unsure milk and water  19 11 9 8 4 3 3 2  Responses (n = 59) 32% 19% 15% 14% 7% 5% 5% 3%  Among diseases or conditions reported to have affected respondents' crops, fungal infestations were predominant at 64% of all responses. Others such as low soil quality, club root, wilting, and split fruit, comprised a total of 16% of all responses, whereas a larger proportion of responses (21%) were for those who had found no (evidence for) diseases or conditions.  Over 50% of affected crops mentioned were fruiting vegetables (like tomatoes) and combined with bulb vegetables (like onions), the latter being the second most affected type of crop, comprised nearly 70% of responses. In addition, leafy vegetables, root vegetables and fruits almost equally contributed to a total of 22% of responses.  Non-additive techniques, for preventing or controlling diseases comprised 68% of all responses, whereas additive techniques (augmenting soil and adding diluted milk) comprised 8% and were all organic in their use of non-chemical agents. Some responses (5%) also expressed the uncertainty of community gardeners regarding the effectiveness of certain techniques or their willingness to try the techniques. In addition, nearly 20% of responses stated that no methods had been employed to prevent or control diseases or conditions. 76  3.4.6.2.5 Waste Disposal Methods Table 36 presents community gardeners' responses for the waste disposal methods they typically used.  Table 36: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported waste disposal methods Waste disposal methods Plant biodegradables garden compost garden debris pile (for non-compostables) city pickup mulch/dig into soil regular garden or park trash can/take home Other trash (plastic, metal, glass) take home regular garden or park trash can recycle  32 10 7 5 3 21 14 13  Responses n = 57 56% 18% 12% 9% 5% n = 48 44% 29% 27%  Responses reflecting on-site disposal of biodegradable waste garden waste were the substantial majority at 83%, whereas the remainder (17%) were for off-site disposal mainly accounted for by the city's reported pick-up service. Composting was the predominant disposal technique reported overall (56%), and in combination with mulching (the other plant material recycling method) comprised 65% of all responses. However, for the garden debris pile, city pick-up service and disposal at respondents' homes, which together comprised 35% of the remaining responses, it was unclear what was done with the waste.  For non-biodegradable wastes, recycling (on-site) was the least prevalent response at 27%, in comparison to disposal at respondents' homes which accounted for 44% of all responses and using the garden trash can at 29% (the former again being an unknown with regard to the disposal method).  77  3.4.7 Gardening Supply Sources Community gardeners also responded to questions about the sources and quality of supplies they used for gardening. 3.4.7.1 Seed(ling) Sources, Related Motivations & Use of Organic Varieties Table 37 presents their responses for where they typically obtained seed(ling)s, and in Appendix G (Table 97) are their responses for reasons behind obtaining seeds from their stated sources and whether or not their seeds were organic.  Table 37: Relative frequencies for community gardeners’ reported seed sources Seed(ling) sources bought seed given free by others/organizations saved seed swapped seed found at garden/on plot collected seed  Response frequency (n = 94) 39 41% 24 26% 14 15% 12 13% 3 3% 2 2%  The main sources reported for seed(ling)s were (garden) stores, which accounted for 41% of responses, whereas other sources (59%) comprised non-purchase options, most prevalent among them being seed donations from fellow gardeners or organizations (26% of responses). In addition, saving, finding and collecting seeds comprised 20% of all responses, whereas swapping seed informally with fellow gardeners or at formal seed exchanges comprised 13%.  Moreover, 68% of stated reasons why respondents got seeds from their reported sources were a preference for purchased seed from a particular store specializing in local, organic and heirloom seed varieties, and which was also said to offer good quality seeds and good information about seeds. A preference for seed swaps as enjoyable social events and for saved seeds at swaps over new, sterilized/rogued seed, accounted for a small minority of responses (3%) as did the appeal 78  of inexpensive seed. In addition, contrary to the response that saved seed were better than new seed was the response that new seed were better than saved seed. There was also one response for the influence of a friend's recommendation to a store where he/she worked.  Regarding whether seeds were organic or not, nearly one third of responses indicated a lack of certainty about some or all seeds. On the other hand, 38% of responses expressed certainty that most or all respondents' seeds were organic, and 30% that some or a few were. 3.4.7.2 Tool/Equipment & Water Sources Community gardeners also gave responses to questions about the sources of their tools and equipment as shown in Table 38, and about their level of satisfaction with the available tools in Appendix G (Table 99).  Table 38: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported tool, equipment and water sources Tool & equipment sources rely more on garden tools rely more on personal tools rely on garden & personal tools about equally rely only on personal tools rely only on garden tools other complementary sources (affiliated organizations) Water sources gardeners using city water on site  16 8 7 6 6 2 43  Responses n = 45 36% 18% 16% 13% 13% 4% n = 43 100%  Approximately 50% of responses indicated a reliance mostly or entirely on garden tools, 31% of responses mostly or entirely on personal tools, and 16% fairly equally on both personal and garden tools. A minority of responses (4%) mentioned alternative sources, i.e. organizations affiliated with some gardens.  79  Regarding gardeners' levels of satisfaction with the tools and equipment they typically used, the vast majority of those with personal tools, expressed complete satisfaction, except for one response mentioning a preference for more tools. Among those using garden tools, 65% of responses indicated full satisfaction, whereas the need for more and better maintained tools constituted the remaining 35% of responses.  For water supplies at community gardens, all respondents stated that their only source on-site was city-supplied water. 3.4.8 Social Interaction/Participation Among Gardeners Community gardeners also gave responses to questions about their levels of interaction with fellow gardeners. Table 39 displays their responses regarding shared work on their plots.  Table 39: Relative frequencies for the extents to which community gardeners' report working on their plots alone  Garden alone on plot sometimes mostly always  Respondents (n = 43) 12 28% 16 37% 15 35%  Over 70% of respondents gardened alone on their plots most of the time or always. The minority gardened with a family member at least sometimes, or shared a plot with another community gardener (the former being more common). In addition, based on Table 40, 90% of respondents had attended at least half of their gardens' scheduled work parties (garden events involving communal work), whereas 64% had attended at least half the scheduled garden meetings.  80  Table 40: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported levels of attendance at scheduled garden work parties and meetings  Work parties attended >50% ~50% <50% Meetings attended >50% <50% ~50%  Respondents (n = 42)* 30 71% 8 19% 4 10% 19 15 8  45% 36% 19%  *One respondent out of 43 was not contacted to clarify previous responses after requesting no further contact subsequent to the interview  Besides email communication by coordinators, nearly 50% of respondents also reported an online presence for the garden in form of a website or discussion forum which they knew about or participated in, as shown in Appendix G (Table 100).  Regarding one-on-one scheduled interaction between gardeners at and away from the garden, most respondents, as shown in Table 41, had never made arrangements with another gardener to meet and work at the garden (86% , not including those with plot partners), or socialized with fellow gardeners away from the garden on their own time (58%). However, more than twice the number of respondents reported having done the latter than the former.  Table 41: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported planned socializing at the garden and away from the garden with fellow gardeners Arranged to meet fellow gardeners at garden never yes* Arranged to socialize with fellow gardeners off-garden never yes, fellow gardeners I got to know at the garden yes, fellow gardeners who I knew before joining the garden  Respondents (n = 43) 37 86% 6 14% 25 14 4  58% 33% 9%  *excludes those who knew the fellow gardener(s) before joining the garden, and those who had plot partners  81  As presented in Appendix G (Table 101), one third of respondents also reported an affiliation with a gardening-related organization, such as membership at another garden (without being a gardener), or involvement with a(n) horticultural, environmental, urban farming or food security organization. 3.4.9 Neighbourhood Contexts Community gardeners and coordinators commented on their respective gardens in relation to the physical and social aspects of the neighbourhoods their gardens are situated in. Table 42 presents their response categories for the physical aspects. In addition, Appendix G (Table 102) presents more detailed results of the content analysis used to generate themes from respondents' qualitative responses. Social aspects comprised a larger proportion of all responses for both gardeners and coordinators (67% and 75%, respectively), and given the larger number of respondents that were gardeners as opposed to coordinators (43 versus 12, respectively) the latter had a larger number of responses for both physical and social aspects.  Table 42: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' and coordinators' perceptions of the physical aspects of their respective community gardens in relation to surrounding neighbourhoods Response categories for gardeners' views on the physical aspects of gardens in relation to neighbourhoods environmental impacts & use of space aesthetics land availability/tenure & relevant authorities location, visibility & size real estate Total for physical aspects Gardeners' grand total for physical & social aspects  Responses Count n = 228 n = 75 29 13% 39% 22 10% 29% 13 6% 17% 6 3% 8% 5 2% 7% 75 33% 100% 228 100%  Response categories for coordinators' views on the physical aspects of gardens in relation to neighbourhoods aesthetics environmental impacts & use of space location, visibility & size land availability/tenure & relevant authorities real estate Total for physical aspects Coordinators' grand total for physical & social aspects  Responses Count n = 61 n = 16 8 13% 50% 3 5% 19% 2 3% 13% 2 3% 13% 1 2% 6% 16 26% 100% 61 100%  82  Regarding physical aspects, among gardeners, environmental impacts comprised the largest proportion of responses (39%) followed by aesthetics (29%), but for coordinators, the latter led the former by a considerable margin (50% compared to 19% of responses, respectively) Both response categories contained only positive remarks i.e. about community gardens being a good use of green space, as well as contributing to biodiversity and environmental education, and about the gardens beautifying neighbourhoods, even when rustic, and as a result, drawing people to them. Land availability was also higher in frequency of responses for gardeners' than garden location, size and visibility, whereas for coordinators it was the reverse. For the former, responses mainly expressed a desire for more community garden space in the city, but also consisted of one respondent's concern about land tenure, given that the owner of the land the particular community garden was situated on could reclaim its use at any time. Regarding location, size and visibility, gardens were described as large or small, and highly visible or not. For visibility some respondents preferred more (foot) traffic and other less, therefore higher visibility was preferred by some and not others. The real estate response category had the least number of responses for both gardeners and coordinators, and included views that community gardens increased area real estate values, and that no tall buildings should be built in the surrounding neighbourhood in order to preserve a less urbanized open space and access to sunlight. Table 43 presents gardeners‟ and coordinators‟ response categories for the social aspects of the neighbourhoods their gardens are situated in, and Appendix G (Table 104) presents more detailed results of the content analysis used to generate themes from respondents' qualitative responses.  83  Table 43: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' and coordinators' perceptions of the social aspects of their respective community gardens in relation to the surrounding neighbourhoods  Response categories for gardeners' views on the social aspects of gardens in relation to neighbourhoods public safety informal community-building reactions/responses to garden neighbourhood social, economic & ethnic traits health formal community-building food security Total for social aspects Gardeners' grand total for physical & social aspects  Count 52 48 15 14 9 8 7 153 228  Responses n = 228 n = 153 23% 34% 21% 31% 7% 10% 6% 9% 4% 6% 4% 5% 3% 5% 67% 100% 100%  Response categories for coordinators' views on the social aspects of gardens in relation to neighbourhoods informal community-building public safety reactions/responses to garden health neighbourhood socioeconomic & ethnic traits formal community-building Total for social aspects Coordinators' grand total for physical & social aspects  Responses Count n = 61 n = 45 19 31% 42% 12 20% 27% 7 11% 16% 3 5% 7% 2 3% 4% 2 3% 4% 45 74% 100% 61 100%  Regarding social aspects as viewed by gardeners, the category of public safety had the highest number of responses (34%), followed by informal community-building (31%), whereas for coordinators, the latter led by a greater margin (42% compared with 27% of responses, respectively). Public safety concerns overwhelmingly characterized the responses of gardeners, though less so for coordinators. The use of garden spaces (particularly in larger gardens) for sex and drug-trafficking and homeless makeshift-sheltering, as well as fairly high rates of theft, some vandalism, and a lot of hazardous litter for the aforementioned illicit activities were described by a number of respondents. Some respondents explored the reasons for gardens' public safety vulnerabilities and described garden shed locations; the absence or presence of large trees, shrubbery or fences; and most prominently, the neighbourhoods that gardens were located in. 84  Some respondents did however mention that gardens had the effect of moderating crime in neighbourhoods. In addition, some gardeners expressed discontent at what they deemed the hostile attitudes of fellow gardeners towards homelessness and drug addiction, and specifically fellow gardeners' reactions towards visitors who appeared unkempt, mentally unstable or of certain ethnic backgrounds.  In contrast to public safety, the response category of informal community-building comprised responses about how community gardens were increasing social capital among gardeners (who were often also neighbours) and between gardeners and non-gardeners (the latter including neighbours and visitors). Gardens were described as focal points for social and communal interaction for people of different ages, physical abilities and ethno-cultural backgrounds. However, some concerns were expressed about language barriers among gardeners, and the aforementioned lack of greater visibility for some gardens which decreased opportunities for communal interaction.  For both gardeners and coordinators, the category of reactions and responses to gardens, followed the first two discussed above in the prevalence of responses. Passersby and neighbours typically praised gardeners‟ efforts, and the latter sometimes offered considerable support in the form of labour or donated resources. Some complaints had however been made at a few gardens, about the messy/rustic appearance, noise during garden construction, and the loss of previous park space.  Among gardeners, neighbourhood (social, economic and ethnic) traits together comprised the next most prominent response category followed by health, whereas for coordinators the latter preceded the former. The few neighbourhood traits mentioned typically characterized them as more or less suitable for a community garden based on sociability, and therefore either benefiting from the garden in terms of greater social interaction (in one instance Vancouver was classified as not particularly sociable and therefore benefiting), or fitting the “disposition” of a community garden based on being a sociable, creative or artistic neighbourhood. In addition, in a handful of responses, neighbourhoods were generally described as low to mixed income and more or less ethno-culturally diverse, whereas gardeners were typically perceived not to match 85  neighbourhood traits because they were described as higher income and not highly representative of community garden neighbourhoods, in terms of ethno-cultural traits.  Regarding health, the nutritional benefits to neighbourhoods of growing vegetables were mentioned, as well as the physical (activity), social and mental health benefits. However, the problem of rat infestation at one garden's composting facility was also mentioned, as well as the possibility of soil contamination as a public health concern at the same garden (situated on park land).  The next most prevalent response category and the last one common to both gardeners and coordinators was formal community-building. Community gardens were primarily described as serving community needs by physically expanding or already having gathering places for social events or activities. Moreover, it was noted in one response that a separate community garden initiative had been inspired by the existence of the garden the respondent belonged to. In one instance however, the frustration with having no communal and all individual plots was expressed, in addition to the lack of openness perceived in putting up warnings against theft of produce (the idea, according to the respondent, being that community members should be able to benefit freely in terms of nutrition, from the “community” garden). In addition, some responses described the connections community gardens had with other (social service and environmental) organizations by providing plots to them, sharing land with them or receiving support from them.  The final response category that only gardeners' responses were classified under was that of food security. The few responses in this category were mixed in terms of the (extent of) the contribution of community gardens to food security. Specific reasons for stating that gardens are not significant in this regard, were the typically higher income status of community gardeners (at a particular garden), and the considerable investment costs that go towards gardening supplies, in contrast to the low yields, owing to small plot sizes. On the other hand, growing fresh food, and consequently reducing food costs related to healthier food, as well as food donations made by some community gardeners (at a particular garden) for the neighbourhood's socio-economically disadvantaged, were cited as evidence for a contribution to food security (though it remained unclear to what extent). 86  3.4.10 Theft Community gardeners and coordinators were also asked about the extent of theft occurrence at their gardens. As shown in Table 44, 75% of coordinators and 63% of gardeners rated the frequency of theft at their gardens as moderate to high (based on personal experience and especially fellow gardeners' complaints). However, on gardeners' plots, 40% had never experienced theft, 30% had experienced it rarely, and 30% at moderate to high frequency.  Table 44: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' and coordinators' perceived rates of theft occurrence at the garden and on community gardeners’ individual plots Frequency or rate of occurrence never low moderate high  Theft at Garden Coordinators Gardeners n = 12 n = 43 9* 21% 3 25% 7 16% 6 50% 17 40% 3 25% 10 23%  Theft on Plot Gardeners n = 43 17* 40% 13 30% 9 21% 4 9%  *Seven gardeners had never heard of theft at their gardens or experienced it on their plots  In addition, based on the findings in Table 45, theft was reported more frequently (nearly 90% of responses) than vandalism, and theft of harvest was reported most frequently (61%) followed by that of tools and equipment (25%). For vandalism, the destruction of plants was the most frequently mentioned (50% of responses).  87  Table 45: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reports of the types of theft and vandalism occurring at their respective gardens and on their plots  Theft harvest (vegetables/fruits/flowers) tools & equipment whole plants/shrubs compost other (gardener's bag) Theft Total Vandalism plants trampled/destroyed water left running shed break-ins (for theft) graffiti Vandalism Total Theft & Vandalism Total  Responses Count n = 65 n = 57 35 54% 61% 14 22% 25% 6 9% 11% 1 2% 2% 1 2% 2% 57 88% 100% Count n = 65 n = 8 4 6% 50% 2 3% 25% 1 2% 12.5% 1 2% 12.5% 8 12% 100% 65 100%  Moreover, as presented in Appendix G (Table 106) though most theft and vandalism was attributed to outsiders, theft of harvest and tools or equipment was suspected among or attributed to other gardeners by six respondents (14% of community gardeners, and another two mentioned gardeners not returning or misplacing tools). In addition, five other respondents (12% of community gardeners) thought it possible that animals such as rodents, may possibly have been responsible for some of the “theft” or destruction of plants. 3.4.11 Improvements Desired & Future Plans Community gardeners were asked to describe improvements they would like to see or bring about in their community gardening experiences. Their qualitative responses (developed into themes during content analysis) are displayed in Appendix G (Table 107). Overall, brief responses were given to this question. The most frequently mentioned desired improvements were an increase in social events at the garden, which comprised 25% of all responses. Second, were improvements in garden facilities, supplies and or services, such as soil, tools and water, and third were garden oversight and operations, which together (almost equally contributed to) 88  nearly one third of all responses. Other improvements sought were an increase in community garden or plot sizes and numbers; reduced threats from illicit activity, such as used needles and theft; better knowledge transfer between more and less experienced gardeners; and less hostility towards drug addiction and what most understood to be theft.  In addition, coordinators described improvements they would like to see in the support they receive, as presented in Appendix G (Table 108). Approximately 20% of responses were expressions of satisfaction with the levels of support already received, whereas 50% were for improved participation levels among gardeners. The remaining responses addressed the city's desired role in providing or increasing support and included more funding, faster responses to queries, long-term compost delivery (as opposed to only at a garden‟s inception), and the creation of an online coordinators' resource base.  Community gardeners were also asked about any future plans they had, if different from what they were already doing, as shown in Appendix G (Table 109). More than 50% expressed the intent to try new crops such as winter-hardy ones or new gardening methods like mulching and saving seeds. Responses for different ways of increasing yield were also common, and included higher space use efficiency, and increased gardening space at and away from the garden. Other plans mentioned were to develop new skills or knowledge in such areas as bee-keeping and medicinal plants, and to increase personal participation beyond tending to one's plot.  89  3.5 Community Gardeners’ Health-related Status and Perceived Health-related Effects of Community Gardening Respondents also described various aspects of their health status and health-related behaviours (that were unrelated to gardening), which provided some background to their responses regarding health effects experienced as a result of community gardening. 3.5.1 Health Status Community gardeners and coordinators responded to survey questions about their physical and psychological health status and related practices. 3.5.1.1 Chronic Medical Conditions Community gardeners‟ responses about any chronic conditions they had and how long they had been living with them are presented in Table 46.  Table 46: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported chronic medical conditions  Chronic conditions per respondent Respondents (n = 43) none 31 72% one 9 21% two 3 7%  Over 70% of respondents reported no chronic medical conditions, whereas the rest (nearly 30%) reported at least one condition and among them, a minority had more than one condition. In Appendix H (Table 110) a list of the chronic conditions reported is displayed. A total of 13 different conditions were reported by 12 community gardeners, and the most commonly reported conditions were asthma and ulcerative colitis, which together accounted for 26% of all responses. All other conditions were mentioned once each and among them were cancer, depression, arthritis, fibromyalgia, lyme disease, a heart condition, glaucoma, migraines and car crash injuries. 90  In addition, responses to the durations of these conditions are presented in Appendix H (Table 111). The range of durations was three to 60 years, and the mean and median were 18 years. Moreover, 57% stated a duration of over 15 years, whereas 43% reported 15 years or less. 3.5.1.2 Physical Activity Community gardeners also reported their levels and types of regular physical activity, as shown in Table 47.  Table 47: Relative frequencies for community gardeners’ reported durations of physical activity per week Estimated duration for physical activity Time (hrs/week) Respondents (n = 43) up to 5 13 30% 5+ to 10 19 44% 10+ to 15 10 23% > 15 1 2%  The mean and median estimated weekly durations for physical activity were eight hours, with a range of one to 23 hours (and a standard deviation of 4.6). Approximately 70% of respondents estimated more than five hours a week of physical activity, whereas 25% estimated 15 hours or more per week.  The variety of activities (14) mentioned by respondents are listed in Appendix H (Table 112), and the most prevalent were walking, cycling, running, winter-related sports, hiking, going to the gym and yoga. Moreover, nearly half of all respondents reported doing three or more activities regularly.  91  3.5.1.3 Duration Outdoors During Warmer and Cooler Months Respondents were also asked to report on the extent of time spent outdoors during both warmer and cooler months, as an estimation of the extent to which they had general or intimate nature contact. Table 48 present their responses.  Table 48: Relative frequencies for weekly durations outdoors during warmer and cooler months as reported by community gardeners Estimated time spent outdoors during warmer months Time (hrs/week) Respondents (n = 43) up to 10 11 26% 10+ to 20 15 35% 20+ to 30 9 21% 30+ to 40 6 14% > 40 2 5% Estimated time spent outdoors during cooler months up to 5 14 33% 5+ to 10 18 42% 10+ to 20 10 23% > 20 1 2%  The mean reported time spent outdoors on a weekly basis during the warmer months was more than twice that in the cooler months (21 versus eight hours, respectively). Over 80% of respondents estimated up to 30 hours a week outdoors during the warmer months, whereas 75% estimated up to one third of that during the cooler months. Moreover, the range of durations in the warmer months was 2.5 to 50 hours a week (with a median of 20 and a standard deviation of 11.7) and in the cooler months was one to 25 hours a week (with a median of seven and a standard deviation of 5.2).  92  3.5.1.4 Gardeners' Occupational and Non-occupational Stress Community gardeners also provided responses about their levels of occupational stress as shown in Table 49.  Table 49: Relative frequencies for occupational stress levels reported by community gardeners Occupational stress levels none slight between slight & moderate moderate between moderate & significant significant  3 9 4 18 5 12  Responses (n = 51) 6% 18% 8% 35% 10% 24%  Among the 51 occupations listed by respondents (some had two jobs), nearly 70% were described as being in the range of moderate to significant stress, whereas 26% were in the range of slight to just-below-moderate, and the remainder reported no occupational stress.  In addition to occupational stress, community gardeners were asked about non-occupational stress sources and levels, and their responses are displayed in Table 50.  Table 50: Relative frequencies for non-occupational stress levels reported by community gardeners  Stress levels relationships none 16 37% slight 9 21% 2 between slight & mod. 14 33% moderate between mod. & signif.3 significant 4 9% 1  Respondents (n = 43) finances health education pers.1 security 18 42% 22 51% 35 81% 40 93% 6 14% 10 23% 2 5% 2 5% 5 12% 10 23% 6 14% 1 2% 5 12% 9 21% 1 2%  pers. security = personal security; 2 mod. = moderate; 3 signif. = significant  93  Significant stress was reported for finances, relationships and education, with the highest proportion or 21% of respondents citing finances, then 9% relationships, and just one respondent mentioning education. However, in the moderate to significant range, all stress sources were represented, and the highest proportion was for finances again, at 44% of respondents followed by health at 26%. On the other hand, for those reporting no stress, personal security had the highest proportion at 93%, followed by education at 81%, and health at 51%. In the slight to justbelow-moderate range, relationships had the highest proportion of respondents at 54%, followed by health at 23% and education at 17%.  Though finances were more substantially represented in the moderate to significant range than other sources of stress, 42% of respondents reported no financial stress and an additional 14% reported just slight financial stress, for a total of 56%. 3.5.1.5 Coordinators' Stress and Satisfaction Levels Coordinators were also asked to rate the levels of stress and satisfaction they experienced in their roles at their respective gardens. Based on the results in Table 51, no coordinators reported significant stress in relation to their roles, and one reported no stress at all.  Table 51: Relative frequencies for stress & satisfaction levels reported by coordinators with regard to their roles Coordinators & garden oversight Stress levels Respondents (n = 12) none 1 8% slight 4 33% between slight & moderate 2 17% moderate 5 42% Satisfaction levels slight 2 17% moderate 1 8% significant 9 75%  94  In addition 50% reported stress in the range of slight to just-below-moderate, whereas 42% reported moderate stress. Moreover, 83% reported moderate to significant satisfaction in performing their roles, and the rest reported slight satisfaction. 3.5.2 Perceived Health Effects of Community Gardening Community gardeners were asked an array of questions about whether and how their community gardening experiences had affected various aspects of their health and well-being. Various types of physical and psychological health effects, as well as effects on certain determinants of health i.e. financial and social well-being, were investigated. 3.5.2.1 Psychological Health Effects of Community Gardening Community gardeners described the effects of community gardening on their mental abilities and emotional state/well-being, both key aspects of psychological health, or what is commonly referred to as mental health. 3.5.2.1.1 Mental Abilities Most respondents (58%) reported no change in their mental abilities, as shown in Table 52, though 40% reported an improvement. Among the latter, 65% rated the improvement in the range of moderate to significant.  95  Table 52: Relative frequencies for the reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' mental abilities Effect on mental abilities no change improved unsure Level of improvement in mental abilities slight between slight & moderate moderate between moderate & significant significant total gardeners reporting improved mental abilities  25 17 1 5 1 3 1 7 17  Respondents n = 43 58% 40% 2% n = 17 29% 6% 18% 6% 41% 100%  In addition, based on Appendix H (Table 113), 82% experienced an improvement in their mental abilities at and after leaving the garden. The improvement was described largely in terms of focus/alertness and reduced mental fatigue, both nearly equally contributing to 68% of all responses. Greater introspection and improved learning or memorization, were the other two less prevalent response categories.  The most commonly perceived causes for these improvements were the simple, varied and repetitive tasks involved in gardening, which amounted to 23% of all responses. However, being outdoors in general, as well as nurturing plants and touching soil, when combined as different levels of nature contact, equally contributed to 38% of all responses. Other less prevalent perceived causes included socializing with fellow community gardeners, being in a quiet space or alone at the garden, and the slower pace of activity at the garden. In addition, emotional stress relief from gardening and being away from technology, were mentioned in a small minority of responses (6% in total).  96  3.5.2.1.2 Emotional State/Well-being Community gardeners almost all indicated an improvement in their emotional state as a result of community gardening, as shown in Table 53.  Table 53: Relative frequencies for the reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' emotional state Effect on emotional state improved no change Level of improvement in emotional state slight between slight & moderate moderate between moderate & significant significant unsure total gardeners reporting improved emotional state  42 1 7 1 10 1 22 1 42  Respondents n = 43 98% 2% n = 42 17% 2% 24% 2% 52% 2% 100%  In addition, most of those reporting an improvement, found it to be significant (52%), or in the range of moderate to significant (78%), whereas nearly 20% reported a change in the range of slight to just-below-moderate. Moreover, as shown in Appendix H (Table 114), 93% experienced the improvement at the garden and after leaving. Most prevalently, and in more than one third of the responses the improved emotional state was characterized as a sense of calm or relaxation. Next most frequently mentioned was a sense accomplishment, satisfaction or esteem, and then excitement or pleasure, both almost equally contributing to 42% of all responses. Other less commonly described emotional states were being grounded or centred and optimistic or positive. One respondent also mentioned an improvement in sleep as a result of community gardening.  Improved emotional states were mainly attributed to direct or close contact with plants and soil which comprised one third of all responses, followed by socializing with fellow community gardeners and being outdoors in general, the latter two nearly equally contributing to 38% of all 97  responses. In addition, the productivity engendered in harvesting produce, being in a quiet space at the garden or alone, and performing the purposeful tasks involved in gardening, were other perceived though less frequently mentioned causes of an improved emotional state. Lastly, being away from work or technology, and mental relaxation as a result of gardening, were mentioned the least. 3.5.2.2 Physical & Physiological Health Effects of Community Gardening The perceived effects of community gardening on the physical fitness, occurrence of physical strain or injury, and physiological conditions of community gardeners, were also investigated in this study. 3.5.2.2.1 Physical Fitness Community gardeners‟ descriptions of the effects of community gardening on their physical fitness are shown in Table 54 and Appendix H (Table 115).  Table 54: Relative frequencies for the reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' physical fitness Effect on fitness no change improved unsure Level of improvement in fitness slight moderate significant total gardeners reporting improved fitness  24 18 1 11 4 3 18  Respondents n = 43 56% 42% 2% n = 18 61% 22% 17% 100%  An improvement in physical fitness was reported by less than 50% of community gardeners. In addition, the improvement was described in the range of moderate to significant by 38%. Improvements were reported most prevalently in muscular strength and flexibility, which together equally contributed to 62% of all responses, whereas endurance, decreased strain 98  occurrence and general fitness enhancement equally contributed to 36% of responses. These improvements were ascribed predominantly (63% of responses) to the various postures that are involved in performing gardening tasks, such as lifting and pushing. In addition, general movement/activity; the variety and repetitiveness of gardening tasks; heavy exertion during work parties and garden construction; as well as walking or cycling to the garden, were other less common responses. 3.5.2.2.2 Physical Strain or Injury Most respondents (60%) reported experiencing some form of strain or injury as a result of community gardening, based on the results in Table 55. Table 55: Relative frequencies for reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' severity & frequency of strain or injury Strain/injury due to community gardening yes no Effect on severity/frequency of strain/injury same increase decrease  Respondents (n = 43) 26 60% 17 40% 36 4 3  84% 9% 7%  As shown in Appendix H (Table 116), the responses for minor strain or injury experienced were considerable (88%) in comparison to those for major strain or injury (12%). The latter were reported by just four gardeners (or 9% of all respondents), and included a pulled shoulder, severe back strain, ankle strain from repeated falling, and the loss of a fingernail due to fungus growth. The most common responses for minor strain or injury were back, arm and shoulder soreness, comprising nearly 50% of all responses, followed by general body soreness at less than 20%. Poking or having a speck in the eye, bruises, cuts, callouses, broken fingernails and exposure to stinging nettle each made up 6% or less of all responses.  Regarding the effect of community gardening on the severity and frequency of strain or injury, the majority of respondents reported no change, whereas 9% reported an increase, and 7% a 99  decrease. As presented in Appendix H (Table 117), the increases were attributed mostly to bending (50% of responses) and heavy lifting (33%). On the other hand, the decreases were attributed mostly to improved fitness as a result of community gardening (75% of responses), and by one gardener to better circulation due to stress relief from gardening. 3.5.2.2.3 Physiological Health/Conditions The majority of respondents reported no change in their physiological health as a result of being outdoors working on their community garden plots, as displayed in Table 56.  Table 56: Relative frequencies for reported physiological effects of community gardening on gardeners Change in physiological condition/symptoms from being outdoors at one's community garden plot no change 33 worsened 6 improved 4  Respondents (n = 43) 77% 14% 9%  However, a decline in physiological health was reported by 14% of respondents, whereas 9% reported an improvement. Among those that reported an improvement, as indicated in Table 57, 75% described it in the range of moderate to significant, whereas 84% of those that reported a decline described it as slight (mostly) or moderate.  Table 57: Relative frequencies for the levels and types of physiological effects of community gardening reported by gardeners Level of physiological change experienced outdoors at one's plot slight moderate between moderate & significant significant unsure total respondents reporting change  Respondents (n = 10) Improvement Symptom Total 4 67% 4 40% 1 17% 1 10% 1 25% 1 10% 2 50% 1 17% 3 30% 1 25% 1 10% 4 100% 6 100% 10 100%  100  As shown in Appendix H (Table 118), the worsening of respiratory-related allergies was the most common type of decline reported (42% of all responses), though some responses (17%) indicated an improvement in these conditions. Other declines reported were sunburn and eczema (and one concern about skin cancer), whereas improvements were reported for migraines, blood pressure and lethargy. More than 80% of respondents experienced an improvement or worsening of their conditions both at the garden and after leaving. Declines were attributed mostly to allergic reactions to plants in the garden at large as opposed to respondents' own plots, and less prevalently to allergic reactions to soil, or overexposure to sunlight. Improvements, on the other hand, were attributed to being outdoors in fresh air, factors less related to outdoor nature contact (such as physical activity, friendly encounters and time to think), and contact with soil. 3.5.2.3 Nutritional Effects of Community Gardening Community gardeners gave responses to questions on the impact of community gardening on their dietary choices; the impact of any dietary changes on their health; and the cultivation, uses and effects of medicinal plants. 3.5.2.3.1 Dietary Choices/Habits As displayed in Table 58, nearly 75% of community gardeners reported an improvement in their dietary choices due to community gardening while the remainder reported no change.  Table 58: Relative frequencies for the reported effects of community gardening on the dietary choices of gardeners Effect on dietary choices improved no change Level of dietary improvement slight moderate between moderate & significant significant total respondents reporting improved diet  32 11 12 14 1 5 32  Respondents n = 43 74% 26% n = 32 38% 44% 3% 16% 100%  101  Among the former, most (63%) reported an improvement in the range of moderate to significant. In each of the five listed categories of improvement in Appendix H (Table 119), i.e. local, organic, processed, plant-based and raw foods, 50% or more of respondents were represented, with the highest proportion being 94% reporting the consumption of more local foods, and 63% more organic food. Not unexpectedly, growing one's own produce constituted nearly half the responses for what the dietary improvements could be attributed to. Other perceived causes were the impact of greater awareness (due to community gardening) on one's shopping habits, and the influence of other gardeners on one's gardening choices and culinary tastes – each constituting 26% of all responses. 3.5.2.3.2 Dietary Changes & Health Effects Most respondents that reported an improvement in dietary choices also reported an improvement in health (63%), whereas the rest reported no change in health, as shown in Table 59.  Table 59: Relative frequencies for the reported effects on gardeners' health of dietary improvements attributed to community gardening Change in health due to improved diet improved no change unsure total respondents reporting improved diet Level of health improvement slight between slight & moderate moderate between moderate & significant significant no sign of improvement to consider/rate total respondents reporting improved health from diet  20 11 1 32 2 1 3 1 2 11 20  Respondents n = 32 63% 34% 3% 100% n = 20 10% 5% 15% 5% 10% 55% 100%  102  Among the respondents that reported improved health (as a result of improved dietary choices), 30% rated the effect on their health in the range of moderate to significant. However, 55% indicated no specific evidence for improved health and therefore did not select any level of improvement. As shown in Appendix H (Table 120), among those that reported actual signs of improvement, gastro-intestinal health was most frequently cited (26% of all responses), followed by increased energy and better weight management (each at 9%). 3.5.2.3.3 Medicinal Plant Use As shown in Table 60, approximately half of all respondents reported that they had medicinal plants on their plot.  Table 60: Relative frequencies for reported effects on gardeners' health of using any medicinal plants grown on their plots Any plants on plot deemed to be medicinal no yes unsure Effect from plants used medicinally beneficial effects no effects detrimental effects total respondents who had used plants medicinally  21 21 1  total who had used plants medicinally total who had not used plants medicinally total respondents with medicinal plants on plot Level of beneficial medicinal effect slight moderate significant unsure total respondents reporting beneficial medicinal effects Level of detrimental medicinal effect moderate  18 3 21  13 4 1 18  3 5 3 2 13 1  Respondents n = 43 49% 49% 2% n = 18 72% 22% 6% 100% n = 21 86% 14% 100% n = 13 23% 38% 23% 15% 100% n=1 100%  103  Most of those that reported having medicinal plants also reported having used them for medicinal purposes (86%) and experiencing beneficial effects (72%). Less than 25% stated that they had experienced no effects, and just one respondent mentioned a detrimental effect. Among those reporting beneficial effects, 61% described the effects as moderate or significant, whereas the detrimental effect reported was described as moderate. In Appendix H (Table 121), the level of effect reported for specific plants is presented.  Moreover in Appendix H (Table 122), the specific plants deemed by community gardeners to be medicinal and their known and experienced effects are presented. Among the most commonly stated beneficial uses or effects were anti-microbial, respiratory, gastro-intestinal, immunity, skin and relaxation. The most common plants mentioned (often for a number of uses) among those known to be medicinal were garlic, lemon balm, oregano and kale. However the most prevalently mentioned by those who had used them medicinally and reported a beneficial effect were garlic, lemon balm, lavender and mint. On the other hand, valerian was the only plant reported by the aforementioned respondent to have had a detrimental effect, i.e. insomnia (and though valerian is used to treat insomnia, the respondent stated that she had used too much, which resulted in insomnia). 3.5.2.4 Financial Effects of Community Gardening Community gardeners were also asked about the effect of community gardening on their financial state. Based on the findings in Table 61, nearly 80% of all community gardeners reported no change in the state of their finances as a result of community gardening.  Table 61: Relative frequencies for reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' financial state Change in financial state due to community gardening Respondents (n = 43) no change 34 79% improved 7 16% worsened 2 5%  104  However, among those that reported a change, 78% mentioned an improvement as shown in Table 62. Most who reported a change described it as slight (67%), and two-thirds among them stated an improvement, i.e. reduced food purchase costs.  Table 62: Relative frequencies for the levels and types of financial change reported by gardeners as a result of community gardening  Level of financial change slight moderate significant total respondents reporting financial change  4 1 2 7  Aspects of financial change expenses savings total responses  7 7  Respondents (n = 9) Improved Worsened Total 44% 2 22% 6 67% 11% 1 11% 22% 2 22% 78% 2 22% 9 100% Responses (n = 10) Improved Worsened Total 70% 2 20% 9 90% 1 10% 1 10% 70% 3 30% 10 100%  In addition, moderate and significant changes were only reported for an improved as opposed to a worsened financial state (due to high plot maintenance costs as described by one gardener). The changes were also reported almost entirely (90%) in terms of expenses, as opposed to savings (or income). 3.5.2.5 Social Effects of Community Gardening Community gardeners also responded to survey questions about the impact community gardening had had on their relationships with people at the garden and others, as an indication of its impact on their social well-being. As displayed in Table 63, a large majority of respondents (88%) indicated an improvement in their relationships as a result of community gardening.  105  Table 63: Relative frequencies for reported effects of community gardening on gardeners' relationships with people at the garden and others Change in relationships due to community gardening improved no change Scope of improvement in relationships only relationships at the garden only non-garden relationships relationships at & beyond garden total respondents reporting improved relationships Level of improvement in relationships slight moderate moderate to significant significant total respondents reporting improved relationships  38 5 11 1 26 38 11 17 2 8 38  Respondents n = 43 88% 12% n = 38 29% 3% 68% 100% 29% 45% 5% 21% 100%  Most among them (68%) reported the improvement in relationships with people affiliated and not affiliated with the garden, whereas nearly all the rest (29%) reported it just in relationships with fellow gardeners. However, 74% rated the improvement experienced in the range of slight to moderate, rather than moderate to significant.  According to the results in Appendix H (Table 123), learning from one another was the most frequently cited reason for improved relationships, comprising 21% of all responses. Socializing with fellow gardeners on one's own time away from the garden, exchanging seeds, sharing produce or food with fellow gardeners and non-gardeners, and attending community garden events, were other commonly stated reasons. In addition, stress relief through gardening and emotional support from fellow gardeners were attributed to respondents' improved relationships, though not prominently. Moreover, the support of a garden coordinator as well as the experience of being one, were also mentioned once each.  106  3.6 Community Gardening Policy The results of informal interviews with municipal officials and employees at 22 Metro Vancouver municipalities and the City of Montreal, are displayed in Table 64. Table 64: Number of community gardens and plots, locations and degree of city oversight in Metro Vancouver municipalities and the City of Montreal  Count Municipalities 1 Montreal, Quebec 2 Richmond 3 4 5  Burnaby Langley Township Maple Ridge  6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23  Delta Surrey North Van.2 City Electoral Area A West Van.2 District New Westminster Abbotsford Pitt Meadows Coquitlam North Van.2 District White Rock Port Moody Langley City Port Coquitlam Bowen Island Belcarra Lions Bay Anmore  Oversight Gardens Plots Orgs.1 City 97 yes 6 > 200 1 yes >5 >5 >3  > 638 > 42 -  2 6 0  yes no yes  3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0  > 65 ~120 > 84 54 151 102 60 46 21 20 14 > 30 -  0 1 2 1 0 2 1 1 1 2 0 0 0  no yes yes no yes no yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no  -  1  Garden locations many park, ALR3 park, schools, SFU4, neighbourhood TWU5 , others schools, parks park, church, neighbourhood parks, farm neighbourhood UBC6 neighbourhood neighbourhood neighbourhood park park park park school -  1  orgs. = organization(s), 2 Van. = Vancouver, 3 ALR = agricultural land reserve, 4 SFU = Simon Fraser University, 5 TWU = Trinity Western University, 6 UBC = University of British Columbia  107  All Metro Vancouver municipalities (not including the City of Vancouver) could be reached to provide information about city policy with regard to community gardening (except Electoral Area A). Among them, 18 reported having at least one community garden. Municipalities with the largest number of gardens (five or more) included, Richmond, Burnaby and the Township of Langley, whereas those with the largest estimated number of plots were Burnaby (> 600), followed by Richmond (~200) and Abbotsford (~150). On the other hand, the villages of Belcarra, Lions Bay and Anmore, reported having no community gardens, whereas Bowen Island reported some uncertainty about the presence of community gardens (although an agricultural alliance on the island was mentioned, which was found to promote community gardening among other initiatives, but only referenced a school garden on its website). Community gardens were typically located on park land, and neighbourhood lots, as well as in schools and universities.  Overall a total of eight municipalities oversaw gardens in partnership with one or more organizations (often a non-profit), typically by providing some or all resources and supplies (as well as funding in some cases), while the organization channelled their material support and oversaw the garden on a day-to-day basis. Among the other eleven municipalities, five reported no city oversight of community gardening (and no organizational oversight either in one instance), whereas the remaining six reported city oversight and no organizational partnership.  In most cases, no municipal policy was reported to exist with regard to community gardening, but when mentioned, constituted a prohibition against the use of chemicals, and to a lesser extent invasive species. Such policy was sometimes particular to the community garden(s) that municipalities were (in)directly involved with, as opposed to all community gardens in their jurisdiction, with the exception of the Cities of North Vancouver, Richmond and Port Coquitlam for which by-laws prohibiting pesticide use were mentioned (and were therefore applicable to any setting and not just community gardening). Sometimes such garden-specific policy was more a reflection of organizational than municipal influence (such as Surrey's North Surrey Organic Community Garden Society and Coquitlam's Burquitlam Community Organic Garden Society). In Appendix I (Table 124) are listed the 13 municipalities that reported some involvement with community gardens (regardless of the existence of policy). Some or all community gardens in 108  nine of these municipalities prohibited the use of all or some types of chemicals, whereas a conditional prohibition existed for a garden in one other municipality (Langley).  The City of Montreal was the only one included in this study from outside Metro Vancouver, although some efforts were unsuccessfully made to include Toronto (which had been developing soil-testing protocol based, among other sources, on Montreal's existing guidelines). Comparable to the City of Vancouver in the scope of community gardening activity, the City of Montreal had nearly 100 gardens (whereas the former reported at least 76, given that the list obtained for this study was incomplete), that were overseen by 19 boroughs (a type of sub-municipality, rather than municipalities as the City of Montreal is itself part of “Greater Montreal”, similar to Metro Vancouver) (I. Holler, personal communication, September 20, 2010).  Boroughs (unclear if all, some or most) were heavily involved in overseeing community gardening through Montreal's Culture, Sports, Recreation and Social Development as well as Public Works departments, and divisions of Parks and Horticulture, and Highways (Pedneault & Grenier, 1996). These municipal entities acquired land, hired staff to oversee community garden programs, and maintained wait lists (Pedneault & Grenier, 1996). They also provided garden infrastructure (fences and gates), resources (soil and water), supplies (tools and equipment), amenities (restrooms, bike racks, waste bins, picnic tables), and repairs and maintenance (Pedneault & Grenier, 1996).  The City of Montreal, as alluded to above, also emphasized soil-testing on new community gardening sites, and stipulated that any contamination found be below regulatory limits or the limit of detection (of the method used in soil sample analysis).  109  4 Conclusion In this section:  the study objectives are revisited and compared to actual study contributions the results of this cross-sectional study are interlinked and discussed in relation to previous findings in the academic literature the study limitations and strengths are described the study's applicability to key decision-making arenas are explored recommendations are made for future research based on the findings in this study and on previous research. 4.1 Fulfilment of Study Objectives This study's objectives were to:  a) Characterize community garden coordinators and gardeners in the City of Vancouver, British, Columbia, Canada, based on self-reported demographics, health status, and gardening practices, motivations and experiences; and community gardens based on reported physical attributes and management practices b) Investigate the perceptions of community gardeners regarding any mental, emotional, physical, and physiological health effects they have experienced as a result of community gardening, as well as any changes in their social and financial circumstances c) Review community gardening policy in Metro Vancouver municipalities and potentially other major cities in Canada  110  This study accomplished all the above objectives, and in so doing:  i) Presented findings from a review of 101 research articles/sources on community gardening in relation to health and (municipal) policy  ii) Generated a profile of 12 community gardens (comprising individual plots tended by adults, and representing 18 low, middle and high income neighbourhoods) in the City of Vancouver. These gardens constituted 16% of the 76 on the city's incomplete list, and the profile includes physical characteristics and managerial oversight traits as reported mainly by coordinators.  iii) Created a profile of 43 City of Vancouver community gardeners based on self-reported demographic traits; health-related status and behaviours; and community gardening practices, motivations and experiences.  iv) Presented findings for community gardeners' perceptions regarding an array of health effects attributed to various aspects of community gardening.  v) Reported on 22 Metro Vancouver municipalities (besides the City of Vancouver), as well as on the City of Montreal with regard to municipal policy and degrees of involvement in the oversight of community gardens. 4.2 Results in Relation to Previous Research Findings 4.2.1 Sampling Results Though this study constituted community gardens representing a socioeconomic variety of neighbourhoods, those belonging to the five sampling clusters characterized by middle income neighbourhoods (median incomes mainly in the CAN $30,000s and $40,000s), were predominant (82%). These gardens were in turn represented by the largest proportion of study subjects (67%), in comparison to gardens in lower and higher income clusters (incomes mostly below CAN $25,000 and above CAN $50,000, respectively). This is in tandem with the fact that most gardens (78%) on the city's list of 76 were located in neighbourhoods within the middle income clusters. 111  These findings contradict what has been reported in the literature, i.e. that community gardens generally are located in lower income neighbourhoods, in order to serve the food security and neighbourhood revitalization needs of socio-economically disadvantaged residents (Wakefield et al., 2007; Kurtz, 2001; Thompson et al., 2007). One study based in New York reported specifically that 46% of community gardens were located in low income neighbourhoods (Armstrong, 2000a), and though low was not defined numerically, that is a larger proportion than the findings in this study for which the lowest income cluster was represented by 14% of all gardens in the city (and 13% of participating gardens). 4.2.2 Community Garden (Physical & Non-physical) Characteristics Most gardens in this study were located in the northern and central parts of the city of Vancouver, and varied in age considerably, i.e. one to 25 years with 41% being over 10 years old. In a previous study, 55% of gardens were found to be less than 10 years old and 32% at least 10 years old (Armstrong, 2000a), whereas in another study, an age range of five to 25 years was reported, both comparable to this study (Saldivar-Tanaka & Krasny, 2004).  The range of garden sizes in this study was also considerable, i.e. 500 to approximately 174,000 sq ft. As would reasonably be expected, these larger gardens also had the highest number of plots, i.e. 140 to 200, in addition to being located in the lowest income neighbourhoods/clusters. Moreover, one study in the literature reported that community gardens in the City of Vancouver typically comprise 110 to 374 plots (Roy, 2001), which was far above the range and mean in this study, which were 11 to 200 plots and 64 plots, respectively.  There was also a variety of prior land uses for the community gardens in this study, including park, dump, railway, and demolition sites, with parks being the most prevalent (though one had also been a dump site). These findings are fairly similar to those in the literature which indicate that community gardens are typically established on derelict land, often characterized by toxic prior uses ((Ferris, 2001; Linn, 1999; Dow, 2006; Bassuk, 1986; Heiger-Bernays et al., 2009; Chaney et al., 1984; Flynn, 1999; Hooker & Nathanail, 2006; Preer et al., 1980).  112  Soil-testing and remediation therefore is a valid priority for community gardens in general. For nearly half the gardens in this study (47%), all gardeners interviewed did not know whether their respective gardens' soil had been tested. In addition, for those gardens where some or all gardeners reported soil having been tested, there was considerable variation between gardeners' and coordinators' reports on test results. Based on the responses of the 12 participating coordinators', 50% of the gardens had their soil tested between 1985 and 2011, and among these, 50% reported low/safe contamination levels or spot contamination, whereas the rest reported fertility results or unknown results in one case. These findings are somewhat similar to a previous study's findings that urban gardeners tend to request tests for soil fertility rather than contamination (Jackson, 2008). Nevertheless, in a study of 20 community garden programs in New York that oversaw 63 community gardens, eight of the programs tested their soil and reported positive results for soil contaminants in urban programs, though neither contamination levels nor remediation were mentioned (Armstrong 2000a). In this study however, some “preemptive remediation” can be said to have occurred given that 25% of coordinators reported the addition of new soil, though no testing had been done in their gardens. Remediation was also reported for one garden in this study where unsafe levels of spot contamination had previously been found, and were still suspected to exist in a non-food-growing area of the garden.  Regarding non-physical garden traits, the high demand for community garden plots is reflected in the typically long wait-lists reported in this study (42% of gardens with a range of 40 to 200 names on their wait-lists). However, it is of particular interest that people do relinquish plots for various reasons, given that this is the primary avenue by which plots become available for new gardeners (as opposed to garden expansion). Moreover, for a few gardens (two or 17%), moving people up the wait-list only on the basis of plot availability, had its disadvantages i.e. not ascertaining prospective gardeners' sense of communal obligation, and value for their plot. Their preferred atypical process of qualifying applicants through a probationary period, was congruent with the staunch statements in the six garden agreements made available for this study, which promised to evict community gardeners who fail to care for their plot seasonally, respect fellow gardeners' space/rights, pay fees on time, attend work gatherings, etc. Though not likely for environmental (health) purposes, it may be of interest to investigate plot turnover rates and the predominant reasons for such rates. 113  Regarding rules, all community gardens except one, were found to emphasize organic methods, which is primarily in agreement with previous research findings that community gardens typically emphasize and use organic practices (Duchemin et al., 2009; Dow, 2006; Deelstra & Girardet, 2000). Notable exceptions have however been reported for some gardens in Winnipeg, Manitoba and New York (Roy, 2001; Armstrong, 2000a). In contrast to organic methods, only a minority of gardens in this study were reported to prohibit the use of treated wood (to demarcate plots), which has been found in the literature, to be a common source of contamination in community gardens (Heiger-Bernays et al., 2009).  In addition, the prohibition by two community gardens in this study against selling produce, rendered them decidedly non-entrepreneurial. One article in the literature reported that some community gardens are entrepreneurial (Ferris et al., 2001), though most are typically not. However, another study reported that 50% of the community garden programs investigated, had community gardens with gardeners that sold their produce, whereas 10% prohibited sales (Armstrong, 2000a). In addition, the prohibition by one community garden against growing anything but flowers or ornamentals, made it the exception in this study, and also among community gardens in general, as reported in the literature. Nevertheless, two other studies have reported on two other gardens with similar restrictions (Glover, 2004; Kurtz, 2001). Regarding annual fees, the range in this study was CAN $0 to $50 (although CAN $30 was exceeded by only one garden), whereas a study of community gardens in Winnipeg, Manitoba reported a smaller range of CAN $15 to $20 (Roy, 2001).  Regarding activities, the prevalence of communal work and meetings among the activities of community gardens in this study, was contradicted in a previous study by findings that such gatherings occurred regularly in less than 50% of the community gardens studied (Armstrong, 2000a). However, in relation to the garden in this study that provided a plot to a food assistance organization, one study reported on a garden in Toronto, Ontario that assigned 50% of its 40 plots to social service agencies (Irvine et al., 1999). Another study found that an organization overseeing 11 collective gardens (as opposed to community gardens, and no definition is given though the implication was that collective gardens had no individual plots) in Montreal, Quebec, 114  usually distributed 27% of harvested produce to social service organizations (Duchemin et al., 2009).  Nonetheless, the community gardens in this study provided a wide array of resources in the form of services and activities, typically at no additional cost to gardeners. This has also been mentioned in the literature as a common characteristic of community gardens (Armstrong, 2000a; Hanna & Oh, 2000; Saldivar-Tanaka & Krasny, 2004; Duchemin et al., 2009). With regard to raised beds in particular, one study reported that five out of the 73 municipally-run community gardens in the City of Montreal had raised beds for accessibility, and that they were installed upon request at any garden (Roy, 2001). This number is substantially lower than the findings for this study whereby of the 16 participating gardens, seven or nearly 50% had raised beds specifically for accessibility. 4.2.3 Gardener and Coordinator Demographics In this study, community gardeners were predominantly female, represented a fairly young demographic (particularly among males), and were Caucasians of primarily North American cultural background, among who nearly 50% spoke at least two languages. They were also predominantly highly educated and middle to high income earners (predominantly earning CAN $40,000 to over $100,000), who lived with a spouse.  In the literature, women are also the predominant sex among gardeners in general (McCullum, 2004) and among community gardeners in particular (Hanna and Oh 2000, Kingsley et al., 2009; Teig et al., 2009; Thompson et al., 2007). Women have also been found in larger proportions among community garden initiators and managers, similar to this study's coordinators (Kurtz, 2001; Hanna and Oh, 2000). An exception was found in one study of Latino-dominated gardens in New York where despite there being an even sex distribution, men gardened more than women (Saldivar-Tanaka & Krasny, 2004), and in another study that found men and women equally represented in a community gardening neighbourhood association (Glover, 2004). Regarding age, unlike this study's findings, most research has reported that community gardeners are generally more than at least 50 years old ( Thompson et al., 2007; Roy, 2001; Hanna and Oh, 2000). In addition, most studies (in North America) reported that community gardeners were 115  typically of Caucasian background, similar to this study (Kurtz, 2001; Glover, 2004; Waliczek et al., 1996; Thompson et al., 2007; Teig et al., 2009; Kingsley et al., 2009; Roy, 2001), though this was not the case in some studies (Armstrong, 2000a; Hanna and Oh, 2000; Saldivar-Tanaka & Krasny, 2004). Regarding income, previous research found that between 27% and 61% of community gardeners from various regions in Montreal had an income of below CAN $20,000, whereas between 40% and 62% among collective gardeners had an income of less than CAN $20,000 (Duchemin et al., 2009). According to another study, 25% of community gardeners earned less than US $31,000 a year and few earned more than US $50,000 (Roy, 2001). The same study also reported that nearly half of community gardeners were retired, whereas 34% were employed on a full-time basis and 18% were classified as part-time or stay-at-home (Roy, 2001). In this study however, a small minority were retirees, and all others were employed (fullor part-time).  This study presents an atypical profile of a community gardener with respect to age, household income and education. The middle to high income status of gardeners also matches the aforementioned higher proportion of (non-)participating gardens located in middle and high income neighbourhoods. 4.2.4 Community Gardening Practices, Motivations and Experiences 4.2.4.1 Past & Current (Community) Gardening/Farming Experience The substantial majority of community gardeners in this study (over 80%) had nearly 20 years of general gardening experience prior to becoming community gardeners, whereas less than 10% had prior experience in community gardening. In addition, respondents had been on their current community garden plots, for an average of 3 years, and 75% gardened elsewhere as well, primarily at their homes. On average, coordinators had considerably more community gardening experience than gardeners (5 years more), which is appropriate for the latters' managerial roles.  A prior study of community gardeners in Winnipeg, Manitoba found that most had at least 12 years of prior experience and primarily as community gardeners (Roy, 2001).  116  4.2.4.2 Community Gardeners' Initial and Current Motivations Among initial and current motivations for community gardening, respondents cited nature enjoyment, communal interaction, lack of (adequate) gardening space at home, growing one's own food, experiential learning, and consuming healthier food or medicinal plants prominently.  Unexpectedly, saving on food purchase costs was not a prevalent motivation, although the fact that community gardeners in this study were overall, a substantially higher income group, food security was not likely to be afforded high priority. Therefore also, the need to generate an income was never mentioned. Access to fresh (organic) food and nature enjoyment were the most commonly mentioned motivations in previous studies (Armstrong, 2000a; Kingsley et al., 2009; Roy, 2001), though the former was not as commonly cited in this study. In addition, support for environmental sustainability, experiencing mental health benefits, reducing food costs and increasing neighbourhood safety were other stated motivations (Armstrong, 2000a; Kingsley et al., 2009; Roy, 2001; Glover, 2004). In this study, neighbourhood safety was also not mentioned at all as a motivation.  Having insufficient gardening space at home as a common motivation in this study is congruent with the aforementioned statistic that 75% of respondents gardened primarily at their homes as well, and mostly on balconies and patios (among those that specified). However, this is somewhat unexpected given the income status of most respondents (middle to higher income) and the typical pattern of larger living spaces as incomes increase. On the other hand, the high priority given leisurely motivations for gardening i.e. nature enjoyment and communal interaction is, to some extent, indicative of respondents‟ generally higher socioeconomic status (SES). Moreover, the need to access more nutritious food and even medicinal plants or save on food purchases were not as prevalently mentioned, which may also be indicative of the generally higher SES of community gardeners in this study, as they would be more likely to regularly purchase costly, nutritious foods such as organic produce, without jeopardising their financial security.  117  4.2.4.3 Community Gardeners' Plot Characteristics Community garden plot sizes reported in this study range considerably i.e. 10 to over 1076 sq ft, and this was accounted for primarily by inter-garden variation. In addition, to asking community gardeners about their individual plot sizes, it may have been useful to ask garden coordinators what the average plot size in their gardens was, in order to corroborate gardeners' estimates. In the literature, two studies reported 18 m2 or 194 sq ft to be the (average) size of plots in the City of Montreal's 98 community gardens (Duchemin et al., 2009; Roy, 2001). Moreover, another study stated that plots in the City of Vancouver measured 968 sq ft on average (which is far above the mean of 119 sq ft found in this study), and that those in the City of Montreal were of various unspecified sizes (Roy, 2001). Another reference to plot size in a study was aimed at conveying the potential for food security, i.e. that a 1,076 sq ft plot (equivalent to the largest one reported in this study) was sufficient to provide a US household's annual vegetable needs, given an estimated four-month temperate growing season (Bellows et al., 2005; Brown & Jameton, 2000).  Regarding plot elevation, most community gardeners had beds raised to some extent, and those that raised them (as opposed to finding them raised) did so to improve soil and therefore growing conditions. Only one respondent intended to improve ergonomic comfort while gardening, which is in contrast to most coordinators' responses that specified accessibility and hence ease/comfort, specifically for those with limited mobility, as a key reason for installing raised beds. However, none of the community gardeners in this study reported limited mobility as a condition that needed to be accommodated by plot elevation. Given the younger profile of the typical community gardener in this study, this is not an unexpected finding. 4.2.4.4 Commuting to Community Gardens & Patterns of Garden Plot Visitation Approximately 60% of community gardeners in this study typically walked to their garden plots from where they lived and an additional 16% typically cycled, which indicates that most lived fairly close to their respective gardens. Moreover, 65% expressed the highest satisfaction with the convenience of their commute, whereas the minority that expressed dissatisfaction rated it 118  mostly as slight. Research conducted in Winnipeg, Manitoba found that 38% of community gardeners lived within a kilometre of their gardens, and 66% typically drove to their garden plots, unlike the findings of this study (Roy, 2001). Therefore, community gardens in this study do serve people in their immediate neighbourhoods primarily. There is however a significant minority of gardeners who typically do not walk or cycle to their gardens, implying that they do not live close to them. Just two coordinators mentioned a requirement about living in the garden's neighbourhood, as a prerequisite to obtaining a plot. Perhaps if this were a more common requirement, and there were more community gardens available in every neighbourhood for which there is a certain level of demand, that would mitigate demand from residents outside garden neighbourhoods, ease more people's commutes, and increase their enjoyment of their community gardens.  In addition, a large majority of respondents were seasonal community gardeners as less than 20% gardened (approximately) year-round. Over 75% visited their plots two to five times a week during growing season, and the mean duration of a visit was approximately one hour, which for most respondents happened in the late afternoon or evening. According to one study, most community gardeners went to their plots two to four times a week (similar to this study) for approximately two hours each time (Thompson et al., 2007). Moreover, another study reported that most community gardeners visited their plots for one to10 hours weekly (Hanna & Oh, 2000), which is also similar to the findings in this study (with respect to the range for total weekly durations). It was also found in another study that community gardeners frequented their plots mostly in the evening, as was reported in this study (Wakefield et al., 2007), likely due to employment schedules. 4.2.4.5 Crops Grown, Motivations for Crop Selection & Harvest Use Vegetables constituted the largest proportion of plot space and crop varieties for community gardeners in this study, which is typical of community gardens in general, according to previous research findings (Armstrong, 2000a; Hanna & Oh, 2000; Kingsley et al., 2009). Leafy and then fruiting vegetables were the most commonly cultivated plot staples, whereas among fruits, berries were predominant, and among herbs, oregano, thyme and basil were the most common.  119  In addition, it was substantially more prevalent for community gardeners to share their harvest with others, than to consume all of it alone or just within their own households. No respondents mentioned selling any produce and as already reported by coordinators representing two gardens, selling was prohibited (at least for respondents from those gardens). Moreover, as mentioned for respondents' stated motivations for community gardening, most gardeners were high income earners and therefore had little to no incentive to want to generate an income. However, the large proportion who share their produce with others may be indicative of an avenue by which people extend social ties through community gardening.  Regarding motivations for crop selection, culinary and dietary tastes were the most frequently mentioned, as would reasonably be expected. The financial convenience of not having to purchase some crops, and having access to fresh, organic produce, which were also reported among community gardening motivations, though more prevalently in other studies than in this one. In addition, the familiarity of growing certain crops (given prior gardening or farming experiences) was mentioned and corroborated by the aforementioned similarities between some previous and current crops grown. 4.2.4.6 Gardening Philosophies & Practices An environmentalist perspective, community-building and the value of food, in that order, were the key reported guiding principles for respondents' community gardening practices, with 33% of all responses reflecting the first one.  Organic methods, particular non-additive ones, were prevalently reported for soil enrichment; prevention and control methods against weeds, pests and diseases; and for biodegradable waste disposal. However, a few responses for soil enrichment and pest control mentioned the use of chemical additives. This finding breaches the garden rules mentioned by all but one coordinator, and lends some credence to prior research that found some (and in some instances a considerable) lack of adherence to organic methods among community gardeners, both in spite of or because of garden policy (Armstrong, 2000a; Roy, 2001).  120  Overall, community gardeners in this study utilized organic practices predominantly, a finding supported widely in the literature (Dow, 2006; Deelstra & Girardet, 2000). Moreover, the substantial majority of reported practices, reflect the most commonly mentioned guiding philosophy of environmentalism. 4.2.4.7 Gardening Supply Sources Most seed(ling)s used by community gardeners in this study were reported to have been purchased from a store that specializes in local, organic and heirloom varieties. Seed donation, swapping and saving were other sources mentioned. In tandem with the responses of coordinators, these responses indicate that though most gardens do not provide free seeds or hold seed swaps, informal seed donation and swapping among community gardeners happens fairly frequently, implying also some measure of voluntary and purposeful social interaction between community gardeners. In addition, the majority among those who knew whether their seeds were organic or not, reported using mostly or all organic seeds.  Regarding tools, most community gardeners use both personal and garden tools to some extent. though garden tools were relied on much more. Though desired improvements in the maintenance and quantity of garden tools were reported, no mention was made of any risk or occurrence of ergonomic strain or injury as a result of using (garden) tools.  Moreover, community gardeners' responses convey the value and convenience of garden tools and city water which, as aforementioned, are amenities provided at no additional cost by all community gardens in this study, and is also reported in the literature to often be the case (Thompson et al., 2007; Wakefield et al., 2007). On the other hand, exceptions have been reported, as was found in a study of community gardens in Winnipeg, Manitoba whereby typically no tools or water supply existed at garden sites (Roy, 2001). 4.2.4.8 Social Interaction/Participation Most community gardeners in this study typically worked alone on their plots, attend more than half the scheduled garden work parties and meetings, and did not on their own time elect to meet or socialize with fellow gardeners at the garden or elsewhere. 121  It is however unclear whether high participation rates at meetings and especially at work parties had more to do with an interest in fulfilling most gardens' minimum participation requirements (failing which one may eventually lose their plot in some cases), or a desire to partake in communal events regardless of any garden requirements or consequences. Moreover, the low rates of planned voluntary socialization among gardeners may indicate that relationships do not easily progress from formal to informal/personal among most gardeners, despite the aforementioned significance of communal interaction as a motivation for beginning and continuing community gardening. On the other hand, many respondents may not have intended to deepen social ties when they became community gardeners, but rather to broaden them. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that one third of community gardeners had arranged to socialize with fellow gardeners (who they did not know prior to joining the garden) away from garden.  In the literature, little research was found regarding community gardeners' levels of formal and informal participation at garden events. In one study, 47% of gardeners were reported to have been aware of garden-organized social events like harvest pot-lucks, and among them 61% attended the events (Armstrong 2000a). In another study, a gardener reported increased stress from community gardening because of expectations for participation, whereas another gardener expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of attendance during decision-making sessions (Teig et al., 2009). It may be of interest to further investigate community gardeners' views on required participation at garden events in light of their prominent motivations to experience more communal interaction and enjoy a nature-based recreational activity. 4.2.4.9 Neighbourhood Contexts Most responses by both community gardeners and coordinators were in the category of social aspects rather than physical aspects of their respective gardens in relation to the surrounding neighbourhoods. Community gardens were perceived substantially beautiful spaces that foster community-building at many levels and healthy social interaction (despite some perceived lack of cultural and socioeconomic congruence between gardeners and neighbourhoods, some reported complaints by neighbours, and some respondents' dissatisfaction with insufficient communal space and empathy for disadvantaged or marginalized visitors). However, they were 122  also perceived as places that, in some cases, harbour significant levels of illicit activity. Community gardens were also reported to enhance biodiversity, environmental awareness, area real estate values, food security, and the nutritional health and well-being of gardeners and neighbourhood residents. There was therefore some need expressed by respondents for more community gardening spaces, and the preservation of existing ones.  The responses of community gardeners and coordinators are in agreement with prior research which has also reported on enhanced neighbourhood beautification, nutritional health, safety and security; the bridging of ethnic, generational and socioeconomic divides; and building of social networks through community gardens (Armstrong, 2000a; Armstrong, 2000b; Lombard, 2006; Labonte, 1986; Teig et al., 2009; Glover, 2004; Parr, 2007; Bellows et al., 2005; Duchemin et al., 2009; Hanna & Oh, 2000; Lewis, 1995; Thompson et al., 2007; Waliczek et al., 1996; Schukoske, 1999; Hall, 1996). Regarding the dissatisfaction of some respondents with fellow gardeners' attitudes, findings in some of the literature indicate some disappointment among new gardeners with inadequate communal cohesion, racial and socioeconomic tensions, and conflicts over installing fences (Glover, 2004; Kurtz, 2001). Some research has found the disharmony among gardeners and between gardeners and neighbourhood residents to stem from different interpretations of urban community, or in the case of this study, the very meaning of “community” in community garden (Glover 2004, Kurtz 2001). Concerns about land tenure expansion are also a key and ongoing focus of research on policy and community gardens (ACGA, 2000; Campbell, 2004; Chisholm, 2008; Dow, 2006; Zimbler, 2001). 4.2.4.10 Theft Theft was rated by community gardeners and coordinators as occurring at a substantially high rate on fellow gardeners' plots and in the garden at large than on gardeners' own plots. It is noteworthy that a few respondents further explained that fellow gardeners were or may have been responsible for some of the theft, whereas other respondents thought it possible that animals may sometimes have been responsible. In the literature, attributions of theft and vandalism to gardeners and outsiders have also been mentioned (Teig et al., 2009; Wakefield et al., 2007; Kurtz, 2001). Moreover, in one study, half the participating urban community garden programs had experienced vandalism, and having fences did not mitigate it (Armstrong, 2000a). 123  4.2.4.11 Improvements Desired & Future Plans Among gardeners and coordinators the need for greater social interaction (through more leisurely garden events in particular) and participation (at work events and meetings) were the most frequently mentioned desired improvement in their community gardening experiences and the support they receive, respectively. Improvements needed in garden facilities and supplies and in garden oversight were also prevalently reported by gardeners. The hope for more and larger gardens and plots was reiterated, as was the need to mitigate the effects of illicit activity, and to show compassion towards drug addicts who visit gardens, or those that harvest from others‟ plots without consideration of ownership. Among coordinators, a minority also reported being content with the support they were receiving, whereas others wanted more support from the city.  In the literature, one study described funding as a key desired support mentioned by community gardeners, as well as a supply of tools, water, compost bins, seeds and even the installation of green houses and community kitchens (Wakefield et al., 2007). 4.2.5 Health-related Status and Perceived Health-related Effects of Community Gardening 4.2.5.1 Health-related Status Overall, community gardeners in this study reported low levels of chronic disease and nonoccupational stress, but mostly moderate to significant occupational stress. Most regularly participated in two or more sporting or recreational activities, for at least one hour a day. They also spent a considerable amount of time outdoors, amounting to an average of an hour a day during the cooler months, and four during the warmer months. Coordinators, in addition, reported being substantially more satisfied than stressed in their roles. 4.2.5.2 Psychological Health Effects of Community Gardening Though positive effects on their mental abilities were not as prominent in community gardeners' responses as positive effects on their emotional state, among those that reported an improvement in either one, most characterized the effect as ranging from moderate to significant. Also, for most community gardeners that experienced an improvement, the effect extended beyond their 124  time at the garden. These improvements were experienced in mental processes/states like focus, mental fatigue, introspection and learning, and such emotions as tranquility, satisfaction, accomplishment, excitement and optimism. These results mirror aforementioned findings in the literature among social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) participants and community gardeners. For mental abilities, these findings included improved concentration, enhanced leisurely mental activity and quiet reflection, and for emotional well-being they included mood enhancement, relaxation, and a sense of fulfilment (Rappe et al., 2008; Rappe, 2005; Lewis, 1995; Margalis et al., 2000; Sempik, 2008; Brown & Grant, 2005; Gonzalez et al., 2009; Kingsley et al., 2009; Milligan et al., 2004; Parr, 2007; Thompson et al., 2007; Waliczek et al., 1996; Wakefield et al., 2007; Stigsdotter & Grahn, 2004; Unruh, 2004).  Moreover, for responses on both aspects of psychological health, improvements were attributed predominantly to being outdoors in general, intimate contact with plants and soil, socializing with fellow community gardeners, performing the simple purposeful tasks that are typical of gardening, and being in a quiet space or alone. In addition, a few responses linked improvements in mental abilities to emotional stress relief, and conversely, attributed their improvement in emotional well-being to mental relaxation. Overall, this study's findings were again similar to those in the literature whereby the basis for perceived improvements in mental and emotional health were fascination with the beauty in nature and natural processes, working outdoors performing manual gardening tasks, the productivity achieved through nurturing plants and touching soil, and being in a quiet outdoor space (Fieldhouse, 2003; Milligan et al., 2004; Kingsley et al., 2009; Waliczek et al., 1996; Parr, 2007; Thompson et al, 2007; Wakefield et al., 2007). 4.2.5.3 Physical & Physiological Health Effects of Community Gardening Though not the majority, a large proportion of respondents (42%) experienced improved fitness as a result of community gardening, and most found the improvement to be slight. One study found no effect on some participants' fitness from community gardening, because like the respondents in this study many/some were quite fit from engaging in more demanding physical activity regularly (Kingsley et al., 2009). In fact, as was mentioned in this study's findings by  125  two respondents, walking or cycling to their garden plots provided more exercise, for most of the other study's participants (Kingsley et al., 2009).  Among the perceived causes for the improvement in physical fitness was the variety of repetitive tasks involved in gardening, and among the improvements reported were increased strength, flexibility and endurance, all of which have been cited in the literature regarding the benefits of gardening both in communal and individualized settings (Bellows et al., 2005; Brown & Jameton, 2000; Relf, 1992; Dow, 2006; Kingsley et al., 2009). Moreover, it is noteworthy that performing simple, varied and repetitive gardening tasks was the most commonly mentioned perceived cause of an improvement in mental abilities, and that according to some respondents, the physical activity involved in community gardening led to their improved emotional state.  Also in this study, most community gardeners (60%) had experienced minor or major strain or injury, with the former being substantially more common. Back/torso soreness was the most common minor strain reported, which adds to reported findings in the literature about the prevalence of lower back pain among older home gardeners (Park & Shoemaker, 2009). In addition over 80% of respondents had not experienced an overall change in the severity of frequency of strain or injury from community gardening. However, a small majority among those that experienced a change, reported an increase, mostly due to bending and heavy lifting. In the literature, poorly designed tools are also said to exacerbate arthritic pain among older home gardeners (Park & Shoemaker, 2009; Bellows et al., 2005), though in this study no respondents mentioned tools and equipment as a cause of major or minor strain or injury, (despite the aforementioned dissatisfaction of some with the maintenance of garden tools). In addition, among those that reported a decrease in the severity or frequency of strain or injury, most attributed it to improved fitness as a result of community gardening.  Regarding physiological health in relation to being outdoors and therefore in greater contact with nature through community gardening, most changes in health were reported to be detrimental. However, the difference in proportion between those reporting a decline and those reporting an improvement was small. Moreover, there is support in the literature for positive changes in physiological health due to even minimal levels of nature contact/experiences. For instance, 126  decreased blood pressure – as was reported in this study – has been found to occur as a result of viewing nature through a window or being in the presence of nature outdoors, without intimate contact such as gardening (Relf, 1992; Kuppuswamy, 2009). Moreover, the presence of gardens in one's living environment has been positively correlated with perceived good health, measured as the number of symptoms experienced over time (de Vries et al., 2003; Grahn & Stigsdotter, 2003). However, excessive exposure to sunlight, as found in this study, has also been mentioned in relation to the occurrence of sunburn and the increased risk of skin cancer (Bellows et al., 2005). It is also noteworthy that in this study, one response to the question about the perceived cause of an improvement in physiological health, was physical activity. It was also interesting to note the beneficial and detrimental effects of contact with soil reported by different respondents. 4.2.5.4 Nutritional Effects of Community Gardening Most community gardeners (75%) reported an improvement in their dietary choices due to the influence of community gardening. Eating local and organic were the most common types of improvement mentioned. In addition, these dietary changes were reported by most to lead to an improvement in health. However, most that reported improved heath cited no evidence for it, but among those that did, improved gastro-intestinal function was the key health improvement specified.  Similar to the findings in this study, some previous research has shown that community gardeners have better dietary habits because they consume more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed foods (Alaimo et al., 2008; Wakefield et al., 2007; Armstrong, 2000b; Bellows et al., 2005; Hanna & Oh, 2000; Hynes & Howe, 2004; McCullum, 2004; Lombard et al., 2006). Moreover, consuming fresh produce that is grown organically and locally, has been found to contribute to community gardeners' confidence that their produce is safer and more nutritious (Kingsley et al., 2009; Patel, 1991), as indicated in this study by a substantial proportion of respondents that believed their health (as a result of improved dietary choices attributed to community gardening) had improved, but reported no evidence for an improvement. A possible follow-up to such findings would be to investigate the difference between community gardeners' perceptions in this regard, and actual evidence for an improvement in health.  127  Regarding medicinal plants, half of all community gardeners reported growing some and most among them reported using the plants for medicinal purposes and experiencing a beneficial effect. Anti-microbial, respiratory and gastro-intestinal uses/benefits were commonly reported and garlic, lemon balm and lavender were more frequently mentioned by respondents who had experienced a beneficial effect. Medicinal plants are barely mentioned in the literature on community gardening. Just one study was found that mentioned medicinal herbs being commonly cultivated in community gardens in Waterloo, Australia, and used by some gardeners to treat medical conditions (Thompson et al., 2007). 4.2.5.5 Financial Effects of Community Gardening The large majority of gardeners perceived no change in the state of their finances as a result of community gardening, whereas those who did, mostly reported a slight improvement in expenses related to food purchases.  The literature consists mainly of findings for decreased food purchase costs and therefore a reduction in the financial burden of low income families in particular. The findings of this study however do not lend much support to these findings. This likely relates to the aforementioned characterization of community gardeners in this study as a considerably higher income group, given that 70% reported an annual household income of over CAD $40,000. In addition, most respondents did not sell their produce, likely due to the lack of need based on their overall higher socioeconomic status (SES), lack of interest in doing so (as opposed to gardening mainly for recreation); insufficient harvest quantities due to the typically small plot sizes, and the aforementioned prohibitions in some garden rules. 4.2.5.6 Social Effects of Community Gardening Though second only to improvements in emotional state, for the proportion of respondents reporting an improvement, most described the improvement in their relationships in the range of slight to moderate. However, most also reported the improvement to be in relationships at the garden and beyond. Interaction during (less frequent) scheduled garden events as well as during more frequent plot visitations, were attributed, among other factors, to improved relationships. 128  In addition, it is noteworthy that the second most common initial motivation, and among the most common current motivations for community gardening was communal/social interaction. Nonetheless, the most commonly stated improvement desired among gardeners and coordinators was more communal interaction and participation. Contrary to this study's findings of congruence between improved relationships attributed to different forms of socializing, and a high priority for social interaction as a motivation for community gardening, another study reported that though gardeners socialized considerably during plot visitation, a small minority identified social interaction as a motivation for allotment gardening (Roy, 2001). It is also interesting that stress relief through gardening, which represents an improvement in emotional or overall psychological state, was attributed to improved relationships, and conversely that social interaction was mentioned among the most commonly perceived causes of improvement in emotional states and mental abilities.  Based on findings in the literature, community gardens provide opportunities for like-minded people to socialize and develop their skills (Glover, 2004; Greiner et al., 2004; Hancock, 2001; Hynes & Howe, 2004; Kweon et al., 1998; Relf, 1992), much like the results in this study that showed a prevalence of improved relationships due to socializing between respondents and learning from each other. In addition, some respondents in this study reported receiving emotional support from fellow gardeners, which is supported by other research whereby community gardeners mentioned sharing personal feelings with fellow gardeners because they felt that they were in a supportive environment (Kingsley et al., 2009; Rappe et al., 2008). Some negative outcomes of social interaction in community gardens have also been mentioned in the literature regarding disagreements over such things as disallowed crops, fence installation and racial diversity (Glover, 2004). Negative outcomes were not reported in this study in terms of impaired relationships as a result of community gardening, despite some respondents‟ aforementioned discontent with fellow gardeners' attitudes towards marginalized people who visited gardens, and others' suspicions about fellow gardeners engaging in theft. 4.2.6 Community Gardening Policy All but four Metro Vancouver municipalities reported having community gardens, and the largest reported number were six in Richmond, although Burnaby, which mentioned five gardens known 129  to the city, reported having 400 more garden plots than Richmond. Nearly half the municipalities with community gardens oversaw them in partnership with one or more organizations by providing some or all resources, for use by the organization in coordinating garden activities and upkeep. Typically no municipal policies exist for all community gardens within a municipality but rather for the community garden the municipality is (in)directly involved with. Policy typically only covers prohibitions against chemical use and to a lesser extent invasive species. The City of Montreal is comparable to the City of Vancouver in the scope of its community gardening activity (97 gardens and the latter's 76) though the former is much better established in oversight. The City of Montreal's 19 boroughs oversee community garden programs through various departments and divisions which acquire land, hire staff, maintain wait lists and provide resources, supplies and amenities to gardens.  In the literature, one study on the City of Montreal's community gardening program reported 98 community gardens comprising over 8,400 plots (Duchemin et al., 2009), whereas another reported 69 gardens in Toronto, tended by 3,600 gardeners as of 1997 (Irvine et al., 1999).  The City of Vancouver is by far more involved in community gardening than its Metro Vancouver counterparts. However, it is far less robust in managing community garden programs in comparison to the City of Montreal, which hires staff in some/all its 19 boroughs, acquires land for, builds and provides substantial material support to community gardens. The City of Montreal also adheres to provincial soil-testing guidelines and requires contamination testing on all anticipated community garden sites. The equivalent does not exist in the City of Vancouver, and is unlikely to be implemented in the near future, due to limited capacity, competing priorities and possibly a lack of perceived need. Moreover, the City of Montreal was commended in one study in the literature for being a leading example in the integration of sustainability and community gardening, by encouraging ecological methods, and promoting the use of environmentally safe pesticides and organic fertilizers (Roy, 2001).  130  4.3 Study Limitations 4.3.1 Scope of the Study The study was too broad in its objectives and hence did not go as much in depth in some areas as would have been otherwise possible. The aims were to characterize community gardens, coordinators and gardeners; investigate perceived health effects and draw correlations, as well as review policy for all municipalities in Metro Vancouver and potentially other municipalities outside British Columbia, all within a period of one year for a Master's thesis.  A focus on two rather than three of the above objectives, or a narrower focus within one or all the objectives would have been sufficient and provided more room for depth in, for instance, considering municipal policy. 4.3.2 Cross-sectional Design & Self-reporting The entirely cross-sectional study design used in this study limited the possibility of collecting some data longitudinally, through subject diaries for instance, short or long-term observation, or participatory research, any of which would have increased the veracity of results by reducing the subjectivity and recall bias engendered in one-time self-reporting. Moreover, all the data collected regarding personal motivations, experiences and practices (almost exclusively from gardeners) was reported by subjects who may have had inclinations to respond to certain questions in ways that would preserve privacy; conceal perceived wrong-doing on their or others' part; and avoid perceived negative consequences, such as a loss of reputation for their gardens.  However, collecting similar types of data from coordinators and gardeners for some questions helped to bring together slightly different perspectives, for comparison and corroboration purposes. 4.3.3 Lack of a Comparison Group The design of this study also did not incorporate a comparative component to strengthen findings for health effects reported by gardeners. The use of a comparison group would have probably 131  altered study objectives and the study design, but also been a more reliable means of testing the veracity of subjects‟ reports. A comparison group may have comprised people of similar age, sex, socioeconomic status or occupation to community gardeners in the study, who rarely engage in recreation involving nature contact/experiences or who consume far less local or organic produce or who do not socialize regularly with like-minded other people (in an activity involving intimate nature contact). Their levels of reported physiological and psychological health/well-being could have been compared to those reported by gardeners, before and after a defined period of time. 4.3.4 Study Participation 4.3.4.1 Selection Bias This study was based on a recruitment strategy that resulted in a convenience sample of study subjects. Almost any coordinators or community gardeners were recruited if they consented to participate and met the fairly broad inclusion criteria (be at least 19 years of age, belong to a community garden that has individual plots, though priority was also given to gardens with 30 plots or more and to gardeners with a year or more of experience at their current garden plot). There was therefore a bias in study subjects being predominantly from among those who were enthusiastic to participate because they likely were excited about their community gardening experiences, thus significantly reducing any semblance of a random sample.  However, attending garden work parties to recruit participants mitigated against this somewhat, as many community gardeners were approached and consented to participate who would otherwise not have or who did not respond to email requests forwarded beforehand by their coordinators.  Moreover, because the study was not funded, recruitment methods such as the use of fliers and mailed requests were not possible. Such methods would have likely increased the number of study subjects and therefore also the option of selecting from among a pool of willing participants with a larger variety of traits to choose from.  132  4.3.4.2 Insufficient Diversity Among Study Subjects This study was designed largely to accommodate subjects who spoke English at a high proficiency. The coordinators' and gardeners' surveys were both in English and were never translated into Spanish or any Asian languages, though some gardeners were non-English speakers but fluent in an Asian language (more than any other languages), and one garden was found to cater largely to immigrants of Hispanic origin who spoke little or no English, and were fluent in Spanish. Perhaps some gardeners also spoke French and little to no English, though that remains unknown. In addition, surveys were administered on phone primarily, again requiring a fairly high level of English-speaking proficiency, or some mode of translation. However, no paid translation was possible during survey design or administration due to the lack of funding for the study. Moreover, no translators were found that were willing to work on a voluntary basis.  This exclusion of non-English speakers from the study also resulted in a lower level of immigrant participation, given that speaking little or neither English nor French increases the likelihood that one has lived a substantial portion of one's life outside North America. In the literature (US-based mostly), immigrants generally comprise some proportion of community gardeners, and have been reported to engage in and benefit from gardening as a means of reestablishing their cultural roots in relation to urban/rural agriculture, increasing their levels of food security, and providing skill development and a means of productivity outside formal employment systems that may present considerable cultural and language barriers. 4.3.4.3 Lack of Compensation for Subjects Study subjects were also not compensated for their time, again due to the lack of funding for this study. Coordinators, for instance, assisted in recruitment efforts via email and at work parties, completed surveys, and responded to any additional questions. Gardeners took time to participate in a phone survey that typically lasted an hour or longer and also agreed to be contacted subsequently, to clarify the information they had provided.  133  4.3.3 Survey Design & Administration 4.3.3.1 Validity & Pilot-testing The surveys used for coordinators and gardeners were tested twice each on four coordinators (who did not later participate in the study), and changes were made to the phrasing of certain questions in the gardeners' survey, whereas a number of questions were excluded from the coordinators' survey. However, during the actual use of the gardeners' surveys in the study, it was deemed necessary to further exclude or re-phrase certain questions for clarity during the first four interviews. Moreover, during analysis a few other questions were identified that could have been improved upon fairly easily. Had more extensive pilot-testing been done initially, the editing of the gardeners' survey during actual administration, and the identification of some flaws during analysis would likely have been avoided. 4.3.3.2 Survey Length, Breadth & Focus Moreover the length of the gardeners' survey (118 questions though some were potential skips), and the duration of approximately an hour for its completion may have been prohibitive of recruitment efforts, given that the duration of the interview was always (appropriately) mentioned at the outset of the recruitment process.  A shorter gardeners' survey, particularly with regard to the scope of gardeners' practices, motivations and experiences (in relation to health), would have also facilitated a more thorough focus on the design of the remaining questions, and thus achieved greater clarity in the results. 4.3.3.3 Question Type/Structure The gardeners' survey also contained a number of open-ended questions that could have been designed as quantitative questions and thus further standardized the data analysis process, reducing any unforeseen biases in interpreting responses, without severely compromising the uniqueness and variety of responses that are typical of qualitative research.  134  4.3.3.4 Recall Bias Study subjects were also likely to have unintentionally provided erroneous information based on poor recall of past experiences, occurrences and practices. Some survey questions asked gardeners, what they typically had done over the years and about changes experienced over time. Some memories may have been more salient than others for different subjects, and they may have been unaware of this in responding.  The removal of some questions from the gardeners' survey after the study had begun was aimed at mitigating this (though as already mentioned this removal should have happened during more extensive pilot-testing). Some of the excluded questions asked about the duration of soil enrichment; weed, pest, and disease control; and waste disposal practices and were thus deemed to be too detail-oriented to elicit an accurate response, because they were based on recalling vague gardening “milestones”. 4.4 Study Strengths 4.4.1 Data Collection Using phone surveys, particularly for the gardeners' survey, though tedious for an hour-long survey, likely reduced the duration of many interviews, whereas in-person interviews would have lengthened their duration. The convenience (and safety) for the researcher and interviewees, of not having to arrange a physical location for an interview, likely also enhanced participation rates. In addition, because subjects were not compensated for their time, the least inconvenient data collection method was a worthy consideration, and phone interviews were appropriate to that end.  Moreover, giving coordinators the option of taking the survey on their own or arranging a phone interview, helped compensate for their extra time and effort in assisting with the recruitment process.  135  4.4.2 Research Needs This study took a novel approach in its consideration of reported beneficial and detrimental health effects from mainly environmental exposures associated with community gardening. In particular the focus on nature contact or experiences as a type of environmental exposure with implications for health, and especially beneficial ones, is new to the environmental health field. Much of the knowledge generated by other studies regarding the benefits of nature contact, has been in fields other than environmental or public health, such as psychology and occupational or horticulture therapy.  This study also considered a number of aspects of health, i.e. mental, emotional, physical and physiological, as well as determinants of health i.e. financial and social well-being. Though broader in its scope than it should have been, these considerations examined together, facilitated a more integrated perspective or comprehensive outlook on subjects' reported health in relation to community gardening and other factors. In addition, few studies have focused quantitatively on health effects associated with community gardening, or interviewed community gardeners especially for that purpose.  Moreover, this study collected data from gardeners belonging to many different gardens, and from both community gardeners and coordinators, which most studies in the literature have not typically done. Also, this study investigated community gardening policy, which is an area in need of much research, based on the American Community Gardening Association's (ACGA) findings.  136  4.5 Conclusion & Applicability of Study Results This study has found that community gardening is an activity whose various health-related benefits (psychological, physical fitness, nutrition, social) outweigh its risks (injury, soil contamination, chemical use, illicit activity). It is also an activity that can serve many beneficial purposes i.e. recreation, income generation, nutrition, environmental sustainability, community building, etc. for a variety of groups/people, simultaneously. Community gardening is pursued typically by the socio-economically disadvantaged, but in the City of Vancouver, quite prevalently by those of middle and higher SES, and is thus a bridge between socioeconomic strata, possibly with further implications for community-building. The high demand for plots at gardens, affirms the reported need for the expansion of community gardening spaces and the retention of existing ones, particularly in lower income neighbourhoods.  However, the concern about managing the potential risks of soil contamination where gardens are (to be) located is also important. This importance need not be over-estimated however, based on the findings of low or spot contamination for all three gardens that reported results for contamination in this study (and non-specific findings in the literature regarding types and levels of contamination). To manage potential contamination risks as dictated by prior land uses, the City of Vancouver could benefit from collaborating with the UBC‟s Faculty of Land and Food Systems as has happened at one garden, whereby testing was in one instance deemed unnecessary and less cost-efficient than soil remediation, based on a current assessment of the probability of actual contamination in an uncultivated area in the garden (that had previously been found to be contaminated above regulatory levels). Nevertheless, though testing need not necessarily apply in all or most instances, it would be useful to consider alongside remediation, the installation of raised beds, alternative garden locations, and restricted crop types based on the assessed likelihood of contamination, among other options. Therefore, the City of Montreal's (provincial) soil-testing protocol may be a useful resource base for the City of Vancouver (as it was for the City of Toronto). It is nevertheless, praiseworthy that new gardens are usually provided new soil by the city (and compost or manure or wood chips), though it may be even more beneficial and sometimes necessary to have soil delivered yearly thereafter, as stated by a coordinator and a gardener (mainly to maintain soil and crop quality), but also to continue to 137  limit potential soil contamination where necessary. Concerns about the possible or probable toxicity of the land that community gardens are situated on should therefore not be a cause for limiting the expansion of or support for community gardening on city land, especially given the contamination risks that conventional agricultural produce carries (and with little mitigation at the policy-making level).  The City of Vancouver could also connect with other Metro Vancouver municipalities in order to share knowledge and help promote community gardening further in other Metro Vancouver municipalities. For instance, the city's commendable support of all the gardens in this study, with respect to water supply may be something other municipalities could be in a position to prioritize. With respect to accessibility also, the large proportion of gardens with raised beds installed primarily to accommodate people with limited mobility was noteworthy, and may be a basis for having policy in place to standardize the practice. Moreover, one coordinator‟s suggestion for a city-wide electronic knowledge base for garden coordinators, may be a worthwhile consideration for knowledge exchange and inter-garden support. The findings of this study with regard to community gardening‟s psychological health benefits and age i.e. most gardeners were under 50 years of age (and for men, the prevalent age bracket was 31 to 40 years, whereas for women it was 41 to 50) could also aid in the promotion of gardening among young adults and even serve as a deterrent to illicit group behaviour. Moreover, with regard to considerable public safety concerns at some gardens, it may be necessary to expand regular police patrol at night in and around such gardens and neighbourhoods, in addition to supplying necessary litter disposal services for such things as used needles.  138  4.6 Recommendations for Future Research Because of the superficial nature of the policy-related research conducted in this study, and the gaps in knowledge identified by the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA), more research in community gardening policy is necessary.  In addition more research is needed on community gardening and actual as opposed to perceived health effects. Longitudinal and experimental study designs undertaken with large, diverse study populations would be useful. Subjective reports may still nevertheless be useful in investigating attitudes and motivations regarding group interaction dynamics for instance, or in longitudinal studies where subjects are asked to keep diaries of their community gardening experiences and practices. Research on soil-testing protocol and remediation techniques would also be useful.  Overall research in community gardening is still in its infancy and (environmental) health concerns encompass a wide variety of research topics. As the two are viewed more and more as being interrelated, there will also be the growing recognition that there is much room for innovative research.  139  References Abraham, A., Sommerhalder, K., & Abel, T. (2009). Landscape and well-being: a scoping study on the health-promoting impact of outdoor environments. International Journal of Public health, 55, 59-69. DOI 10.1007/s00038-009-0069-z Alaimo, K., Packnett, E., Miles, R. A., & Kruger, D. J. (2008). 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Acta Horticulturae 639: XXVI International Horticultural Congress: expanding roles for horticulture in improving human well-being and life quality, 67-73. Retrieved from http://www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?session=17020 Van den Berg, A. E., & Custers, M. H. G. (2010). Gardening promotes neuroendocrine and affective restoration from stress. Journal of Health and Psychology. doi:10.1177/1359105310365577 Wakefield, S., Yeudall, F., Taron, C., Reynolds, J., & Skinner, A. (2007). Growing urban health: community gardening in South-East Toronto. Health Promotion International, 22(2), 92101. Retrieved from http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/2/92.full.pdf+html Waliczek, T. M., Mattson, R. H., & Zajicek, J. M. (1996). Benefits of community gardening on quality-of-life issues. Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 14(4), 204-209. Retrieved from http://www.hriresearch.org/Docs/Publications/JEH/JEH_1996/JEH_1996_14_4/JEH%2014 -4-204-209.pdf Wekerle, G. (2004). Food justice movements: policy, planning and networks, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 23, 378-386. DOI: 10.1177/0739456X04264886 151  Zimbler, R. L. (2001). Community gardens on the urban land use planning agenda (unpublished master‟s project). University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.  152  Appendices  Appendix A: Literature Review Strategy Many of the 114 articles read in preparation for this study (49%) were reviews and reports. In addition, there were quantitative studies (32%) in the form of cross-sectional studies, soil and crop assessments, longitudinal studies, and a randomized experiment, as well as qualitative studies (19%). Confirmed peer-reviewed articles were 75% of the total. The remainder comprised non-peer-reviewed academic or professional reports, papers, and book chapters, as well as a total of four Master's thesis, a Master's project, a dissertation and dissertation proposal. Of the 114 articles read, 101 were referenced. The key search terms used to find articles in Google Scholar and Meta Search were “community gardening and health (effects)”, “urban agriculture/gardening/greening and health (effects)”, “allotment gardening and health (effects)”, “horticulture/gardening and health (effects)”, “community gardening and municipal/administrative policy”, “community gardening, health, policy” and “nature experiences/contact and health”.  153  Appendix B: Community Gardeners' Survey  1. MOTIVATIONS, PAST & CURRENT EXPERIENCE 1. Did you have any farming or gardening experience before beginning on your current community garden plot? YES / NO ____________ 2. If YES, how long did you farm or garden?_________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________months/years 3. List the crops you grew and any animals you reared.__________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ green leafy veggies (kale, collards, cabbage, chard, spinach, arugula....)_________________ a. inflorescent veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes...) ________________ b. root veggies (potatoes, beets, carrots, radish, celery, yams, ginger...)________________ c. bulb veggies (onion, leeks, chives, garlic, scallions, fennel...)_________________ d. pod veggies (beans/legumes, peas, lentils, peanuts...)___________________ e. fruit-like veggies (tomato, peppers, okra, eggplant...)___________________ f. squashes (zucchini, cucumber, pumpkin...)___________________ g. stalk veggies (asparagus, celery, bamboo...)__________________ h. herbs (mint, cilantro, parsley, sage, thyme, lavender...)__________________ i. cereals (corn, wheat, barley, rice...)_________________ j. fruits (citrus, apples, pears, berries, sweet squashes, plums, peaches...)___________ k. nuts (walnuts, hazels, brazils, macadamias...)__________________ l. fungi (mushrooms...)________________ m. flowers (dahlia, geranium, rose, tulip, carnation, daffodil...)__________________ n. animals (bees, dairy c., beef c., hens, ducks, turkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, seafood,...)___________ 4. Did your past experience involve community gardening at all? YES / NO 5. If YES, how long did your community gardening experience last (prior to beginning on your current plot)? ____________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________months/years 6. How long have you been on your current community garden plot? ______________________________________________months/years 7. Where else, if at all, do you currently garden besides your community garden plot? a. NOWHERE b. home c. other community garden plot d. other____________________________________________________________________  154  8. In order of importance, list your initial reason(s) for becoming a community gardener. __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ a. health___________________________________ b. financial__________________________________________ c. hobby/leisure_______________________________________ d. learning/education/experimentation___________________________________ e. environmental sustainability concerns_________________________________ f. dietary/culinary tastes__________________________________ g. aesthetic tastes_____________________________________ h. self-sufficiency________________________________ i. other___________________________________________________________________ 9. If your reasons for community gardening have changed at all, what are your current reasons in order of importance?____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ a. NO CHANGE IN REASONS b. health_________________________________ c. financial__________________________________ d. hobby/leisure______________________________________ e. learning/education/experimentation_________________________________ f. environmental sustainability concerns_________________________________ g. dietary/culinary tastes__________________________________ h. aesthetics tastes_____________________________________ i. self-sufficiency______________________________ j. other_______________________________________________________________ 10. If your reasons have not changed, but their order of importance has, what is their current order? _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ a. NO CHANGE IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE b. health_________________________________ c. financial__________________________________ d. hobby, leisure______________________________________ e. learning, education_________________________________ f. environmental sustainability concerns_________________________________ g. dietary/culinary tastes__________________________________ h. aesthetics tastes_____________________________________ i. self-sufficiency_______________________________ j. other_____________________________________________________________ 2. PLOT/GARDEN CHARACTERISTICS 11. What is the (approximate) size of your community garden plot a. I DON'T KNOW b. __________________________square feet/metres 12. Do you know if any soil-testing has been done on your plot or in the larger garden? YES / NO / UNSURE_____________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________  155  13. If YES, do you know when it was done? a. I DON'T KNOW WHEN b._____________________(month &) year 14. What were the results of soil-testing? a. I DON'T KNOW b. chemical contamination___________________________________________________ c. heavy metals____________________________________________________________ d. nutrient levels__________________________________________________________ e. microbes_______________________________________________________________ f. other __________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 15. How do you get to your plot from where you live? a. on foot b. cycle (bicycle or motorcycle) c. drive or ride with others in personal vehicle d. public transit e. other________________________________________________________________ 16. How satisfied are you with the convenience in getting to your garden from where you live? Convenience here means the distance from your home to your garden plot and your mode(s) of transport. very dissatisfied, moderately dissatisfied, slightly dissatisfied, slightly satisfied, moderately satisfied, very satisfied_____________________________________ 17. What do you think of the larger garden in relation to the physical and social aspects of the surrounding neighbourhood? _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ a. public safety & health________________________________________________ b. socio-economics_____________________________________________________ c. ethno-cultural factors________________________________________________ d. aesthetics___________________________________________________________ e. landscape/terrain____________________________________________________ f. real estate/land use____________________________________________________ g. other_______________________________________________________________ 18. How many times, if at all, have you experienced/heard of theft on your plot or in the larger garden ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ a. NEVER ON MY PLOT b. NEVER IN THE LARGER GARDEN c. on my plot ____________________times d. in the larger garden______________________times/unsure how many times (1 st hand or others reports) 19. If theft has occurred, what has been stolen from your plot and/or the larger garden?______ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ a. harvest b. tools, equipment c. soil, beds d. seeds, seedlings e. other_________________________________________________________________  156  3. GARDENING PRACTICES I 20. What philosophy/ies, if any, guide or inform your community gardening practices? a. NONE b.__________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ 21. During what months do you typically garden/what's growing season for you?___ _____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ 22. How many times a week/month do you come/go to your plot during growing season? ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________times per day/week/month 23. On average, how long do you garden during each visit to your plot? (OR, on average, how many hours week/month do you spend gardening at your plot?) __________ ____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________mins./hrs 24. During what times of day do you usually come/go to your plot? a. early morning b. mid/late-morning c. early afternoon d. mid-afternoon e. late afternoon/evening f. night 25. What proportions of vegetables, herbs, fruits &/or flowers, do you usually grow OR what proportions have you grown this year (if you've been on your plot for a year or less or make drastic changes each year/season)__________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ 26. Give a detailed list of what you usually grow (OR have grown this year, if you've been on your plot for a year or less)?________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ a. green leafy veggies (kale, collards, cabbage, chard, spinach, arugula....)________ b. inflorescent veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes...) ____________ c. root veggies (potatoes, beets, carrots, radish, celery, yams, ginger...)_________ d. bulb veggies (onion, leeks, chives, garlic, scallions, fennel...)__________ e. pod veggies (beans, peanuts, peas, lentils...)___________________ f. fruit-like veggies (tomato, peppers, okra, eggplant...)________________ g. squashes (zucchini, cucumber, pumpkin...)__________________ h. stalk veggies (asparagus, celery, bamboo...)__________________ i. herbs (mint, cilantro, parsley, sage, thyme, lavender...)_____________ j. cereals (corn, wheat, barley, rice...)_________________ k. fruits (citrus, apples, pears, berries, sweet squashes, plums, peaches)_______ l. nuts (walnuts, hazels, brazils, macadamias)__________________ m. flowers (dahlia, geranium, rose, tulip, carnation, daffodil...)__________________  157  27. Why do/did you choose to grow the crops you mentioned as opposed to other crops? _________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ a. NO CHOICE, found already growing on plot________________ b. health____________________________________________________ c. dietary/culinary tastes__________________________________________ d. aesthetic tastes_____________________________________________ e. ease of cultivation______________________________________________ f. environmental concerns (specific to certain crops)_____________________ g. financial factors (food cost reduction, income generation, etc.)________________ h. trial and error (experimentation, learning)__________________________ i. soil enrichment strategies (crop rotation)_______________________________ j. preference developed in previous farming/gardening experience_______________ k. required in my garden___________________________________________ l. other__________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ 28. As opposed to what you typically grow, what do you grow occasionally (if you have been gardening for a number of years)? a. NOTHING b. ____________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 29. What, if anything, do you grow on raised beds? a. NOTHING b. EVERYTHING c. _________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ 30. If you have any raised beds, why do you have them?______________________ ____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ a. found them on plot and chose to keep them b. found them on plot and required/recommended in garden c. installed them because required/recommended in garden d. installed them because of: i. type of crop(s) to be grown/gardening practice(s)________________________ ii. ease of gardening/less physical strain in bending__________________________ iii. concerns about soil contamination________________________________ iv. other___________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ 31. Where or how do you obtain the seeds and seedlings you use? a. seed swaps/donations (friends, acquaintances, fellow gardeners) b. garden shows c. stores d. found already growing on plot_____________________________________ e. other ___________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________  158  32. Besides convenience are there any other reasons why you obtain seeds and seedlings from this/these source(s)?_______________________________________ _____________________________________________________ a. NO_______________________________________________ b. health (organic, more nutritious varieties/crops)________________________ c. harvest quantity/quality (appearance, taste, smell)______________________ d. ease of cultivation/fast germination________________________________ e. disease/pest/drought resistance_____________________________________ f. environmental concerns (about variety, local, organic sources)________________ g. financial factors (cost reduction, higher revenue from qlty/qnty of harvest...)__________ h. experimenting with varieties_________________________________ i. other________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ 33. Are your seeds and seedlings organic? (Which ones are, which ones are not & which are uncertain?) a. YES, all organic b. SOME organic_____________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ c. SOME NOT organic________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ d. NONE organic e. UNSURE about some__________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ f. UNSURE about all____________________________________________ 34. What do you usually do with your harvest?____________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ a. personal & household/family use______________________________________ b. share with non-household members (friends, neighbours)__________________ c. charity/donations/community kitchen________________________________ d. sale/barter____________________________________________________ e. other__________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 4. GARDENING PRACTICES II 35. List the methods you use to maintain or add nutrients to the soil. [NONE, compost, chemical fertilizer, organic fertilizer, mulch, crop rotation, inter-cropping, fallowing, other]__________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ 36. List the methods you use to control weeds. [NONE, manually pull out, chemical herbicide, organic herbicide, homemade formula, inter/complementary-cropping, mulch, other] _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________ 37. If you use a homemade formula, what is it composed of?_________ _________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ 38. List the pests you have found (or found evidence of) on your plot and the crops they have targeted. _________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________  159  39. List the methods you use to control pests. [NONE, chemical pesticide, organic pesticide, intercropping, homemade formula, traps, fence, manually remove, other]_________ _________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ 40. If you use a homemade formula, what is it composed of?________________ _________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 41. List any diseases/conditions that have affected your crops._______________ _______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ 42. List the methods you use to prevent, control or treat diseases/conditions. [NONE, chemical sprays/powders, organic sprays/powders, homemade formula, inter-cropping, other] _____________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ 43. If you use a homemade formula, what is it composed of?____________ _______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ 44. Do you use city water to irrigate your plot? YES, ALWAYS OR USUALLY / YES, SOMETIMES / NO, NEVER / I DON'T KNOW 45. If you DO NOT USUALLY use city water, what other water sources do you use? Rain, other ____________________________________ ________________________________________ 46. How do you dispose of the biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste from your plot? _________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ a. on plot_______________________________________________ b. off-plot & in-garden ____________________________________ c. off-plot & off-garden_____________________________________ d. dumping/trash pile_____________________________________ e. trash can___________________________________________ f. burying__________________________________________ g. burning___________________________________________ h. recycling__________________________________________ i. composting________________________________________ j. other ___________________________________________ 47. Where do you obtain tools and equipment? personal ownership/store purchase, garden coordinator/tool shed or box, fellow gardeners, other____________________ ___________________________________________________ 48. Are you satisfied with the tools and equipment you use & why not if you are dissatisfied at all? _______________________________________ __________________________________________ _______________________________________________ a. SATISFIED________________________________________ b. DISSATISFIED__________________________________ i. financial factors (cost...)________________________________ ii. functionality/maintenance considerations__________________ iii. safety of use/ergonomic factors__________________________ iv. other reasons_____________________________________________  160  49. On your plot, do you garden alone or with someone else?_______________ _______________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ a. always alone______________________________________________ b. sometimes with someone else/others _________________________ c. rarely/never alone_____________________________________ 50. How often do you interact with fellow gardeners besides meeting spontaneously at the garden? a. at the garden (in)frequently when we coordinate our personal gardening schedules ___________________________________________________ b. during planned larger events: have attended a. < 50%, b. ~ 50% or c. > 50% of work parties_____________________________________________ _______________________________________________ ________________________________________________ c. during planned larger events: have attended a. < 50%, b. ~ 50% or c. > 50% of meetings_______________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ d. online through discussion forums, etc.______________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ e. socialize away from garden on my/our own time____________________ ________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ f. other__________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ 51. What other gardening organizations are you involved with? ______________ ______________________________________________________________ a. NOT INVOLVED WITH ANY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS b.___________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 5. GARDENING HEALTH EFFECTS 52. Do you have any chronic health condition(s) that may or may not require regular medication/treatment? YES / NO___________________________ 53. If you are comfortable being specific, what health condition(s) do you have? __________ _____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ 54. How long have you been living with this/these condition(s)?_________________ __________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________weeks/months/year 55. As a result of community gardening, do you find that your thinking abilities are a. improved, b. impaired or c. the same? Thinking abilities refer to such things as the ability to pay attention or focus, to learn or apply practical skills, to plan or strategize, to memorize or recall, to communicate your thoughts, to solve problems or even puzzles... ________________ 56. How did the improvement/impairment become apparent to you? ____________ ______________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________  161  57. Do/Did you experience the improvement/impairment while a. gardening, b. while engaged in non-gardenrelated activities or in c. both instances? _____________ 58. Has the improvement/impairment been a. slight, b. moderate or c. significant? ____________ 59. To what aspects of community gardening do you attribute the improvement/impairment in your thinking/mental abilities? ______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ 60. As a result of community gardening, do you find that your emotional state is a. improved, b. impaired or c. the same? Emotional state refers to such things as mood, stress levels, optimism/enthusiasm, contentment, self-esteem... _________________________ 61. How did the improvement/impairment become apparent to you? __________________ _____________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ 62. Do/Did you experience the improvement/impairment while a. gardening, b. while engaged in non-garden-related activities or in c. both instances? _____________ 63. Has the improvement/impairment been a. slight, b. moderate or c. significant? ____________ 64. To what aspects of community gardening do you attribute the improvement/impairment in your emotional state? ___________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ 65. What forms of physical activity do you regularly engage in?________________ ______________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ a. NONE b. considerable manual work on the job______________________________ c. exercise regimen outdoors______________________________________ d. exercise regimen at the gym______________________________________ e. exercise regimen at home______________________________________ f. playing (a) sport(s)_________________________________________ g. other______________________________________________________ 66. For about how many hours a week do you engage in the above activities)?____________ ______________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ 67. As a result of community gardening, do you find that your fitness level has a. improved, b. declined or c. remained the same? Fitness level refers to such things as the ability to endure exertion and muscular strength... ______________ 68. How did the improvement/decline become apparent to you? ________________ ____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 69. Has the improvement/decline been a. slight, b. moderate or c. significant? ____________ 70. To what aspects of community gardening do you attribute the improvement/decline in your fitness level? _______________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________  162  71. What types of physical injury, if any, have you experienced as a result of community gardening? __________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ a. NONE b. head, face or neck____________________________________ c. torso_____________________________________________ d. limbs_____________________________________________ 72. As a result of community gardening, has your frequency or severity of physical injury a. increased, b. decreased or c. remained the same? _______________ 73. What aspects of community gardening have led to the increase/decrease in your frequency or severity of physical injury?______________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ 74. On average, how many hours a week do you spend outdoors during the warmer months? _____________________________________________________________________hrs 75. On average, how many hours a week do you spend outdoors during the cooler months? ______________________________________________________________________hrs 76. As a result of being outdoors gardening on your plot, do you find that any health conditions or symptoms you have/had were a. improved, b. worsened or c. remained the same? Do not consider anything in relation to consuming or using any plants on your plot, just the experience of being outdoors on your plot gardening, so...(restate question)______________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ 77. How (for all the above instances) did the improvement/deterioration become apparent to you? ________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ 78. Do/Did you experience the improvement/deterioration while a. gardening, b. while engaged in non-garden-related activities or in c. both instances?_____________ 79. Was the improvement/deterioration a. slight, b. moderate or c. significant? __________ 80. To what aspects of community gardening do you attribute the improvement/deterioration in your disease(s), symptom(s) or recovery process(es)? __________________________ _____________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ 81. As a result of community gardening, do you find that your food choices have a. improved, b. suffered or c. remained the same?__________________________________________  163  82. As a result of the change in your food choices, what types of food do you consume more of and what do you consume less of _________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ a. > local vs. < non-local produce__________________________ b. _____processed vs. _____non-processed___________________________ c. _____organic vs. ______non-organic__________________________ d. _____plant vs. ______animal-based_____________________________ e. _____raw vs. _____cooked___________________________________ f. _______________________(other) vs. ______________(other)___________ _________________________________________________ g. _______________________(other) vs. ____________(other)____________ ________________________________________________________ 83. Has the change in your food choices been a. slight, b. moderate or c. significant? ________ 84. To what aspects of community gardening do you attribute the influence on your food choices ____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ 85. Has the change in your food choices a. improved, b. impaired or c. not affected your health? _____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ 86. How did the improvement/impairment become apparent to you? _____________ _______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ 87. Has the change in your health been a. slight, b. moderate or c. significant? 88. Name any plants on your plot that you deem to be medicinal and the conditions they treat? a. NONE b.______________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ 89. If you have used/consumed any of these plants, did your health (i.) improve, (ii.) suffer or (iii.) remain the same (for each plant used/consumed)? a. NONE USED / CONSUMED b. ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ 90. How did the improvement/impairment in your health become apparent to you?_________ _____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ 91. Has the change in your health been a. slight, b. moderate or c. significant? ______________ 92. As a result of community gardening, do you find that the state of your finances (over the long or short-term has a. improved, b. suffered or c. remained the same? ______________  164  93. How exactly (in terms of income, savings or expenses) has the state of your finances been affected ___________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ a. expense increase (+) / decrease (-) b. income + / c. savings + / d. other ____________________________________________________ 94. Has the change in your finances been a. slight, b. moderate or c. significant? ___________ 95. As a result of community gardening, have your relationships with others a. improved, b. been impaired or c. remained the same?________________ 96. Has/have the improvement/impairment been in your a. garden-related relationships b. non-garden-related relationships c. both?_______________________________________________ 97. Has the improvement/impairment in your relationships been a. slight, b. moderate or c. significant? 98. To what aspects of community gardening do you attribute the improvement/impairment in your relationships with those at or those not at the garden?_________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 6. CONCLUSION 99. What are your future plans for community gardening, if different from what you are doing now? a. NOT DIFFERENT b. __________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ 100. What changes would you like to bring about or see implemented in order to boost your community gardening experience? a. NONE b. ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ 7. MOSTLY DEMOGRAPHICS 101. What is your age group? [19-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81 - >] _________ 102. Sex [M/F] ___________ 103. How many other people currently live with you, and what is the nature of your relationship with them [NONE, spouse, children, other family, friends, roommates, pets, other] _________ _____________________________________________________________________ 104. If you live alone now, how long have you done so? ___________________ months/years  165  105. If you DO NOT NOW LIVE ALONE, but have lived alone previously for any length of time, how long did that/those period(s) of time last and how long ago was that? NEVER LIVED ALONE, lived alone for____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________months/years 106. What is your level of education? [less than high school, some high school, high school diploma, trade school certification/diploma, some college, 2-yr college degree, 4-yr college degree, between 4-yr & grad. degree, Master's degree, Ph.D] _____________________________ ________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ 107. In what area(s) have you received an education and/or training? ____________ __________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ 108. Besides community gardening, what has/have been your other (paid or voluntary) occupation(s)? [NONE, student, other]____________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ 109. How long have you been involved in your occupation(s)________________ ______________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ _________________________, _________________________ months/years __________________________, _______________________ months/years _________________________, _________________________ months/years _________________________, _________________________ months/years 110. Typically, what levels of (occupational) stress do you experience (at each job)? ___________ [a. slight, b. moderate, c. significant] or scale of 1-10 ___________ [a. slight, b. moderate, c. significant] ___________ [a. slight, b. moderate, c. significant] ___________ [a. slight, b. moderate, c. significant] 111. What are the major sources of non-occupational stress you usually experience? [Nonwork-related relationships, finances, health, education, personal safety/security, other] ________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ 112. In relation to each of the sources of (non-occupational) stress you have just mentioned, what levels of stress do you typically experience? ___________________, ___________ [a. slight, b. moderate, c. significant] or scale or 1-10 ___________________, ___________ [a. slight, b. moderate, c. significant] ___________________, ___________ [a. slight, b. moderate, c. significant] ___________________, ___________ [a. slight, b. moderate, c. significant]  166  113. What is/are your ethnicity/ethnicities?____________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ a. Eastern European/Russian_________________________________ b. Western European__________________________________________ c. Pacific Islander/Polynesian_________________________________________ d. African__________________________________________ e. Middle Eastern_________________________________________ f. South Asian_______________________________________ g. Central/Far Eastern/South East Asian___________________________________ h. First Nations/Native (US) American______________________________________ i. Indigenous Central or South American_______________________________ j. Indigenous Australian_________________________________________ k. DON'T KNOW / UNSURE__________________________________________ l. OTHER general descriptor(s) (White/Caucasian, Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian......) m. PREFER NOT TO SAY ____________________________________________________ 114. What language(s) do you speak? (language) , (fluency) [scale of 1-10] OR beginner, intermediate, fluent _________________ , ___________ [scale of 1-10] _________________ , ___________ [scale of 1-10] _________________ , ___________ [scale of 1-10] _________________ , ___________ [scale of 1-10] _________________ , ___________ [scale of 1-10] 115. How long have you lived in Canada or the US?[all my life, other]____________months/years 116. Where else (besides CAN or the US) have you lived for longer than 3 months and how long were you there? [NOWHERE, other] _________________________________, ____________________months/years _________________________________, ____________________months/years _________________________________, ____________________months/years _________________________________, ____________________months/years _________________________________, ____________________months/years 117. What is your (and your spouse's, if applicable) annual income bracket [in '000s 0-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, etc.]___________ 118. What is your postal code? _____________________  If I have further questions about your responses, may I contact you at a later date for further information? YES________ NO__________  Thank you very much!  167  Appendix C: Coordinators' Survey 1. How long have you been the coordinator for this or any other garden? a. this garden_________________________________________weeks/months/years b. other garden__________________________________________weeks/months/years c. other garden___________________________________________weeks/months/years 2. How long have you been a community gardener? a. I AM NOT CURRENTLY A COMMUNITY GARDENER, but was one from/for___________ b. I have been a community gardener from/for___________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 3. How old is the garden you oversee? a. I DON'T KNOW b. ______________________months/years 4. What, if anything, do you know about prior use of the land the garden is situated on? __________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ a. NOTHING/VERY LITTLE & I DON'T KNOW ANYBODY ELSE THAT MAY KNOW MORE _________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ b. NOTHING/VERY LITTLE BUT SOMEONE ELSE OR OTHERS THAT MAY KNOW MORE IS/ARE ___________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ c. I know that________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 5. What is the current size of the garden in terms of area? a. I DON'T KNOW b. ____________________________acres/hectares/sq. feet/metres 6. How many plots are currently in the garden? a. I DON'T KNOW b. _________________ 7. How many plots have raised beds? a. I DON'T KNOW b. NONE c. _______________________________________plots grow ALL CROPS on raised beds d. _______________________________________plots grow SOME CROPS on raised beds  168  8. Do you know if any soil-testing has been done on any part of the garden? YES / NO_________ 9. If YES, do you know when it was done? a. I DON'T KNOW WHEN b._____________________month/year 10. What were the results of soil-testing? a. I DON'T KNOW b. chemical contamination__________________________________________ c. heavy metals____________________________________________________ d. nutrient deficiencies__________________________________________ e. microbial activity________________________________________ f. other __________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ 11. How does one get a plot in your garden? ______________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ 12. Do you currently have a waiting list of potential gardeners?_____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ a. NO, WE HAVE NEVER HAD ONE b. NOT CURRENTLY BUT yes sometimes/typically, we have ~____________people on it c. YES CURRENTLY AND sometimes/typically we have ~____________people on it d. YES CURRENTLY BUT that's unusual and we have ~____________people on it 13. What rules or recommendations are there about gardening practices like soil enrichment; pest, weed and disease control? a. NONE b.______________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________  169  14. What types of support, services or activities does the garden provide to the gardeners? _____________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ a. social support through events/gatherings__________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ b. educational/skill development opportunities__________________________ __________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ c. gardening supplies (tools/equipment/fertilizer/beds)__________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ d. representation through interface with City of Vancouver/other orgs.___________________ _______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ e. income generating opportunities (farmers' markets...)_______________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ f. use of produce in local food security programs (community kitchens...)___________________ _________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 15. What do you think of the garden in relation to the surrounding neighbourhood? ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ a. public safety & health_______________________________________ b. socio-economics___________________________________________ c. ethno-cultural factors_________________________________________ d. aesthetics_________________________________________________ e. landscape/terrain_____________________________________________ f. real estate/land use_____________________________________________ g. other_____________________________________________________ 16. How many times a year, if at all, have you experienced/heard of theft in the garden? ________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ a. NEVER b. UNSURE c. ______________________times a year 17. What is the average level of stress you experience as a garden coordinator, since you took on your role? a. low b. moderate c. significant stress__________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 18. What is the average level of satisfaction you experience as a garden coordinator, since you took on your role? a. low b. moderate c. significant satisfaction__________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________  170  19. What improvements would you like to see in the support you get as a coordinator? ___________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ Demographics 20. Do you have any data on the sex, age and ethnic attributes of your gardeners? [NO, YES] ______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ 21. Besides being a community garden coordinator, what are your other (paid or voluntary) occupation(s)? [NONE, student, other]________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________  If we have further questions about your responses, may we contact you at a later date for further information? YES________ NO__________  Thank you very much!  171  Appendix D: Sampling Results  D.1: The Exclusion of Cluster 5 from the Study Out of a total of eight community gardens in Cluster 5, four were ineligible for the study as can be seen in Table 69, below. Of the remaining four that were eligible, two declined to participate. Regarding the third eligible garden, phone contact was long-distance and therefore beyond the study's financial limitations, no email address could be found online, and no other contact information was obtainable. Moreover, this garden was listed as having 16 plots which further rendered it lower a priority than gardens with 30 or more plots, albeit in other clusters. The fourth eligible garden had been open for just one year when the coordinator was finally reached (at which point no interviewees with a year or less of experience were being recruited), and the garden comprised less than 10 plots, which lowered it further as a priority, resulting in it being left out of the study altogether.  172  Table 65: Cluster 5 neighbourhoods and community gardens and results of recruitment contact attempts Cluster 5 Neighbourhoods Victoria-Fraserview (VF), Renfrew-Coll (RC), Killarney (KL): (RC – 5 gardens; VF – 5 2 gardens & KL – 1 garden)  ID #  1 *S1  2  *S2  3  *S3  4  *S4  # of Plots  Garden Name South Vancouver Family Place 3 2 (VF) Windermere 6 High School South Vancouver Family Place 8 1 (VF)  Results of Contact Attempts SMALL PLOT FOR KIDS, NOT A COMMUNITY GARDEN IS A SCHOOL GARDEN SMALL PLOT FOR KIDS, NOT A COMMUNITY GARDEN Called March 23 & left message for Joyce Fitzgibbon to get me Champlain Place contact info, called & spoke to Joyce week of June13-17 and got Carol Newby's phone number, called Carol Champlain June 22nd and left Place CG message, spoke on 8 (KL) June 24/25 Kaslo LONG-DISTANCE Community CONTACT & NO 16 Garden (RC) EMAIL Emailed Heidi at foodsecurityATcnh.b c.ca on Dec 18; Heard back from Stephanie Lim in January – TOO MUCH OF A TIME Cheyenne Community COMMITMENT 30 Garden (RC) NOW Emailed Heidi at foodsecurityATcnh.b c.ca on Dec 18; Heard back from Stephanie Lim in January – TOO MUCH OF A TIME Collingwood COMMITMENT 30 CG (RC) NOW NOT IN CITY OF Slocan Park VANCOUVER, IS IN Community INTERIOR & IS AN ?? Orchard (RC) ORCHARD  *Gardens with ID #s S1, S2, S3 & S4 were substituted for those with ID#s 1, 2, 3 & 4 but most were also found to be ineligible for this study or did not consent to participate.  173  Table 66: Proportion of participating gardens in each cluster Cluster Neighbourhood clusters in ascending income order ~ # of # (based on 2006 median income census data) Gardens 1 DTES, Strathcona, Strath-DTES 11 2 Mt. Pleasant, Grandview-Woodland 20* 3 West End 4 4 Marpole, Hastings-Sunrise, Fairview 11 5 Victoria-Fraserview, Renfrew-Collingwood, Killarney 8 6 Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Kitsilano, Riley Park, UBC 16 7 West Point Grey, Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale 6 Grand totals 76*  Participating Gardens 2 18% n = 11 6 30% n = 20 2 50% n = 4 2 18% n = 11 3 19% n = 16 1 17% n = 6 16 21% n = 76  *Because many other gardens among the total of 76 (on the city's original list) were later found to be ineligible for this study, the two school gardens that were excluded at the outset have been included here, raising Cluster 2 garden numbers from 18 to 20 and the grand total from 74 to 76.  174  Appendix E: Results for Community Garden Characteristics  Table 67: Participating community garden locations and neighbourhoods Cluster # 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 6 6 6 7  Participating Gardens Cottonwood Strathcona S. China Creek McSpadden Wall Street Ladybug Elizabeth Rogers Pandora Stanley Park Mole Hill Kitsilano Church Pine Street Crowspoint Maple Cypress 16 Oaks  Community Garden Street Addresses Malkin Ave. & Raymur St. Prior St. & Hawks Ave. Keith St. & E. 8th Ave. Victoria Dr. & E. 5th Ave. Wall & Cambridge Sts. Commercial Dr. & E. 8th Ave. Manitoba St. & E. 7th Ave. Templeton Dr. & Franklin St. Robson St. near Lost Lagoon Pendrell & Bute Sts. 1708 W. (~Pine St) & 16th Ave Pine St. & W. 6th Ave. Vanness Ave & E. 24th Ave Maple St. & W. 6th Ave. Cypress St. & W. 6th Ave. Oak St. & W. 16th Ave.  Neighbourhoods Strathcona Strathcona Mt. Pleasant Grandview-Woodland Grandview-Woodland Grandview-Woodland Mt. Pleasant Grandview-Woodland West End West End Fairview* Fairview* Kensington-Cedar Cottage Kitsilano Kitsilano Shaughnessy  *These community gardens were at the boundaries between Fairview and Kitsilano, but were technically on the Fairview side of the boundary.  175  Table 68: Descriptive statistics and frequency distribution for ages of community gardens in this study as reported by coordinators Garden age (years) Numerical summary statistics n = 12 Mean 10.5 Median 6 Range 1 – 25 Standard deviation 8.7 Frequency distribution Age (years) <5 6 5 to 10 1 15 to < 20 2 20 or more 3  n = 12 50% 8.3% 17% 25%  Table 69: Descriptive statistics and frequency distribution for sizes/areas of community gardens in this study as reported by coordinators Garden size (square feet) Numerical summary statistics n = 11* Mean 39025.2 Median 8800 Range 500 – 174,240 Standard deviation 60405.2 Frequency distribution Size (sq ft) < 1000 1,000 to 5,000 5,000+ to 10,000 10,000+ to 20,000 50,000 to 100,000 > 100,000  1 4 2 1 1 2  n = 11* 9% 36% 18% 9% 9% 18%  *The approximate area covered by one garden out of the 12 with participating coordinators, was unknown by the coordinator  176  Table 70: Raw data for approximate community garden sizes obtained from coordinators Cluster # 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 6 6 7  Garden name Strathcona Cottonwood Ladybug Pandora Elizabeth Rogers South China Creek Stanley Park Kitsilano Church Pine Street Maple Street Cypress 16 Oaks  ~ Garden size 3 acres 4 acres ~25 x15 sq m 100 x 100 sq ft 80 x 100/120 sq ft 3000 sq ft 100 x 50 sq ft ~500 sq ft unknown 1 city block ~70 x 12 x 3 sq ft 0.25 sq of short block  Figure 5: Portion of real estate ad showing an area (near Downtown Vancouver) covering 36,196 square feet to be equivalent to half a city block  177  Table 71: Gardeners' and coordinators' responses and proportions from each participating garden regarding soil-testing Participating Gardens *** Strathcona Cottonwood Pandora E. Rogers Ladybug Wall Street McSpadden S. China Crk. Mole Hill Stanley Park Pine Street Kits. Church Maple Cypress Crowspoint 16 Oaks  Soil tested? When soil tested? Soil-testing results** Gardeners Coordinator Gardeners* Coordinator Gardeners* Coordinator 44% – yes yes 33% – '85 in '85 11% – spot c. safe c. levels 2 all – yes yes in '07/'08 in '04/'05 ave. fert. safe c. levels all unsure no all unsure no all unsure no, new soil 50% – yes 3 all unsure NA no 1 all unsure all unsure no, new soil 33% – yes yes in '07 in '06 little c. unknown all unsure no, new soil 20% – yes yes in '89 unsure little c. low fert. 33% – yes yes in '09 in '11 low fert. fert. issues 50% – yes in '10 no c. 60% – yes yes in '07,'08,'10 in '07/'08 40% – no c. spot c.  1  All gardeners at Mole Hill reported in a separate survey question that all garden beds were raised, which was observed to be the case, thus implying that new soil was in use at the garden 2 Reported by coordinator to be the 3rd test carried out at the garden 3 The testing a gardener reported being sure of was for their own individual plot, not the garden as a whole *Percentages appear in these columns only to indicate a change in the response levels given in column 2 **In this column: c. = contamination; avg. = average; fert. = fertility ***In this column: Kits Church = Kitsilano Church; S. China Crk. = South China Creek; E. Rogers = Elizabeth Rogers  178  Table 72: Raw data for annual community garden fee requirements reported by respective coordinators Cluster # 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 6 6 7  Garden name Strathcona Cottonwood Pandora Elizabeth Rogers Ladybug South China Creek Stanley Park Pine Street Kitsilano Church Maple Cypress 16 Oaks  Annual Fees $15 $20 $5 $15 $20 $25 $10 $25 none yet first year $40 to $50; after 3 years $10 $30 $30  Table 73: Raw data for reported numbers of raised beds at respective gardens and reasons for raised beds as reported by coordinators Count 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12  Garden names Number & reasons for raised beds in community garden Strathcona 4 for accessibility Cottonwood 10 for accessibility Pandora 8 for accessibility Elizabeth. Rogers 6 raised, 2 for accessibility Ladybug 11 for accessibility (& aesthetics) South China Creek no raised beds Stanley Park 6 for accessibility Pine Street don't know how many raised beds Kitsilano Church 7 to accommodate sloping ground Maple Street 5 beds for accessibility Cypress most raised < 1 ft 16 Oaks ~65 raised <1 ft to avoid possible contamination  179  Appendix F: Results for Community Gardeners' and Coordinators' Demographics  Table 74: Community gardeners' regionally categorized responses for where they have lived outside North America for longer than three months  Regions lived in outside North America Europe Asia Latin America Australia Africa  Responses (n = 37) 16 43% 12 32% 6 16% 2 5% 1 3%  Table 75: Relative frequencies by sex for community gardeners' reported proficiencies in speaking other languages besides English # of Languages Spoken (English excluded) Intermediate to Fluent Beginner None None None 1 None 2 1 None 1 1 1 2 2 None 3 1  7 3 4 1 1 1 -  Males n = 17 41% 18% 0% 24% 6% 6% 6% 0%  Females n = 26 8 31% 3 12% 1 4% 5 19% 3 12% 1 4% 4 15% 1 4%  Totals n = 43 15 35% 6 14% 1 2% 9 21% 4 9% 2 5% 5 12% 1 2%  180  Table 76: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported intermediate to fluent proficiencies in other specified languages besides English Intermediate to fluent proficiency levels European languages Responses (n = 28) French 12 43% Spanish 7 25% Italian 2 7% Polish 1 4% Far East Asian languages Japanese 2 7% Mandarin 2 7% Cantonese 1 4% Middle-Eastern languages Hebrew 1 4%  Table 77: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported fields of education Community gardeners' fields of education environmental, planning behavioural, socio-cultural art, design, music, dance business, law, political science health language, writing, communications education technology  13 13 10 10 7 6 5 5  Responses (n = 69) 19% 19% 14% 14% 10% 9% 7% 7%  181  Table 78: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported occupations  Community gardeners' occupations art, design, music, dance business, law, political work education – students, instructors health language, writing, communications technology environmental behavioural, socio-cultural/communal retired media administration food services  Responses (n = 65) 12 18.5% 12 18.5% 9 14% 6 9% 5 8% 5 8% 4 6% 4 6% 3 5% 2 3% 2 3% 1 1.5%  Table 79: Descriptive statistics for community gardeners' reported occupational durations  Occupational duration (years) Numerical summary statistics n = 53 Mean 12 Median 7 Range 0.1 – 50 Standard deviation 11.3  182  Table 80: Relative frequencies of community gardeners' reported household sizes and types Household size live alone do not live alone Household size & type live with one other person live with spouse live with roommate live with two others (spouse & child) live with three others (spouse & 2 children)  16 27 22  2 3  Respondents n = 43 37% 63% n = 27 82% 18 82%* 4 18%* 7% 11%  *n = 22 and not 27 for these relative frequencies  Table 81: Descriptive statistics and relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported durations living alone How long been living alone (years) Numerical summary statistics n = 15* Mean 15.5 Median 15 Range 2 – 45 Standard deviation 11.7 Frequency distribution Duration < 5 to 5 3 5+ to 10 3 10+ to 20 6 20+ to 30 2 40+ to 50 1 Skipped 1  n = 16* 20% 20% 40% 13% 7% 7%  *one respondent skipped the question therefore n is less for the descriptive statistics  183  Table 82: Community gardeners' reports for how long ago they ever lived alone How long ago ever lived alone (years) Numerical summary statistics n = 27 Mean 10.4 Median 10 Range 0.5 – 30 Standard deviation 7.3 Frequency distribution Duration 0 or none 6 < 1 to 1 2 3+ to 5 4 5+ to 10 7 10+ to 20 6 20+ to 30 2  n = 27 22% 7% 15% 26% 22% 7%  Table 83: Community gardeners' reported durations for ever living alone in the past How long ever lived alone (years) Numerical summary statistics n = 27 Mean 4 Median 2 Range 0.25 – 16 Standard deviation 4.4 Frequency distribution Duration 0 or none 6 <1 yr to 1 7 1+ to 2 5 2+ to 5 4 5+ to 10 4 10+ to 20 1  (n = 27) 22% 26% 19% 15% 15% 4%  184  Table 84: Relative frequencies for coordinators' reported occupations Coordinator's occupation(s) education retired/no occupation business language behavioural & health political & socio-cultural social, environment & administrative  4 3 2 1 1 1 1  Responses (n = 13) 31% 23% 15% 8% 8% 8% 8%  185  Appendix G: Results for Community Gardeners' and Coordinators' Practices, Motivations and Experiences  Table 85: Relative frequencies and gardeners' priority rankings for reported initial community gardening motivations Gardeners' initial community gardening motivations A – hobby/recreation/enjoy plants, soil, outdoors B – communal/social aspect C – no/inadequate gardening space at home D – grow one's own food E – learn/experiment/teach one's child(ren) F – eat fresh/local/organic/healthy/medicinal G – aid sustainability/biodiversity/food security H – save money I – influence of friend(s)/family/other gardeners J – share produce with friends/neighbours Initial motivations ranked by gardeners' priority Listed 1st Listed 2nd Listed 3rd Listed 4th 12 times for A 8 for B 8 for B 3 for A 12 for C 7 for A 5 for G 3 for B 7 for D 5 for C 3 for D 2 for F 4 for E 5 for E 3 for E 2 for H 4 for F 4 for D 2 for A 2 for I 2 for I 4 for G 2 for B 1 for E 1 for B 3 for F 2 for J 1 for G 1 for G 2 for H 1 for F 1 for I 1 for H 1 for I  26 20 19 14 14 11 11 7 6 2  Responses (n = 130) 20% 15% 15% 11% 11% 9% 9% 5% 5% 2%  186  Table 86: Relative frequencies and priority rankings for current in relation to initial community gardening motivations reported by gardeners Current motivations that reflect a change in initial community gardening motivations communal/social aspect learn/experiment/teach child(ren) enjoy gardening, plants, soil, fresh air aid sustainability/biodiversity/food security eat fresh/local/organic/healthy/medicinal save money/grow what unavailable to buy physical activity creative expression on plot grow own food stress relief grow non-food items developing gardening websites interest in Japanese gardening no/little gardening space at home  Responses Newly-listed Re-prioritized initial motivations (n = 28) motivations (n = 16) 6 [21%]-ranked 1st twice 2 [12.5%]-ranked 1st once 5 [18%]-ranked 1st once 3 [19%]-ranked 1st once 2 [7%] 3 [19%]-ranked 1st twice 2 [7%] 3 [19%]-ranked 1st once 2 [7%] 2 [12.5%]-ranked 1st once 2 [7%] 2 [7%] 2 [7%] 1 [4%] 2 [12.5%]-ranked 1st once 1 [4%] 1 [4%] 1 [4%] 1 [4%] 1 [6%]  Table 87: Number of participating community gardeners per garden and ranges for reported plot size estimates Cluster # 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 6 6 6 7  Garden name Gardeners in the study Ranges for ~ plot sizes (sq ft) Strathcona 9 70 – 1076 Cottonwood 1 100 Pandora 2 40 – 100 Elizabeth Rogers 2 90 – 101 Ladybug 2 20 – 24 Wall Street 2 18 – 30 McSpadden 1 40 South China Creek Mole Hill 4 16 – 22 Stanley Park 1 40 Pine Street 3 90 – 160 Kitsilano Church 1 35 Maple 5 38 – 60 Cypress 3 36 – 60 Crowspoint 2 60 – 94 16 Oaks 5 60 – 72  187  Table 88: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' stated reasons for raising their plots/beds Reasons for raising beds keep soil dry/avoid frost add soil enrichments avoid compacted soil/pathways/increase depth dipping/slopping plot add locally conducive soil/control soil type avoid pollution run-off/contamination pest/weed avoidance part of space use efficiency strategy (square foot gardening) ergonomic comfort neatness  Responses (n = 28) 6 21% 5 18% 5 18% 3 11% 2 7% 2 7% 2 7% 1 4% 1 4% 1 4%  Table 89: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported alternative means of commute to their plots Gardeners Alternative means Responses of commute (n = 25) Cycle 8 32% Walk 8 32% Drive 7 28% Public transit 2 8%  188  Table 90: Relative frequencies for reported types of crops typically grown by community gardeners Crop typically grown ALL CROPS All vegetables leafy vegetables fruiting vegetables bulb vegetables root vegetables pods vegetables stalk vegetables inflorescent vegetables All herbs oregano thyme basil sage parsley mint rosemary cilantro lovage sorrel lemon balm lavender dill echinacea 14 others All flowers nasturtium calendula poppies roses others All fruits berries non-berries  592 342 102 64 55 54 42 14 11 118 15 13 13 12 11 9 8 4 4 4 3 3 2 2 14 86 8 6 6 6 60 46 43 3  Responses n = 592 57% n = 342 17% 30% 11% 19% 9% 16% 9% 16% 7% 12% 2% 4% 2% 3% 20% n = 118 3% 13% 2% 11% 2% 11% 2% 10% 2% 9% 1.5% 8% 1.4% 7% 0.7% 3.4% 0.7% 3.4% 0.7% 3.4% 0.5% 2.5% 0.5% 2.5% 0.3% 1.7% 0.3% 1.7% 2% 12% 15% n = 86 1.4% 9% 1% 7% 1% 7% 1% 7% 10% 70% 8% n = 46 7% 93% 0.5% 7%  189  Table 91: Relative frequencies for reported types of crops grown occasionally by community gardeners Crop types grown occasionally fruiting vegetables root vegetables leafy vegetables bulb vegetables herbs flowers pod vegetables  24 19 18 9 9 9 8  Responses (n = 96) 25% 20% 19% 9% 9% 9% 8%  Table 92: Relative frequencies for matches between specific crop types reported by community gardeners as typical of what they grow currently and what they grew in prior gardening or farming experiences Similarities between crops grown in prior experiences & on current plot Crop types showing matches Responses (n = 109) leafy vegetables 18 16.5% pods vegetables 18 16.5% fruiting vegetables 18 16.5% herbs 17 16.0% flowers 17 16.0% root vegetables 9 8.0% bulb vegetables 8 7.0% fruits 3 3.0% inflorescent vegetables 1 1.0%  Table 93: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported uses for harvested crops  Harvest uses personal use & share with others personal/household use only personal use & charity  32 10 1  Respondents (n = 43) 74% 23% 2%  190  Table 94: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding the philosophies that guide their community gardening practices GARDENERS' GUIDING PHILOSOPHIES – part 1/2 ENVIRONMENTALIST APPROACH organic techniques (but 2 mentioned breaching this sometimes) overall environmentalist perspective biodiversity promotion waste management local agriculture integrated pest control total  19 11 8 4 4 2 48  13% 8% 6% 3% 3% 1% 33%  VALUE OF FOOD food safety & nutrition self-sufficiency food security culinary tastes high/maximum yield food-cost savings total  8 8 3 2 2 1 24  6% 6% 2% 1% 1% 1% 17%  BUILD COMMUNITY share work/knowledge/harvest participate in community socialize with others respect others preserve public space total  8 8 4 2 2 24  6% 6% 3% 1% 1% 17%  Count n = 144  191  Table 94: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding the philosophies that guide their community gardening practices GARDENERS' GUIDING PHILOSOPHIES – part 2/2 NATURE ENJOYMENT & WELL-BEING enjoy gardening/the space nature contact nature & spiritual/emotional well-being total  Count n = 144 7 7 4 18  5% 5% 3% 13%  SKILL DEVELOPMENT/EXPERIMENTATION/BOOKS 11 total 11  8% 8%  PLOT MANAGEMENT soil care/enrichment plot layout/aesthetics plot care efficient/maximum space usage respect for plot total  4 4 3 2 1 14  3% 3% 2% 1% 1% 10%  GARDEN RULES total  3 3  2% 2%  MAINTAIN GARDEN AESTHETIC & AMBIANCE total  2 2  1% 1%  GRAND TOTAL  144  100%  192  Table 95: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reports on pests found and crops targeted on their plots Pests found slugs/snails aphids ants/weevils/mites/pill bugs rodents/non-flying mammals maggots/worms unsure what (pest) birds flies/moths no pests Crops targeted leafy vegs leaves anything root vegs pod vegs fruiting vegs young growth inflorescent vegs fruit roots seeds flowers succulents herbs  28 20 12 11 10 7 4 3 1 27 13 11 11 8 6 6 3 3 2 2 2 1 1  Responses (n = 96) 29% 21% 13% 11% 10% 7% 4% 3% 1% Responses (n = 96) 28% 14% 11% 11% 8% 6% 6% 3% 3% 2% 2% 2% 1% 1%  193  Table 96: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reports on diseases found and crops affected on their plots Diseases/Conditions found mildew/blight/rusts none low soil quality clubroots wilting/leaf curling fruit splitting/not good in appearance black spots Crops affected fruiting vegs bulb vegs leafy vegs fruits root vegs flowers soil not crops cereal  42 14 3 2 2 2 1 29 6 4 4 3 2 2 1  Responses n = 66 64% 21% 5% 3% 3% 3% 2% n = 51 57% 12% 8% 8% 6% 4% 4% 2%  Table 97: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported motivations for obtaining seeds or seedlings from their stated sources Reasons for obtained seed(ling)s from stated sources local/community-oriented store* no reason besides convenience/availability non-GM/organic/not sterilized/not rogued seeds from store* heritage/heirloom varieties from store* good quality seed/good info on seeds from store* swaps are fun/saved swap seeds better than new/bought inexpensive stores new/bought seed better than saved seed friend's recommendation about store he/she worked at  20 16 13 11 3 2 2 1 1  Responses (n = 69) 29% 23% 19% 16% 4% 3% 3% 1% 1%  *the store frequently mentioned was West Coast Seeds  194  Table 98: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported knowledge of the extent to which their seeds were organic  Seeds organic? unsure about all/most/some some most all few  15 14 11 8 1  Responses (n = 49) 31% 29% 22% 16% 2%  Table 99: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported satisfaction with personal and garden tools Satisfaction with personal and garden tools Those using personal tools some/all of the time those fully satisfied with personal tools those desiring more personal tools Those using garden tools some/all of the time those fully satisfied with garden tools those desiring more & better maintained/used garden tools those only desiring better maintained garden tools those only desiring more garden tools  36 1 24 5 4 4  Responses n = 37 97% 3% 65% 14% 11% 11%  Table 100: Relative frequencies for gardens' presence online as reported by community gardeners  Garden-related online activity/discussion Respondents (n = 43) no, only coordinator's email exists 23 53% yes, website/blog/facebook/google group exist 20 47%  Table 101: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported involvement with other gardening-related organizations Involved with other gardening organizations Respondents (n = 43) no 29 67% yes 14 33%  195  Table 102: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding the physical aspects of their gardens in relation to surrounding neighbourhoods GARDENERS' VIEWS ON THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF THE GARDEN & NEIGHBOURHOOD ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS & USE OF SPACE green space; increases biodiversity; provides eco-education, composting uses prior neglected space; adds to good use of existing green space total  Responses n = 228 n = 75 15 14 29  7% 20% 6% 19% 13% 39%  AESTHETICS garden beautifies area, draws visitors/has rustic appeal/suits landscape total  22 22  10% 29% 10% 29%  LAND AVAILABILITY/TENURE & RELEVANT AUTHORITIES parks & railway should avail more land; want more/larger gardens, plots threat to garden land tenure, general development pressures city collaborates with garden (more so than in the past) total  6 6 1 13  3% 3% 0.4% 6%  LOCATION, VISIBILITY & SIZE garden is hidden & good/hidden & not good/not hidden garden is small/large & good use of space total  5 1 6  2% 7% 0.4% 1% 3% 8%  REAL ESTATE rail tracks reduce value; garden increases value by tracks and elsewhere 3 no high-rises should be built nearby; real estate irrelevant within garden group 2 total 5 TOTAL FOR PHYSICAL ASPECTS GRAND TOTAL FOR PHYSICAL & SOCIAL ASPECTS  1% 1% 2%  8% 8% 1% 17%  4% 3% 7%  75 33% 100% 228 100%  196  Table 103: Relative frequencies for themes developed from coordinators' qualitative responses regarding the physical aspects of their gardens in relation to surrounding neighbourhoods COORDINATORS' VIEWS ON THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF THE GARDEN & NEIGHBOURHOOD AESTHETICS garden beautifies area & draws visitors/has rustic appeal total  Responses n = 61 n = 16 8 8  13% 50% 13% 50%  ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS & USE OF SPACE uses prior neglected space; better use of existing green space green space/way/corridor total  2 1 3  3% 2% 5%  13% 6% 19%  LOCATION, VISIBILITY & SIZE garden is hidden (& that limits communal interaction) garden is large (& a beautiful green space) total  1 1 2  2% 2% 3%  6% 6% 13%  LAND AVAILABILITY/TENURE & RELEVANT AUTHORITIES want more gardens city collaborates with garden (more so than in the past) total  1 1 2  2% 2% 3%  6% 6% 13%  REAL ESTATE garden increases value despite rail tracks total  1 1  2% 2%  6% 6%  TOTAL FOR PHYSICAL ASPECTS GRAND TOTAL FOR PHYSICAL & SOCIAL ASPECTS  16 61  26% 100% 26%  197  Table 104: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding the social aspects of their gardens in relation to surrounding neighbourhoods GARDENERS' VIEWS ON THE SOCIAL ASPECTS OF THE GARDEN & NEIGHBOURHOOD – part 1/2 PUBLIC SAFETY much sex & drug trafficking, homeless sheltering, theft, littering & dumping illicit activity aided/mitigated by garden barriers/structures sympathy/prejudice towards illicit activity, mentally instability, ethnic diversity garden makes neighbourhood safer neighbourhood fairly safe to begin with total  Responses n = 228 n=153 30 6 6 8 2 52  13% 3% 3% 4% 1% 23%  20% 4% 4% 5% 1% 34%  INFORMAL COMMUNITY-BUILDING facilitates communal interaction across age, ethnicity, physical ability some language barrier between gardeners (maybe inhibits interaction) allows nearby residents plot/garden access; many gardeners live nearby variety of and many people visit garden; provides relaxation/recreation garden location reduces visibility/foot traffic total  24 1 9 13 1 48  11% 0.4% 4% 6% 0.4% 21%  16% 1% 6% 8% 1% 31%  REACTIONS/RESPONSES TO GARDEN neighbours and passersby are complimentary and supportive neighbours dislike messy look; initially disliked noise/loss of prior space total  12 3 15  5% 1% 7%  8% 2% 10%  NEIGHBOURHOOD SOCIOECONOMIC & ETHNIC TRAITS neighbourhoods now fairly ethnically diverse; low to mixed income gardeners not as ethnically diverse as neighbourhood; most not low income garden matches/differs from neighbourhood sociability total  5 4 5 14  2% 2% 2% 6%  3% 3% 3% 9%  198  Table 104: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding the social aspects of their gardens in relation to surrounding neighbourhoods  GARDENERS' VIEWS ON THE SOCIAL ASPECTS OF THE GARDEN & NEIGHBOURHOOD – part 2/2 HEALTH growing food/vegetables is a nutritional benefit to the community public health/physical, social & mental well-being are promoted compost facility attracts rats; soil contamination may be a concern total  Responses n = 228 n=153 2 4 3 9  1% 2% 1% 4%  1% 3% 2% 6%  FORMAL COMMUNITY-BUILDING communal space & events happening or planned; no such space garden has plots for or works with other organizations total  6 2 8  3% 1% 4%  4% 1% 5%  FOOD SECURITY/SOCIO-ECONOMICS garden enhances food security garden does not contribute significantly to food security total  5 2 7  2% 1% 3%  3.3% 1.3% 5%  TOTAL FOR SOCIAL ASPECTS GRAND TOTAL FOR PHYSICAL & SOCIAL ASPECTS  153 67% 100% 228 100%  199  Table 105: Relative frequencies for themes developed from coordinators' qualitative responses regarding the social aspects of their gardens in relation to surrounding neighbourhoods COORDINATORS' VIEWS ON THE SOCIAL ASPECTS OF THE GARDEN & NEIGHBOURHOOD INFORMAL COMMUNITY-BUILDING variety of & many people visit garden; provides relaxation/recreation garden is hidden which limits communal/social interaction facilitates communal interaction across ethnicity & physical ability some language barrier between gardeners inhibiting interaction allows nearby residents/those without yards to garden total  Responses n = 61 n = 45 12 1 3 1 2 19  20% 2% 5% 2% 3% 31%  27% 2% 7% 2% 4% 42%  PUBLIC SAFETY much sex & drug trafficking, homeless sheltering, theft & littering diplomacy used in handling illicit activity inconsiderate visitors bring their animals to garden garden makes neighbourhood safer neighbourhood fairly safe to begin with total  4 1 1 4 2 12  7% 2% 2% 7% 3% 20%  9% 2% 2% 9% 4% 27%  REACTIONS/RESPONSES TO GARDEN neighbours and passersby are complimentary and supportive total  7 7  11% 16% 11% 16%  HEALTH growing food/vegetables is a nutritional benefit to the community total  3 3  5% 5%  7% 7%  NEIGHBOURHOOD SOCIOECONOMIC & ETHNIC TRAITS neighbourhoods now fairly ethnically diverse; low to mixed income total  2 2  3% 3%  4% 4%  FORMAL COMMUNITY-BUILDING garden has plots for other organizations total  2 2  3% 3%  4% 4%  TOTAL FOR SOCIAL ASPECTS GRAND TOTAL FOR PHYSICAL & SOCIAL ASPECTS  45 61  74% 100% 100%  200  Table 106: Raw data for gardeners' views on those responsible for theft besides non-gardeners  garden names Strathcona Strathcona Strathcona Strathcona Strathcona Strathcona Crowspoint Pandora Maple Cypress Pine Pine Pine totals  suspect, told of or know of theft by fellow gardeners yes told of * yes*  “theft” may be pests/animals  rats yes* yes* yes* animals yes not returning tools unsure what yes* unsure, tools misplaced  8 / 43 = 19% *6 / 43 = 14% 2 / 43 = 5%  animals rodents 5 / 43 = 12%  201  Table 107: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding improvements desired in their community gardening experiences Improvements desired in your community gardening experience – part 1/2 Responses Community Gardeners' Responses (n = 62) SOCIAL/COMMUNAL ACTIVITIES more social events 7 11% more garden space for socializing; make space more kid-friendly 5 8% more people at work events 3 5% total 15 24% GARDEN FACILITIES install garden compost facility; deliver more & good quality soil better water resources/harvesting/storage better off with tool shed, tool workshop seed exchange closer to garden neighbourhood improve facilities in general total  3 3 2 1 1 10  5% 5% 3% 2% 2% 16%  GARDEN MANAGEMENT & GROUP DYNAMIC PREFERENCES improve membership system; advertise events in more ways; hire help change bureaucratic meetings, hierarchical/lax management styles more respect for group/rules; agree on how to gain community's respect total  4 3 2 9  6% 5% 3% 15%  INCREASE COMMUNITY GARDEN SIZE & NUMBERS more gardens/bigger gardens/plots total  6 6  10% 10%  PERSONAL GOALS improve efforts on plot find a community garden closer to home support others' ideas total  3 1 1 5  5% 2% 2% 8%  202  Table 107: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding improvements desired in their community gardening experiences Improvements desired in community gardening experience – part 2/2 Responses Community Gardeners' Responses (n = 62) THREATS deal with drug use waste, hideouts for illicit activity, theft 4 6% toxic plant alert & control 1 2% total 5 8% KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER more/organized interaction with knowledgeable people/more workshops more kid-friendly garden to facilitate teaching/learning total  3 1 4  5% 2% 6%  ATTITUDES TOWARDS NON-GARDENERS less hostility towards drug users, non-gardeners taking produce like to see more young adults gardening total  2 1 3  3% 2% 5%  ADDITIONAL GARDENING PROJECTS orchard care/planting; continue ongoing plans for beehive total  3 3  5% 5%  AESTHETICS improve garden/plot appearance total  2 2  3% 3%  GRAND TOTAL  62  100%  203  Table 108: Relative frequencies for themes developed from coordinators' qualitative responses regarding improvements desired in their community gardening experiences Improvements wanted in the support coordinators receive Coordinators' responses GARDENERS' & IMPROVING SUPPORT more participants at garden meetings/activities/events more community spirit among gardeners better coordination with other organization that has garden plots total  Responses (n = 14) 5 1 1 7  36% 7% 7% 50%  THE CITY& IMPROVING SUPPORT more city support through funding free city compost for other gardens & not just for new ones shorter wait time for responses from city city-wide online group for coordinators to exchange resources total  1 1 1 1 4  7% 7% 7% 7% 29%  HIGH SATISFACTION WITH CURRENT SUPPORT nothing more needed/get sufficient support total  3 3  21% 21%  GRAND TOTAL  14  100%  204  Table 109: Relative frequencies for themes developed from community gardeners' qualitative responses regarding their future plans for community gardening Future Plans for Community Gardening Gardeners' responses GROW/CONSIDER NEW CROPS grow/consider other crops (general) do winter-cropping; finish herb garden (more specific) total  Responses (n = 41) 8 19.5% 4 10% 12 29.5%  EMPLOY/CONSIDER NEW METHODS try/consider new gardening methods (general) add mulch/soil/sand/compost (more specific) start saving seeds (more specific) total  3 5 1 9  7% 12% 2% 22%  INCREASE YIELD more gardening space on/off garden; better use of current space total  8 8  19.5% 19.5%  INCREASE OFF-GARDEN EFFORTS get community garden plot closer to home grow more food at home; get own gardening space total  2 2 4  5% 5% 10%  LEARN/DEVELOP SKILLS learn about bee-keeping, apple-rearing, medicinal plants, seasons learn new ways to cook produce total  3 1 4  7% 2% 10%  PARTICIPATE BEYOND PERSONAL PLOT more involved at garden (general) involvement in management/install sandbox shade (more specific) total  2 2 4  5% 5% 10%  GRAND TOTAL  41 100%  205  Appendix H: Results for Community Gardeners' Health-related Status and Perceived Health-related Effects from Community Gardening Table 110: Relative frequencies for community gardeners' reported chronic condition Chronic conditions asthma ulcerative colitis cancer arthritis fibromyalgia lyme disease glaucoma heart condition migraines depression car crash injuries allergies dry skin  2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1  Responses (n =15) 13% 13% 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 7%  Table 111: Descriptive statistics and relative frequencies for reported durations of community gardeners' chronic conditions Duration of chronic condition Numerical summary statistics n = 14* Mean 18.3 Median 18 Range 3 – 60 Standard Deviation 14.2 Frequency distribution Duration up to 5 3 5+ to 10 1 10+ to 15 2 15+ to 20 6 20+ to 30 1 30+ to 60 1  Responses (n = 14) 21% 7% 14% 43% 7% 7%  *missing response – contacting the respondent after the interview was not permissible  206  Table 112: Relative frequencies for the types of regular physical activity community gardeners reported engaging in Type of regular physical activity walk cycle run ski/snowboard/snowshoe hike gym yoga weight-lift swim canoe/kayak tennis dance  24 23 10 10 8 7 7 6 5 5 5 4  Responses (n =114) 21% 20% 9% 9% 7% 6% 6% 5% 4% 4% 4% 4%  Table 113: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported durations, types and causes of improvements in mental abilities experienced as a result of community gardening Duration of improvement in mental abilities both at and away from garden just at garden total respondents reporting improved mental abilities Improvement experienced focus/alertness reduced mental fatigue introspection learning/memorization Improvement in mental abilities attributed to simple/varied/repetitive tasks being outdoors nurturing plants/touching soil socializing quiet space/being alone slower pace learning being away from technology emotional stress relief nutrition  Respondents (n = 17) 14 82% 3 18% 17 100% Responses (n = 25) 9 36% 8 32% 5 20% 3 12% Responses (n = 48) 11 23% 9 19% 9 19% 5 10% 4 8% 3 6% 3 6% 2 4% 1 2% 1 2%  207  Table 114: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported durations, types and causes of improvements in emotional states experienced as a result of community gardening Duration of improvement in emotional state both at and away from garden just at garden total respondents reporting improved emotional state Improvement experienced calming/relaxation sense of accomplishment/satisfaction/esteem excitement/pleasure grounding/centering more positive/optimistic sleep better Improvement in emotional state attributed to nurturing plants/touching soil socializing being outdoors getting to harvest quiet space/being alone purposeful tasks physical activity being away from work/technology mental relaxation seeing others' plots/progress childhood nostalgia  Respondents (n = 42) 39 93% 3 7% 42 100% Responses (n = 83) 29 35% 18 22% 17 20% 10 12% 8 10% 1 1% Responses (n = 125) 41 33% 25 20% 23 18% 10 8% 6 5% 5 4% 5 4% 5 4% 2 2% 2 2% 1 1%  208  Table 115: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported types and causes of improvements in physical fitness experienced as a result of community gardening Improvement experienced in physical fitness strength flexibility endurance decreased strain occurrence nothing specific reported reduced muscular fatigue/soreness Improvement in physical fitness attributed to various exertion postures (lift/push/reach) movement/general activity task variety/repetitiveness heavy tasks at garden events/inception walk/cycle to garden reduced stress due to gardening yoga class provided by garden  8 8 3 3 3 1 24 6 2 2 2 1 1  Responses n = 26 31% 31% 11.5% 11.5% 11.5% 4% n = 38 63% 16% 5% 5% 5% 3% 3%  Table 116: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported major and minor strain or injury experienced as a result of community gardening  Major strain/injury experienced fingernail loss from fungus pulled shoulder severe back pain ankle strain from repeated falling total responses for major strain/injury reported Minor strain/injury experienced back (& arm/shoulder) soreness general soreness poked eye/speck in eye bruises cuts callouses broken fingernail stinging nettle total responses for minor strain/injury reported  Responses (n = 33) 1 3% 1 3% 1 3% 1 3% 4 12% 16 5 2 2 1 1 1 1 29  48% 15% 6% 6% 3% 3% 3% 3% 88% 209  Table 117: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported causes of increases and decreases in the severity or frequency of strain or injury as a result of community gardening Increase in severity/frequency (of physical strain/injury) attributed to bending heavy lifting shoulder movement Decrease in severity/frequency attributed to improved fitness/using more muscles reduced stress & therefore better circulation  3 2 1 3 1  Responses n=6 50% 33% 17% n=4 75% 25%  Table 118: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported durations, types and causes of physiological change experienced as a result of being outdoors on their community garden plot  Physiological/Physical change experienced allergies/respiratory migraine blood pressure sunburn eczema lethargy 1 concern about skin cancer total responses Duration of change both at and away from garden just at garden total responses Change attributed to reaction to plants being outdoors in general/fresh air factors unrelated to being outdoors contact with/reaction to soil over-exposure to sun total responses  Improvement 2 17% 1 8.3% 1 8.3% 1 8.3% 5 42% Improvement 4 33.3% 1 8.3% 5 42% Improvement 3 20% 3 20% 2 13% 8 53%  5 1 1 7 6 1 7 5 1 1 7  Responses Symptom 42% 8.3% 8.3% 58% Symptom 50% 8.3% 58% Symptom 33% 7% 7% 47%  Total = 12 7 58% 1 8.3% 1 8.3% 1 8.3% 1 8.3% 1 8.3% 12 100% Total = 12 10 83% 2 17% 12 100% Total = 15 5 33% 3 20% 3 20% 3 20% 1 7% 15 100%  210  Table 119: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported types and causes of dietary improvement experienced as a result of community gardening Aspects of dietary improvement more local less processed more organic more plant-based more raw Dietary improvement attributed to growing own produce greater awareness improving one's shopping habits other gardeners' influence books in garden shed garden's influence on packaged food waste views  Respondents (n = 32) 30 94% 18 56% 20 63% 16 50% 18 56% Responses (n = 70) 32 46% 18 26% 18 26% 1 1% 1 1%  Table 120: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported types of health improvement experienced as a result of an improved diet Improvement in health due to diet experienced as no sign of improvement, but believe health better better digestion/reduced food allergies higher energy better weight management protective/preventive perhaps fewer colds  Responses (n = 23) 11 48% 6 26% 2 9% 2 9% 1 4% 1 4%  211  Table 121: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported levels of beneficial or detrimental effects experienced as a result of the medicinal use of plants on their plots Levels of beneficial/detrimental effects resulting from medicinal plant use Crop grown unsure slight moderate significant total garlic 2 [5%] 3 [7.5%] 2 [5%] 7 [17.5%] lemon balm 1 [2.5%] 3 [7.5%] 4 [10%] lavender 1 [2.5%] 2 [5%] 3 [7.5%] mint 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] 3 [7.5%] calendula 2 [5%] 2 [5%] comfrey 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] 2 [5%] echinacea 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] 2 [5%] fennel 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] 2 [5%] nettle 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] 2 [5%] rose (hips) 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] 2 [5%] arnica 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] cilantro 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] dandelion 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] oregano 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] plantains 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] raspberry leaves 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] sage 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] thyme 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] valerian* 1 [2.5%]* 1 [2.5%] white horehound 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] witch-hazel 1 [2.5%] 1 [2.5%] Total 2 [5%] 3 [7.5%] 23 [57.5%] 12 [30%] 40 [100%] *This plant was the only one for which a detrimental effect was reported  212  Table 122: Beneficial and detrimental effects reported by gardeners to be known or experienced as a result of medicinal use of plants on their plots Beneficial effects anti-microbial anti-microbial respiratory digestion relaxation serotonin sleep/sedative thinking/memory skin immunity anti-oxidant astringent blood/circulation endocrine cleanser vitamin C iron calcium mineral supplement anti-inflammatory menstrual pain cholesterol bones fresh breath abortificant general health unsure of effects insect repellent Detrimental effects insomnia  garlic rosemary garlic garlic lemon balm fava beans valerian gingko biloba lavender garlic beets dandelion nettle lemon balm nettle rose (hips) kale kale sage yarrow raspberry leaf garlic horsetail cilantro rue garlic garlic lemon balm  Plants reported to be medicinal calendula comfrey oregano  thyme  oregano mint mint  white horehound clover fennel sage  calendula echinacea kale witch-hazel oregano cilantro parsley roses parsley  comfrey kale spinach plantain grape leaves  arnica tomatoes Swiss chard  all food lemon balm  most plants oregano  echinacea lemon balm lavender chamomile  strawberries  thyme  Plants reported to be medicinal valerian  Shaded cells indicate plants used medicinally (as opposed to those only known to be medicinal) resulting in the related effects  213  Table 123: Relative frequencies for gardeners' reported types of improvement in relationships as a result of community gardening  Improvements in relationships attributed to learning from each other/knowledge exchange socializing with fellow gardeners away from the garden exchanging seeds sharing produce/food with fellow gardeners & others community garden events socializing during visits to plot talking about garden to non-gardeners like-minded/variety of fellow gardeners stress relief from gardening emotional support from fellow gardeners highly effective/supportive garden coordinator experience as a coordinator at the garden community gardening as a green initiative relatable to others  Responses (n = 119) 25 21% 14 11.8% 14 11.8% 13 11% 13 11% 13 11% 9 7.5% 7 6% 4 3% 4 3% 1 0.8% 1 0.8% 1 0.8%  214  Appendix I: Results for Community Gardening Policy Table 124: Municipalities in the City of Vancouver and that of the City of Montreal which are involved in policy or support with respect to community gardens in their jurisdictions City Policies/Involvement – part 1/2 Montreal, Quebec - 97 gardens overseen by the 19 boroughs within the City of Montreal - Culture, Sports, Recreation & Social Development departments partner with Public Works departments in boroughs; the divisions of Parks & Horticulture & of Highways are also involved - departments select garden sites, acquire land, hire development officers and staff to manage community garden programs, oversee wait lists - provide fences, gates, soil, water, tools, equipment, tool storage, waste bins, picnic tables, toilets, bike racks, repair & maintenance - provincial soil testing protocol adhered to – new gardens must be established on soil tested for contamination & found to be below regulatory or detection limits - develop gardens (6 currently) in partnership with Richmond Food Richmond Security Society - pesticide-free by-law, invasive species prohibited - water, tools, equipment, shed, start-up soil, composting provided - license agreements with Burnaby & Region Allotment Garden Association (BARAGA) & Heights Neighbourhood Association for two of Burnaby the five gardens - partnership with DiverseCity Community Resources Society for Hazelnut Meadows garden & with North Surrey Organic Community Garden Society (NSOCGS) for the NSOCG; these are two of three community Surrey gardens in Surrey - water, sometimes - funds, soil, gravel, plot-building (depending on garden needs) Maple Ridge - city land leased to two neighbourhood & park gardens - seek funding to establish & maintain gardens in neighbourhoods, parks & schools West Vancouver - two gardens on city-owned land District - manager for both sites based at city's Parks Department - chemical use prohibited - water provided  215  Table 124: Municipalities in the City of Vancouver and that of the City of Montreal which are involved in policy or support with respect to community gardens in their jurisdictions  North Vancouver City  Coquitlam  Langley City  North Vancouver District White Rock Port Moody  Abbotsford  Pitt Meadows  Port Coquitlam  City Policies/Involvement – part 2/2 - 5-year land rental agreement with North Shore (NS) Community Garden Society (CGS) & NS Neighbourhood House for the two gardens - city approves garden rules proposed by NSCGS - chemical use, treated wood, invasive species prohibited - 5-year agreement with Burquitlam Community Organic Gardening Society (BCOGS) for the only garden - liaison officers from city & BCOGS - chemical use prohibited - provide water, janitorial services for restrooms & office, garbage pickup, repairs & maintenance - partnership with school district for the only garden - conditional chemical use prohibition - cover annual criminal record check costs, fenced the site & provide gate keys; maintain wait list & gardener contact list; provide & maintain tools, equipment & storage shed; authorize chemical use if necessary; deliver manure, supplied compost bin; provide water & hoses - licensed lease by city, free to NSCGS for oversight of the only garden - chemical use (new pesticide-free by-law), treated wood, invasive species are prohibited - water, one-time grant provided - user & operational agreement with city for the one garden on public land - provide water, built garden boxes, etc., tools & shed coming soon - one garden initiated by city staff & was city-funded initially - chemical use, selling produce prohibited - provided water & some start-up funding - one garden on city-owned land - partnership with Abbotsford Community Garden Society - season-to-season agreement - water, washroom, some funding provided - one garden on city-owned land - partnership with Pitt Meadows Community Garden Society - pesticide use prohibited - restroom & small living area, tool shed, water, electricity, some funding provided - one garden - pesticide-free by-law - provide mulch, toilets, trash pick-up  216  

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