Authors Archives: Michael Mikulak

Backyard Survivalism: The Global Politics of the Kitchen Garden

michaelmikulak[at]yahoo.ca

Abstract: This article looks at the backyard garden as a political space. Michael Mikulak draws on his own experiences with gardening and small scale organic agriculture to consider the different ways in which the politics of the everyday are being complicated by various food-centred movements such as Slow Food. The growth in popularity of food issues can be understood as a desire to reconnect with a narrative of production and consumption, a narrative that has been replaced by brands and story-less food that are forcibly disconnected from the land and people who produced it. He uses the example of heirloom seeds as a way of understanding how resistance to industrial agriculture requires a maintenance of cultural and biological diversity that begins with the simple act of eating, and which can link up issues as diverse as environmental justice, biodiversity, class, race, gender, and environmental degradation.

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