Heather Burns

Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Education: Policy, Foundation and Administration


Educational Leadership and Policy

Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 194 p.) : ill. (some col.)


Community food security, Place-based learning, Learning garden programs, Food security -- Oregon -- Portland, Community-supported agriculture -- Oregon -- Portland, Experiential learning -- Oregon -- Portland




The purpose of this study was to discover whether learning garden programs increase access to locally grown foods and successfully empower and include food insecure populations. This study examined the Oregon Food Bank's Seed to Supper program which situates garden-based learning in food insecure communities. Through a mixed-methods community-based research process, this study found that community building, learner empowerment and sustainability leadership in place-based learning garden programs increased access to locally grown foods for food insecure populations. When food insecure populations participated in these learning garden programs they often engaged in practices described in the literature as the "web of inclusion" (Helgesen, 1995). When food insecure populations were engaged in these practices, participation in food democracy and food justice increased. Additionally, participation in learning gardens led to sustainability leadership and increased access to food literacy, which led to greater community health and engaged, local community food systems.


Portland State University. Dept. of Educational Leadership and Policy

Persistent Identifier