Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there has been a remarkable increase of interest in community and home gardening. We interrogate this change, using gardening as the entry point of analysis to participate in emerging conversations on how COVID-19 affects food systems, specifically in the Global South. We compare the situation in the Philippines and Senegal to show how the increase of interest in gardening during COVID-19 has been shaped by, and elicited different reactions from, governments and communities. Our analysis focuses on policy reactions, using community interventions to contextualize and problematize these policies.

We look specifically at urban and peri-urban gardens, either in people’s homes and managed among their families, or in public community spaces managed by small local groups. This helps us to focus on spaces that are embedded in communities, well-suited to meet fast-changing needs for local...

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