Seeds of Knowledge: From Back-to-the-Land to Urban Gardening


Janovicek’s article connects burgeoning contemporary urban food activism with the histories of the back-to-the-landers who moved to the West Kootenays in the 1960s and 1970s. Rather than studying back-to-the-landers as an anomaly, Janovicek emphasizes their continuity with previous historical movements and the connections they built with people in the communities where they moved to. These links are built through the preservation and transmission of traditional agricultural skills and knowledge, as well as the saving of seeds and the organization of food co-ops. The skills back-to-the-landers learned are now being passed on to a new generation of activists. This preservation and sharing of knowledge contributes to efforts to revitalize local food economies and links activists to previous generations and to a growing transnational food movement.