Notes from Food and the City: Histories of Culture and Cultivation (D. Imbert ed)

“Three Acres and a Cow” David H Haney

P. 19 “the Liberals supported the widespread establishment of small holdings, in opposition to the Tories, who represented the landholding class. As early as 1879, William Gladstone spoke of the need for “petite culture” in England, referring to the perceived success of the proprietary peasants in France. The chief figure behind this movement was Liberal Member of Parliament Jesse Collings, whose phrase “three acres and a cow” became a popular slogan. Beginning in 1887, Collings set in motion the passage of a series of Acts of Parliament designed to provide individuals with allotments and small holdings from which they could derive all or part of their income. This series of Acts culminated in those of 1908 1909 and 1920, which directed local county councils to procure and administrate allotments and smallboldings for either lease or sale, according to local demands. This was a highly political issue, with some politicians categorically denouncing the notion of small holdings as a viable economic solution. Published government reports from 1909-10 indicate significant popular interest, but a massive amount of small holdings was never provided, largely due to apathy and interference from government officials and the landed classes. (See maps etc Report of the Land Division for 1909 (Board and Agriculture and Fisheries)

William Booth of Salvation Army “succeeded. In raising £100,000 to purchase nine hundred acres of farmland and to set up operations next to the village of Hadleigh in Essex near the Thames Estuary,,, more land gradually acquired bringing the total area to more than 3,000 acres. While not entirely economically self-sufficient, the venture was by all accounts a success, as the primary goal was to retrain destitute down-and-out men. (In 1895 there were 350 men in residence.) The majority o the men trained at Hadleigh were sent to colonies overseas, as Booth had promised with Canada a preferred destination. But the outbreak of WWI marked the gradual decline of the British Empire, and the farm as well.”

”The landscape of the Dutch IJsselmeer Polders: Amsterdam and its food supply system 1930-69” Z Hemel

P. 128 “In 1941, when the general plan for the Southwestern polder was drawn up, the capital set up a Municipal Zuider Zee Committee… growing opposition to the large-scale technical works within the Dutch local history and nature conservation movements led to the Organization of a Preservation Day in Amsterdam held in September 1942,,, Fir the first time there was something that could be called a dialogue between the bureaucratic apparatus and town planners, landscape architects and preservationists… in 1940 Dudok developed a sketch in which the polder space was apportioned with great belts of wood, an unprecedented proposal, as it earmarked precious fertile land as forest area. Van Eesteren supported Dudok’s idea, not just for aesthetic reasons but because he thought it was ecologically sound: it prevented erosion, blocked the wind moistened the land, and offered shelter to useful birds and insects.”

p. 139 Although the Southwestern polder was never drained and Lelystad was build according to a somewhat different scheme (because the Dutch state considered Van Eesteren’s plan too bold and optimistic), most of the structure plan has been implemented. .. Food production on farms in the Ijselmeer polders ranks among the most productive in the world. ,, Even the introduction of a nature reserve of more than 56 square km between Lelystad and Almere – which some say happened by accident because nature took over when a planned industrial estate was no longer needed, – can be seen as the late fulfilment of the vision of Van Eesteren,,,, Beauty and function really coincided… and in 2-12, the new town Almere won the bid for the Florida and will host the prestigious world horticultural expo in the year 2-22. The MVRDV-designed plan for the expo proposes building a city that is literally green as well as ecological. As Windy Maas, one of the founders of MVRDV explains it will be a city “that provides food and energy, cleans its own water, recycles waste and holds a great biodiversity,,, Can this symbiosis between city and countryside offer essential argumentation to the global concerns regarding urbanisation and consumption?”

”From Beets in the Bronx to chard in Chicago,” L Lawson and L Drake

P. 143 “while general applauded as self-help and community activism, some geographers and urban studies scholars have exposed deeper political implications, questioning whether community gardens represent stopgap solutions that facilitate neoliberal policies or are emblematic of “rights to the city” Social justice discourse”

P, 145 “In the American city of the 1890s, gardening was an attractive solution for a range of economic, social and environmental concerns… the effort to engage unemployed workers in gardening for food and income, known as vacant lot cultivation associations. Starting in Detroit in 1894, the success of “Pingree’s Potato Patches” inspired charitable organisation in many other Us cities.. discourse primarily centred on the survival of individual families – allowing poor residents to grow a wide variety of food for household consumption, including food that could be stored for winter, and to sell surplus produce.

P. 148 Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor “the AICP report noted that gardening kept people busy so they could not organise or riot: “as long as US soldiers will shoot rioters, we need not fear an actual insurrection… [nonetheless] the idle man is still the dangerous one.”

p 152 WWII “agricultural experts considered gardening as a way to expand domestic diet options and improve nutritional outcomes. The importance of gardening was not just in the material production of food but also in the symbolic linkage of civilians and soldiers abroad, because “food will be one of our major weapons of war”. Campaigns thus promoted gardening in any available space, from backyards to public land and vacant lots, emphasising food production and an ethic of collaboration, collective welfare and national morale.”

“Transforming a Hostile Environment: Japanese Immigrant Farmers in Metropolitan California”

P. 198 Having developed irrigation for the region

S arid landscapes and a strategy for growing high-value speciality crops, California led the West in agricultural productivity by 1900. That year, more than 5.5 million thriving orange trees fulfilled the promise of California as an agricultural Eden, and the image of shiny-leaved, fragrant citrus trees was deployed by powerful marketing organisations to draw migrants from other parts of the US… developed as a type of industrialised agribusiness that specifically welcomed immigrants as long as they contributed to a cheap pool of farm labour. Out-of-work Chinese railroad labourers were the first major immigrant group… By 1882, when these workers represented up to 3,4 of Californian farm labourers, long-boiling, anti-Chinese organizing resulted in the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first major law restricting immigration to the Unite States. Yet landholders’ continuing need fir cheap labour opened the door to emigrants from Japan … between 1900 and 1910 when the Japanese population in California quadrupled to 41,356,,, men between the ages of 20 and 44 made up the majority of the first generation immigrants.. Issei leaders such as SAN Francisco-based publisher Kyutaro Abiko helped transform the vision of success for Japanese immigrants from that of temporary sojourner to rooted family farmer. Yet transitioning from a bachelor society was not a smooth process. Up to 1910, the dramatic gender imbalance in Japanese immigrant communities meant that Hapanese wives often lived in isolation in rural or urban setting surrounded by men, and often had to deal with harassment and even rape. When they fled their situation, Japanese newspapers frequently ran kakeochi (husband desertio) advertisements containing descriptions of runaway wives and their villainous lovers. But women looking to extricate themselves from unhappy marriages found that their status in an overwhelmingly male society also meant that new possibilities err plentiful in California’s early Japanese settlements.”

“How Tokyo invented sushi” J. Sand

P. 224 “the type most people would think of as ordinary sushi – can be dated through reasonably reliable sources to a restauranteur’s invention iOS the 1810s or 1820s in Tokyo (then known as Edo) although, as with most food concoctions, there is some fuzziness about what previcely was being invented. What the Japanese call sushi on the other hand, is a broader category of food and more ancient. The word simply means pickled rice.. mixing vinegar into cooked rice preserves it. Vinegared or salted cooked rice, in turn, makes a good medium for preserving other foods. In Japan and elsewhere in East and Southeast Asia, a variety of preserved fish dishes can be found that used cooked rice this way; it is likely that some date to prehistoric times. Typically the fish is laid on top or buried between layers of fermenting rice and pressed under weights for days, weeks or even years… Pressing removed the oil from the fish while fermentation of the rice, in essence, “cooked” its proteins… techniques for preserving proteins have special importance in the context of a peasant’s subsistence economy, in which people must ration their food supplies…. the simple nigirisushi, dependent on fresh ingredients, was an urban version .. by 1700 a population of 1 million … remarkable a city of this size could be effectively supplied with food when all transport relied on human and animal energy, and the regime severely restricted the use even of wheeled vehicles., ,, copious amounts of fresh fish, so fresh that some of it, at least, could be eaten raw. ,, rapid cargo boats that combined sails and oars brought fish caught in the outer bay and on the Pacific coast to the market… these boats were permitted to enter the bay without stopping for inspection at the guardhouse where other ships were inspected before entering”.

Paris is a land of plenty – kitchen gardens as an urban phenomenon in a modern-era European city (16th-18th century)

P. 274 The Maria’s were small plots of land intensively cultivated by market gardeners, who could rent or own the land.. during the three centuries of the ancien regime, the Masai’s attempted to hold out against urban expansion, but they were constantly pushed farther away, towards the outskirts of the city, as the built-up area advanced..when a road crossed a malaise that was then allotted, topamony my recalled the area’s market gardening past. Thus in the 18th century were laid the Rus de Maria’s, Rue des Terre-Fortes, Rue des Petit-Champs, Rue Nuevo de Petits Champs, rue du Pont auc Chou, Rue du Chenin Vert, Cul De Dac des Jardinieres, and Rue de l’oseille, remembering land use, gardeners and crops.

P. 275 population of about 604,000 As the population’s diet was mainly based on bread and soup, it was crucial for the authorities to ensure that the markets were supplied with vegetables for the cooking pot. (As is evident from the word’s etymology, the “portages”had to provide vegetables and herbs for the pot.) The ancien regime embraced a new enthusiasm for dishes made of fresh salad vegetables and fruits, and this was particularly so in the case of the elite by birth or wealth. Developed from the final decades of the 16th century to the early decades of the 17th, this new French way of cooking advocated early vegetables and lettuces, orprimeurs, and fresh fruits to be eastern as soon as they were ready or ripe, rather than dried vegetables and fruits for storage. The cooks also replaced exotic spices with native herbs – one of the most important of them was parsley, and so the culinery regime of the bouquet garni began..

P. 277 The fruit and vegetable garden was an integral part of the French cultural model that was developed under the Bourbons; therefore, the social spectrum of Parisians engaged in gardening was particularly wide, ranging from the highest echelons of the aristocracy to the market gardeners.”

P. 285 The choice of vegetables with very short period of edible ripeness, of growing early vegetables and of increasing the number of harvests on the ame plots of land throughout the year made possible the continuation of commercial horticulture in Paris… an ardent (about an acre) of Maria’s enabled a family of market gardeners to live from their work.. a significantly higher return on investment to fields sown with cereal crops or planted with grapes… in the 178-s the rent.. was.. 3 to 4 times higher… than in cereal-growing areas”.

P. 286 “Growing plants on layers of manure resulted in the stimulation of vegetative development due to the warmth produced by the decomposing manure and straw. Vegetable seedlings were planted in a layer of compost placed on top of a layer of animal manure … technique in common use from the 16th century onwards for the growing of cucumbers and melons. ,,, gardeners cleared away this urban waste free of charge and so they contributed to the cleaning of roads and streets.”

“Market gardens in Paris” S. Taylor-Leduc

P. 301 “circulars intelligent: Parisian waste returns as food.. today we would describe as an urban ecosystem. In the 19th century, such holistic systems fascinated city planners, politicians, economists, sanitation reformers, and utopian visionaries.. from 1858 to 1900, 1,6th of the area of Paris was sued to produce more than 100,000 tonnes of high-value vegetable crops annually.. remarkable productivity, unequalled by contemporary industrial standards,.. market gardeners were at the center, not the periphery, f 19th-century Oarisian urban planning and food culture.”

p. Emile Zola’s portrayal of the Carreau in The Belly of Paris remains one of the most evocative descriptions of vegetables in 19th-century literature.”

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