“The city or the land is viewed as mother, and it nourishes.” – Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place.
I spent most of yesterday getting the garden set up for the summer months. I live with my family in an early-1950s bungalow in Guelph. The house is situated on a property measuring 100′ x 100′, which leaves ample room for a vegetable garden. From what I observe from the soil quality and placement of other landmarks and vegetation, this section of the property has been used as a vegetable patch for decades. I’d guess since the house was built.
garden.may 21.2012, a set on Flickr.
“Nature creates and does not produce; it provides resources for a creative and productive activity on the part of social humanity; but it supplies only use value, and every day use value – that is to say, any product inasmuch as it is not exchangeable – either returns to nature or serves as a natural good. The earth and nature cannot, of course, be divorced from each other…nature does not labor: it is even one of its defining characteristics that it creates… A tree, a flower or the fruit is not a ‘product’ – even if it is in a garden. A rose has no why or wherefore; it blooms because it blooms. ”
– Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space
Long-time residents of the street tell stories of this area of Guelph being swampy and drained out to make way for houses. Given the low-lying nature of the place, it seems this story could be true. I’ve transformed a section of the lawn (the sunniest section) into this year’s tomato patch. Lefebvre suggests, “the outcome of past actions, social space is what permits fresh actions to occur, while suggesting others and prohibiting yet others. “