Title

Community gardening and well-being

Start Time

4-10-2012 8:00 PM

End Time

4-10-2012 9:30 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Background: Community gardens are increasingly popular in urban settings and offer a balance to work environments where technology and stress are common features. A community garden is any piece of land, gardened by a group of people, where vegetables and/or flowers are grown. Although community gardens differ in their purposes, in general, they foster the development of horticultural skills and provide opportunities for enhanced well-being through occupation. Community gardens enable people to meet and build their community, revitalize neglected areas, and provide access to green space for all people (Teig et al., 2009). Personal benefits include access to low-cost nutritious food, relaxation and opportunities for exercise (Wakefield et al., 2007). Despite the potential for positive health outcomes from community gardening, few studies have examined if and how this occupation influences self-perceived well-being among gardeners.

Statement of purpose: The purpose of this exploratory qualitative research is to provide insight into the experiences of community gardeners and describe how gardeners believe that their participation in this occupation affects their health and well-being. The research question is: ‘How does participation in a community garden impact the perceived health and well-being of garden members?’

Description of methods: Adults who are community garden members were recruited from several sites in metro Vancouver. Semi-structured interviews are underway with 6-10 participants to gather data about their experiences of community gardening and well-being. Field notes form additional data and research journals are being utilized for reflexivity. The research design is informed by phenomenology i.e., the focus is on understanding lived experience and its meaning, and the data analysis is inductive. Data are being analyzed following Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic data analysis process and guided by occupational science concepts.

Report of results: It is anticipated that the findings will illuminate aspects of community gardening that that sustain and constrain well-being. Initial data indicate that gardening enables lifelong learning and contributes to the well-being of the local community, which affects participants’ health positively.

Objectives for poster presentation:

  1. To discuss if and how occupations that require interaction with nature produce different health outcomes than those situated in other settings
  2. To generate ideas for community-based participatory research that explore how community gardening could promote the health and well-being of communities and individuals.

References

Braun, V. & Clarke V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3, 77-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

Hale, J., Knapp, C., Bardwelll, L., Buchenau, M., Marshall, M., Sancar, F., & Litt, J. S. (2011). Connecting food environments and health through the relational nature of aesthetics: Gaining insight through the community gardening experience. Social Science and Medicine, 72, 1853-1863. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.03.044

Kingsley, J., Townsend, M., & Henderson-Wilson, C. (2009). Cultivating health and wellbeing: Member’s perceptions of the health benefits of a Port Melbourne community garden. Leisure Studies, 28(2), 207-219. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02614360902769894

Teig, E., Amulya, J., Bardwell, L., Buchenau, M., Marshall, J., & Litt, J. (2009). Collective efficacy in Denver, Colorado: Strengthening neighborhoods and health through community gardens. Health and Place, 15, 1115-1122. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.06.003

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), 92-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dam001

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Oct 4th, 8:00 PM Oct 4th, 9:30 PM

Community gardening and well-being

Background: Community gardens are increasingly popular in urban settings and offer a balance to work environments where technology and stress are common features. A community garden is any piece of land, gardened by a group of people, where vegetables and/or flowers are grown. Although community gardens differ in their purposes, in general, they foster the development of horticultural skills and provide opportunities for enhanced well-being through occupation. Community gardens enable people to meet and build their community, revitalize neglected areas, and provide access to green space for all people (Teig et al., 2009). Personal benefits include access to low-cost nutritious food, relaxation and opportunities for exercise (Wakefield et al., 2007). Despite the potential for positive health outcomes from community gardening, few studies have examined if and how this occupation influences self-perceived well-being among gardeners.

Statement of purpose: The purpose of this exploratory qualitative research is to provide insight into the experiences of community gardeners and describe how gardeners believe that their participation in this occupation affects their health and well-being. The research question is: ‘How does participation in a community garden impact the perceived health and well-being of garden members?’

Description of methods: Adults who are community garden members were recruited from several sites in metro Vancouver. Semi-structured interviews are underway with 6-10 participants to gather data about their experiences of community gardening and well-being. Field notes form additional data and research journals are being utilized for reflexivity. The research design is informed by phenomenology i.e., the focus is on understanding lived experience and its meaning, and the data analysis is inductive. Data are being analyzed following Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic data analysis process and guided by occupational science concepts.

Report of results: It is anticipated that the findings will illuminate aspects of community gardening that that sustain and constrain well-being. Initial data indicate that gardening enables lifelong learning and contributes to the well-being of the local community, which affects participants’ health positively.

Objectives for poster presentation:

  1. To discuss if and how occupations that require interaction with nature produce different health outcomes than those situated in other settings
  2. To generate ideas for community-based participatory research that explore how community gardening could promote the health and well-being of communities and individuals.