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Home gardens and urban ecology of a Mediterranean city

Author: 
Selin Laleci and Ozge Ozden
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Urban expansion has resulted in global pressurisation on sustainable food production. This has given rise to an increased interest in urban home gardens. In recent years, across developed and developing cities the “Edible Garden” concept has become popular within the home gardens. Urban residents who practise an ecological living concept; using vegetable, fruit and ornamental plants within their home gardens. In Cypriot cultural landscapes the “Kitchen Garden” culture has been passed down through generations. Herbs and small scale fruit and vegetable production have always been part of Cypriot culture. The objective of this study was to document and consign a value to vegetables and edible herbs derived from urban home gardens in the city of Nicosia. We collected information on the homeowner’s lifestyle and interest on ecological living. During the surveys in 2015-2016 the physical setting of 100 urban home gardens was examined, the vegetable and/or edible herb production was determined within the sampled gardens and interviews were performed to collect information about home owner’s ecological lifestyle. During the survey a total of 14 different vegetable and 8 different herb species were recorded. Our results indicate that only 3 % of the garden owners were making their own compost and had an interest an ecological lifestyle. Through this research, the role of home gardens in the lives of urban residents, their effect on cultural and ecological socialization has been determined.

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