Market gardens in Sweden 1900-1950 with four case studies from Stockholm County

I. Olausson
The links between market gardens and cities were symbiotic until the mid-1900s. In my thesis about market gardens in Sweden 1900-1950, four market gardens in Stockholm County are investigated, trying to find out how different resources and strategies contributed to the businesses competitiveness. Two of the market gardens belonged to mansions with all the staff employed. The other two were established as family businesses by entrepreneurs without employees. Garden products are sensitive to bumps, heat, low temperatures, etc. Due to this, the access to a nearby market was necessary at that time. The development of the trade with garden products was linked to a fast-growing population in the cities, the growing demand for garden products, and the development of the transport sector. From the growing city, gardeners bought horse manure, garbage, or anything that produced heat to the hotbeds when it decomposed. Most of the market gardens were small family businesses situated on small plots. In the 1930s and 1940s in 75% of the businesses a maximum of three people were engaged. The production was both resource-demanding and labour-intensive. The use of hotbeds and greenhouses extended the growing season and made it possible to grow all year around. The gardenerRSQUOs dependence on merchandises increased like an avalanche to beat the growing competition on the market. The import, often of high quality products, was growing very fast and affected the interest for garden products. It forced the domestic horticulture industry to increase the quality and effectiveness of the production.
Olausson, I. (2016). Market gardens in Sweden 1900-1950 with four case studies from Stockholm County. Acta Hortic. 1108, 123-130
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1108.15
garden history, horticulture, gardener, manor garden, sole trader market garden, glasshouse, resources, strategies

Acta Horticulturae