Phenomenological Study of Urban Vegetable Gardening in Halifax: How Does Urban Vegetable Gardening Activity Affects the Daily Lives of the Gardeners and Their Sense of Community?
Due to the propagation of the Internet and several other changing factors, the geographical sense of community has somewhat become unnecessary. However, the quality of sense of community through indirect communication via Internet or other mass media is not proven to be the same as that of direct communication. Therefore, this research’s main purpose was to discover and understand the real experience of urban vegetable gardeners in Metro Halifax, or so-called Halifax, which is the urban part of Halifax Regional Municipality, and how a sample Haligonians perceive sense of community. Three main research questions were: 1. How do urban vegetable gardeners perceive sense of community, and how does vegetable gardening activity affect that perception? 2. What are their opinions about the social benefits and costs of participating in the vegetable gardens? 3. What are their concerns and suggestions for future improvements of urban vegetable gardening in Halifax? In total 17 participants participated in this study. Face-to-face individual interview was conducted with additional use of questionnaire. One of the most notable results was that the key elements of sense of community were defined by participants as trust, sharing and reciprocity, which were consistent with past research done related to the research questions. Furthermore, it was discovered that urban vegetable gardening activity could both newly establish and enhance all these three elements of sense of community.