20 Chapters
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16 The Appropriation of Space through ‘Communist Swarms’: A Socio-spatial Examination of Urban Apiculture in Washington, DC

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16 

The Appropriation of Space through

‘Communist Swarms’: A Socio-spatial

Examination of Urban Apiculture in

Washington, DC

Lauren Dryburgh*

American University, Washington, DC, USA

When I started researching . . . urban

­beekeeping, to be honest, I was a bit intimidated.

Urban apiaries remain the domain of the hardcore – the tattooed hipsters in Bushwick or other outer-borough neighborhoods

[in New York City] and their communist swarms.

(Levin, 2010, p. 1)

16.1  Introduction

About a month after Eliza De La Portilla and her family moved into their urban South Florida home, their neighbours came over to thank them. De La Portilla and her family had brought something into the community that was then unusual – h

­ oneybees. The long-time residents in the house next door were overjoyed to find that there were again bees in a space where buzzing had not been heard for quite some time

(De La Portilla, 2013). The family of urban apiculturists was not surprised to hear that their bees were fi

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6 ‘Growing food is work’: The Labour Challenges of Urban Agriculture in Houston, Texas

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6 

‘Growing food is work’: The Labour

Challenges of Urban Agriculture in

Houston, Texas

Sasha Broadstone1 and Christian Brannstrom2*

Stokes Nature Center, Logan, Utah, USA; 2Texas A&M University,

College Station, Texas, USA

1

6.1  Introduction

6.2  Background

Urban agriculture (UA) contributes to improved food access, eating habits and community interaction. Although UA offers modest contribution to food supply in cities, many scholars report the importance of UA in improving food sovereignty and producing alternative food systems. Details on the management, production and distribution strategies of UA in the

Global North (GN) are poorly documented, but relatively better knowledge exists in the Global

South (GS) on these topics. Knowledge and understanding of these aspects of UA are important for practitioners and policy makers in the GN and GS. Here we ask: how, and under what conditions, do UA sites in the GN produce food? We answer this question through an agricultural systems approach applied to UA organizers in Houston, Texas, regarding management strategies and food production practices. UA site objective and site-access regimes were closely related and influential in determining decision-making strategies, division of labour, and destination of the harvest. As our title suggests, labour was a major concern among respondents.

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9 Sustainability’s Incomplete Circles: Towards a Just Food Politics in Austin, Texas and Havana, Cuba

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9 

Sustainability’s Incomplete Circles:

Towards a Just Food Politics in Austin,

Texas and Havana, Cuba

Jonathan T. Lowell1* and Sara Law2

University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA; 2Sustainable Food Center,

Austin, Texas, USA

1

9.1  Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is both to question the use of sustainability discourses in urban agriculture projects and to analyse how the discourse traverses over spaces and the bodies who occupy those spaces. As Alkon and Agyeman put it ‘food is not only linked to ecological sustainability, community, and health but also to racial, economic, and environmental justice’ (Alkon and

Agyeman, 2011, p. 4). However, in theory and in praxis, ‘sustainability’ is largely talked about in terms of food production, to the detriment of food consumption (i.e. food security). More specifically, how, where and by whom the food is produced is privileged over who and to what extent food is accessible to everybody.

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15 Farm Fresh in the City: Urban Grassroots Food Distribution Networks in Finland

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15 

Farm Fresh in the City:

Urban Grassroots Food Distribution

Networks in Finland

Sophia E. Hagolani-Albov1* and Sarah J. Halvorson2

University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; 2University of Montana,

Missoula, Montana, USA

1

It was March, there were a few inches of snow on the ground, and the air was bitingly cold.

I was invited by the founder of the REKO Circles

[food distribution networks] to accompany him to the weekly pick up scheduled to take place in the midafternoon, which at that latitude was right before nightfall. We arrived shortly after the start of the event at a parking lot that was in a forgotten corner of Pietarsaari, Finland. Cars were parked every few spaces and there was a group of people clustered around each car. The temperature hovered around freezing and products were exchanged quickly and efficiently through open trunks or out of backseats. As I watched the scene unfold in front of me, I was amazed to realize that 30 minutes ago this had been an empty parking lot and in another 30 minutes all the producers and consumers would be gone. The parking lot would be cold and silent again; the only hint of this ‘instant’ market would be the trampled snow.

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7 The Marketing of Vegetables in a Northern Ghanaian City: Implications and Trajectories

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7 

The Marketing of Vegetables in a

Northern Ghanaian City: Implications and Trajectories

Imogen Bellwood-Howard* and Eileen Bogweh Nchanji

Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Göttingen University,

Göttingen, Germany

7.1 

Introduction

The proximity of urban production sites to markets is one factor that has let urban agriculture

(UA) flourish in both the Global North (GN) and the Global South (GS) (Drechsel and Dongus,

2010; Danso et al., 2014). Studying markets for urban produce provides an opportunity to consider consumption alongside production and income generation, and economic alongside social and ecological concerns (Chagomoka et  al.,

2014; Yusuf et al., 2014). This theme thus acts as a lens through which to consider the multifunctionality of UA (Atukunda and Maxwell,

1996; Mougeot, 2000).

In this chapter, we argue that the market function of UA, alongside specific characteristics of the urban zone, allows urban farmers and marketers to reconnect the ecological to the social and economic within their livelihood strategies. Referring to urban political ecology and livelihoods frameworks, we show this happening to varying extents across the GN and GS, due to different extents of politicization and connection between producers and consumers. We draw on primary data about vegetable marketing in Tamale, northern Ghana, and compare this with case studies from the Global North. The chapter concludes by considering the implications of these similarities and differences for the future

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