Accepted Paper:

Urban farmers and idea of re-self-sustainability  


Maarit Knuuttila (Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

In my paper I am dealing with the meanings and ideals of re-self-sustainable life style in nowadays Finland. I study the impressions among so called city farmers, who cultivate their plot of land or greenhouses or -boxes in urban environments.

Paper long abstract:

Why are the alternative, "greener" ways of producing food in urban surroundings so popular today? What kind of meanings people give to their activities? Could the phenomena be named as "re-self-sustainability"? The history of the urban plot cultivation in Finland has a long history; maybe as long as the cities themselves. Urban plot cultivation used to be an integral part of dominant self-sustainable lifestyle, which has been a prevailing system in the way of life and especially in food production until the early decades of 20th century. However, today the movements of organic food, ethical production and marketing of products and criticism of the use of urban space have heightened again the interest in producing food in city environments. In my paper I will examine the various motivations behind urban cultivation and cultivators and ask what is the cultural and ideological background for alternative economies and ideals of self-sufficient lifestyles.

Panel P25
Ethnological and folkloristic views on "narrative economy" (EN)