Kitchen Gardens

From Plot to Plate

Autumn 2016

Kitchen Gardens

It was in the fall of 2016, that I made my first photo of a kitchen garden. It was somewhere on a dyke in Rotterdam,
The subject of a kitchen garden is interesting above all for the beauty of the thing itself and for its universal character. There are millions of these little plots all over the world. Nothing else brings nature and culture so close together.

Spring 2019

It is the battle against the elements that has to be fought out on thirty-five square metres that makes the subject so interesting.
Nowhere do nature and culture come so closely together as in the kitchen garden, and there is nothing else that makes the seasons so visible.

Nairobi, Kenya

Everywhere we go for Resilience Food Stories, we look for these small pieces of land where people grow their own fruit and vegetables, sometimes out of dire necessity, often as a hobby but always out of love for nature. There is nothing as satisfying as harvesting your own food, nothing tastes as good as your own strawberries, nothing is as healthy as eating vegetables you cultivated yourself and nothing as independent as picking your own beans.

working the kitchen garden portrait for Resilience Food Stories by photographer ruud sies

Source: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (#FAO)

A Vegetable Garden for All

Kitchen gardens can supply up to half of all non-staple food needs, as well as a significant number of vitamins and minerals. This makes them an invaluable tool for food security in vulnerable communities.

Working the Kitchen Garden

Gardening is typically a family activity. While women are often believed to be the primary gardeners, their role in gardening varies by region and culture.

Older people play a special role in the transmission of traditional knowledge to the next generations, especially their understanding of the care and use of native plants.

From Plot to Plate

Kitchen gardens are sprouting not only in vulnerable communities but also within major metropolises. Today, they are appearing in the balconies, verandas and terraces of apartments.

“There are more microbes in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on the earth.”

Inspiring Stories

We have selected another two stories that might inspire you.

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Resilience Food Stories is a storytelling platform by Ruud Sies and Hanneke van Hintum in partnership with Koppert.

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