Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 2017


Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2017


Copyright © 2017 Jill Wieneke


With more and more people pouring into urban areas, many have become unattached to where their food comes from and are disengaged with local food systems. Urban agriculture (UA) can bring people closer to healthy foods and be a potential savings. This will bring more resilience to a community and amend food insecurities Through this case study at the Hawley Hamlet Neighborhood Garden, urban gardeners can understand the capabilities of UA and the effects of food affordability into urban settings. This case study is an example of vegetable outputs and cost savings that can be obtained at a community garden in Lincoln, NE. Vegetables were weighed from two garden plots that equaled 50 square foot each of garden space for a four-month period. When comparing the prices of vegetables with three local grocery stores, the savings in the two garden plots averaged $497. Results show that the square foot gardening method is similar to intensive urban gardening with producing 3.13 pounds per square foot and a savings of $1.59 per square foot. The potential food savings initiates the desire for keeping resources within the community and providing local economic wealth. The assessment made by the Mayor’s Environmental Task Force suggests Lincoln needs 33 acres to be 1% self-reliant and currently the city has approximately 1.5 acres in community gardens. This demonstrates the need for more UA and self-reliance within the city of Lincoln. Promoting UA through government involvement and citizen action is necessary for the success of UA.